|Archaeopteryx lived 140 Million Years Ago|
While nearly all scientists now believe that modern birds are the decendents of dinosaurs, new research suggests that while many species of feathered dinosaurs have been discovered (Archaeopteryx being the most famous - pictured), these species were unable to truly fly. A team of researchers from the University of Manchester and University College Dublin have calculated that the feathers were too weak - the shafts of the feathers being too thin - to support flight by flapping their wings and at most these dinosaurs were able to glide from tree to tree. Most likely, however, these species used their feathers to allow them to jump higher and pounce on their prey while travelling along the ground. Dick Alhstrom has more information on this story in today's Irish Times - click here.