Evolution of Vertebrate Flight: An Aerodynamic Model for the Transition from Gliding to Active Flight

  title={Evolution of Vertebrate Flight: An Aerodynamic Model for the Transition from Gliding to Active Flight},
  author={Ulla M. Lindhe Norberg},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={303 - 327}
  • U. Norberg
  • Published 1 September 1985
  • Engineering
  • The American Naturalist
I counter recent criticism against the arboreal theory of the evolution of flight in vertebrates. It has been stated, for instance, that incipient flapping during gliding would dramatically reduce lift, and that the generation of vortex rings by wing strokes must be a principal problem for animals to solve in evolving powered flight. The criticism is mostly unfounded and lacks adequate explanations. My model, based on quasi-stationary aerodynamics, shows that sufficient lift and a net thrust… 
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