Have you ever wondered when dinosaurs started flying? And weren't a lot of species happy that T. rex was too massive to take to the skies?
Just published by Yale University researchers Teresa Feo, Daniel Field, and Richard Prum is a study on a key component of a winged dinosaur's anatomy – asymmetrical feathers. Why? Because, shape is important in creating lift.
Actually, the Yale team has been analyzing the question of the first dino flyers using feather and barb angle.
Apparently, barbs on the leading edge of feathers are positioned at small angles from the shaft they branch from. This may have served to keep the feather's leading edge fairly rigid which in turn, facilitates pitch control in flight.
So, if you're a devotee of all things aviation. Or just curious about bird history and development, check out the Yale results. Go science!