Moulting microraptor assigned good flying ability

Paleontologists have found evidence that the dinosaur microraptor feathers were changing gradually rather than all at once, reported in Current Biology. Considering that among modern birds consistently shed those who need to constantly fly, and the whole — those who can afford a few days or even weeks to rise into the air, it turns out that microraptor did not plan, as previously thought, and flew, though did it all year round.

It is now generally accepted view that many dinosaurs, at least dromaeosauridwas feathered. The structure and function of their feathers compared with what is known about modern animals birds — birds. Because of dromaeosauridae, and birds belong to the group Paraves are the dinosaurs, such a comparison is justified.

Birds periodically molt, though the course of change of feathers they are very much depends on how often we fly. Those who need to do constantly, can’t lose all the feathers, as then they will not be able to get food and hide from predators. On both wings they have feathers fall out in the same order, and the process of change lasts a long time, but allows you to retain the ability to fly. Many water birds that may a few days to sit out in the dense vegetation or somewhere else, on the contrary, freed from all of feathers. It is possible that the feathers are replaced randomly; it is characterized first and foremost for the flightless. Dromaeosaurid certainly also regularly updated pen the cover but how they did is unknown: until recently, their remains were not found traces of molt.

Now paleontologists from Israel and China under the leadership of Josef Kiat (Yosef Kiat) from Haifa University, and Xu xing (Xing Xu) from the Institute of vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the skeleton with prints of feathers of microraptor (Microraptor gui) IVPP V13352 age of about 120 million years: it was found in China’s Liaoning province. This dinosaur flight was provided not only by forelegs (actually wings), but also the back. It is believed, however, that he probably planned from branch to branch than actively flying.

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