STL Science Center

STL Science Center

17 January 2012

Papers About Birds

Many papers mention Archaeopteryx, but many of those more modern papers do not solely relate to information about Archaeopteryx; the animal is mentioned only in passing. However, thanks to the compiling of information in the digital age, we do have a good number of papers about Archaeopteryx at our disposal still. John Ostrom wrote a few papers himself about Archaeopteryx and the origin of flight as well as the origin of birds. The only copies I know of are in JSTOR and therefore cannot be read in their entirety without an account, but it would be worth a try to read both. His first paper from 1974 was on the origin of flight and his second paper on the origin of birds was from 1976 and his third paper was written in 1979 about how the first flights were oriented, tree to ground or ground to tree. All three discuss Archaeopteryx in great detail and, actually, I have managed to find a copy of the 1976 article in its entirety!

A 1999 article by Phillip Burgers interested me in that it discusses the primary thrust abilities of Archaeopteryx; in other words its capability to power itself off the ground with its wings. The mechanics discussed and the modeling are well done and the article itself is very interesting to read. The brevity of the paper is the only drawback that I see in Burgers and Chiappe's notions, though I cannot attest to my professional capacity to assert the validity of their findings myself either.

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