News of the WeekEvolutionary Biology

Uphill Dash May Have Led to Flight

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Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 329
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5605.329

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Some evolutionary biologists propose that avian ancestors took wing by gliding from trees; others say early birds got a running start and lifted off the ground as they beat their feathered forelimbs. Now a new study reported on page 402 suggests that flight may have evolved in protobirds that used their wings to scale inclined objects and trees.