Wing-Assisted Incline Running and the Evolution of Flight

  title={Wing-Assisted Incline Running and the Evolution of Flight},
  author={Kenneth P Dial},
  pages={402 - 404}
  • K. Dial
  • Published 17 January 2003
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • Science
Flapping wings of galliform birds are routinely used to produce aerodynamic forces oriented toward the substrate to enhance hindlimb traction. Here, I document this behavior in natural and laboratory settings. Adult birds fully capable of aerial flight preferentially employ wing-assisted incline running (WAIR), rather than flying, to reach elevated refuges (such as cliffs, trees, and boulders). From the day of hatching and before attaining sustained aerial flight, developing ground birds use… 

Aerodynamics of wing-assisted incline running in birds

The results reveal for the first time that lift from the wings, rather than wing inertia or profile drag, is primarily responsible for accelerating the body toward the substrate during WAIR, and that partially developed wings, not yet capable of flight, can produce useful lift duringWAIR.

The broad range of contractile behaviour of the avian pectoralis: functional and evolutionary implications

It is concluded that WAIR remains a useful extant model for the evolutionary transition from terrestrial to aerial locomotion in birds because work and power requirements from the pectoralis increase incrementally during WAIR and from WAIR to flight.

A 3-Dimensional Evaluation of Wing Movement in Ground Birds During Flap-Running and Level Flight: An Otogenetic Study

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Three-Dimensional, High-Resolution Skeletal Kinematics of the Avian Wing and Shoulder during Ascending Flapping Flight and Uphill Flap-Running

3-D skeletal kinematics in chukars (Alectoris chukar) during WAIR (ascending with legs and wings) and ascending flight (AF, ascending with wings only) are quantified along comparable trajectories to improve the understanding of the form-functional relationship of the skeletal apparatus and joint morphology with a corresponding locomotor behavior.

Ontogeny of aerial righting and wing flapping in juvenile birds

Wing motions transitioned to bilaterally symmetric flapping that yielded aerial righting via nose-down pitch, along with substantial increases in vertical force production during descent, and are potentially relevant to understanding the origins of avian flight.

Animal aloft: the origins of aerial behavior and flight.

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Identification of avian flapping motion from non-volant winged dinosaurs based on modal effective mass analysis

This paper investigates the wing performance of Caudipteryx, the most basal non-volant dinosaur with pennaceous feathered forelimbs by using modal effective mass theory and shows that the origin of the avian flight stroke should lie in a completely natural process of active locomotion on the ground.

A fundamental avian wing-stroke provides a new perspective on the evolution of flight

This work presents the first comparison of wing-stroke kinematics of the primary locomotor modes (descending flight and incline flap-running) that lead to level-flapping flight in juvenile ground birds throughout development and puts forth an ontogenetic-transitional wing hypothesis that posits that the incremental adaptive stages leading to the evolution of avian flight correspond behaviourally and morphologically to transitional stages observed in ontogenetics forms.

Forelimb Posture in Dinosaurs and the Evolution of the Avian Flapping Flight-Stroke

  • R. NuddsG. Dyke
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2009
Calculations indicated that even moderate wing movements are enough to generate rudimentary thrust and that a propulsive flapping flight-stroke could have evolved via gradual incremental changes in wing movement and wing morphology.

Evolution of avian flight: muscles and constraints on performance

  • B. Tobalske
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2016
To improve understanding of the functional significance of flap-bounding, the energetic costs and the relative use of alternative styles by a given species in nature merit study.



Flight kinematics of black-billed magpies and pigeons over a wide range of speeds

  • TobalskeDial
  • Biology
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1996
An 'adverse-scaling' hypothesis is proposed in which it is proposed that the ability to reduce metabolic and mechanical power output using flap-bounding flight at fast flight speeds is scaled negatively with body mass.

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The calculations provide a solution to the ‘velocity gap’ problem and shed light on how a running Archaeopteryx (or its cursorial maniraptoriform ancestors) could have achieved the velocity necessary to become airborne by flapping feathered wings.

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