Talk:Origin of avian flight

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The opening paragraph mentions Archaeopteryx multiple times and yes, that was the oldest fossil found but the major features that make flight possible are also important an could be summed up somewhat in the first paragraph Moodley.10 (talk) 22:45, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Bank Jumping[edit]

I removed this section because it was obviously original research. --Dylanrush (talk) 04:24, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Cursorial Model[edit]

Although the evidence in favor of this model is scientifically plausible, the evidence against it is substantial. For instance, a cursorial flight model would be less energetically favorable when compared to the alternative hypotheses. In order to achieve liftoff, Archaeopteryx would have to run faster than modern birds by a factor of three due to its weight. Furthermore, as the mass of Archaeopteryx versus the distance needed for minimum velocity to obtain liftoff speed is proportional. Therefore, as mass increases, the energy required for takeoff increases exponentially. Other research has shown that the physics involved in cursorial flight would not make this a likely answer to the origin of avian flight. Once flight speed is obtained and Archaeopteryx is in the air, drag would cause the velocity to instantaneously decrease. In addition, balance could not be maintained due to this immediate reduction in velocity. Hence, Archaeopteryx would have a very short and ineffective flight. In contrast to Ostrom’s theory regarding flight as a hunting mechanism, physics again disproves the credibility of this model. In order to effectively trap insects with the wings, Archaeopteryx would require a mechanism such as holes in the wings to reduce air resistance. Without this mechanism, the cost/benefit ratio would not be feasible.

Much of this article is in need of attention from someone, or some group of people, who know what they are talking about and can explain it clearly and accurately. This paragraph is so poorly written as to tell the reader nothing of value. I cannot copyedit it because I cannot understand it well enough. I'm not an expert, rather I wanted to find out about the subject, and this article has not helped much. It is also largelky unsourced.

I appeal to those who know to tell us about it properly--CIngram99 (talk) 12:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

My concern is that I can't find anything anywhere very specific about how feathers aid in flight, only the remark that they do and the remark that they would not for larger animals that may also in the past have had them (as well as the flightless birds we have today, where this is so obviously true).Julzes (talk) 18:00, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Merge with origin of birds?[edit]

Ís there really anything here which wouldn't be better off at Origin of birds? FunkMonk (talk) 00:31, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree that there are many similarities with the "Origin of Birds" this page should be more about how flight became possible? Keep it focused on the theories and biology verses actual phylogenetics Moodley.10 (talk) 22:52, 30 September 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't avian defecation system also be mentioned in weight reduction as it reduces the amount of water needed in digestive system.

Linkato1 (talk) 13:43, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

first flying animals[edit]

  1. Flying and gliding animals does not provide information on when which kinds of animals developed the ability to fly.
  2. Its information on the first birds is very confusing. In fact, it only talks about theropod dinosaurs that are not birds. It makes this even more confusing in incorrectly using the restrictive "that" after a comma, which indicates a non-restrictive clause: "There were several species of theropod dinosaur thought to be capable of gliding or flying, that are not classified as birds (though they are closely related)."

Modern birds evolved from a specific type of theropods, maniraptor. The article could go on to mention traits found in these maniraptors that are common features in todays birds i.e. feathersMoodley.10 (talk) 22:06, 30 September 2014 (UTC)moodley.10

  1. It does not even mention the most famous bird ancestor, Archaeopteryx!
  2. Some quickly found sources we can use to fix this mess, and some of these (for example ) have info that should be added to Origin of avian flight too:

--Espoo (talk) 19:27, 5 May 2013 (UTC)


Why Proavis redirects to Origin of birds (where the term Proavis is not even mentioned) instead of here (where the Proavis term is mentioned?).

See also those two images (by Hungarian Franz Nopcsa, 1907, London):

Nopcsa proavis.jpg

This Proavis from 1907 is, I guess, purely hypothetical, but it should be mentioned and illustrated on this article. Nobody agrees? Kintaro (talk) 20:33, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Proavis should really have a separate article! And it should be mentioned in Origin of Birds. However, I believe Heilmann was the first to use the term, so claiming that the Nopcsa image is of "Proavis" would be a bit anachronistic. The image can of course be added to this article.--MWAK (talk) 07:02, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
First of all, MWAK, thank you for your answer. By "Heilmann", do you mean Gerhard Heilmann? The fact is that, following this document (Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, vol. 1907 issue 1, page 235), Nopcsa seems to be the one who coined the word proavis in 1907, or may be even before. Kintaro (talk) 08:01, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I meant Gerhard Heilmann. I hadn't been aware Nopcsa was the probable inventor of the term! All the more reason to make it a separate article :o).--MWAK (talk) 12:22, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Mmmmmmm... I'm just learning for the first time about all of these people (Heilmann, Nopcsa...). So, I will be very careful before editing any article. I just thought, at this point, that it would be interesting to start some discussion on the matter. I suggest to wait for other users' opinions... what do you think? Kintaro (talk) 00:54, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
We should at least add Nopcsa's input and image to the "cursorial model" section. Waiting, you will only grow old ;o).--MWAK (talk) 07:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Ok then, I've followed your first advise and created the Proavis article (a stub, for now). May be it will be necessary to bring some corrections to my tidy French-accented English. Can you bring some help? can anybody here, in the English wikipedia, bring some help? thank you! Kintaro (talk) 12:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm quite impressed! I'll also try to help.--MWAK (talk) 15:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, MWAK, let's keep looking forward for other participants. Kintaro (talk) 17:37, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
By the way, the discussion can continue here... thank you for your time! Kintaro (talk) 21:38, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Review articles[edit]

Per WP:SCHOLARSHIP, secondary sources such as review articles are preferable to isolated reports, to in order to provide sufficient context and avoid undue weight of coverage to one aspect or another. I have compiled a (surely incomplete) list of recent sources (last 10 years) that wiki-editors may use to provide good grounding for future development, expansion, and/or restructuring of the article, Please add others as appropriate:

  • Videler, John J. (2006). Avian flight (Reprinted ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199299927.  (chapter 5: Evolution of Flight)
  • Norell, Mark A.; Xu, Xing (31 May 2005). "FEATHERED DINOSAURS". Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. 33 (1): 277–299. doi:10.1146/  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)