Archeopteryxes could fly no worse than modern chickens, scientists say

Archeopteryxes could fly no worse than modern chickens,
 scientists say

MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) – RIA Novosti . Particle accelerator helped paleontologists find out that archeopteryxes were able not only to plan from branch to branch, but also make flights over short distances, like home chickens, according to an article published in a scientific publication Nature .
Archeopteryx had unexpectedly primitive wings – scientists “When we enlightened the humeral bones of Archeopteryx, we noticed that their walls were noticeably thinner than those of modern dinosaurs, and very similar to the bones of birds.” Moreover, it later emerged that they resembled the structure of the bones of pheasants and other birds that could take off to save themselves from predators, but not birds that spend their entire lives in the air, “says Dennis Weten from the European Synchrotron Center in Grenoble, France. Today among paleontologists there is no agreement on how and why the ancestors of birds acquired feathers and wings. Some scientists adhere to the classical theory that feathers allowed birds to master a new ecological niche – airspace – inaccessible to dinosaurs. Other paleontologists believe that the feathers did not appear for the sake of flying, but for heating the body or attracting the attention of females.
The roots of this dispute stem from the fact that we know almost nothing about how the wings of the first feathered beings, such as archeopteryx, were arranged. The prints of their wings almost do not carry any information about how the muscles of their owners were arranged and how they controlled the position and movement of the feathers.
Relatively recently paleontologists managed to approach the solution of this riddle, having discovered in Spain several well-preserved prints of the body and petrified remains of archeopteryxes. Their analysis showed that the muscles of the first protopitals were attached to their bones in approximately the same way as in modern birds, which was the first evidence that these creatures could fly. “Kuritsesavr” helped scientists find out how the beak of birds arose
Weten and his colleagues strengthened the position of supporters of this theory by educating the bones of archeopteryx using the particle accelerator ESRF, built in France by Grenoble by the EU, Russia and several other countries.
As the scientist explains, the structure of bones in each species of mammals and birds quite clearly reflects what lifestyle it leads. For example, ostriches and other flightless birds have very thick and dense bones of legs and hands, as they do not need to “save” on bone mass, unlike swifts, falcons and other birds that spend their entire lives in the air.
Guided by this idea, scientists prepared three-dimensional “photographs” of the bones of Archeopteryx and compared them with how similar parts of the skeleton of the existing dinosaurs and modern birds were arranged. Scientists: flights, not sex or heat, made birds “grow” with feathers
These pictures showed that archeopteryxes were much closer to modern flying birds than to dinosaurs or ostriches – judging by the structure of their bones, they flew about as well and often as chickens and their wild ancestors. As they did, it is still unclear, since the anatomy of their wings is incompatible with the manner of flight characteristic of the now existing birds.
Such a discovery, as noted by Vöten, is extremely important for scientists because archeopteryxes are considered today as one of the most ancient and primitive relatives of birds. It is possible that the ability to fly was inherent in all feathered dinosaurs. If this is so, then the ability to fly appeared a few tens of millions of years earlier than scientists thought, concluded Weten and his colleagues.

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