Shifts in stability and control effectiveness during evolution of Paraves support aerial maneuvering hypotheses for flight origins [article]

Dennis Evangelista, Sharlene Cam, Tony Huynh, Austin Kwong, Homayun Mehrabani, Kyle Tse, Robert Dudley
2014 bioRxiv   pre-print
The capacity for aerial maneuvering shaped the evolution of flying animals. Here we evaluate consequences of aviaian morphology for aerial performance1,2by quantifying static stability and control effectiveness of physical models3for numerous taxa sampled from within the lineage leading to birds (Paraves4,5). Results of aerodynamic testing are mapped phylogenetically6-10to examine how maneuvering characteristics correlate with tail shortening, fore- and hindwing elaboration, and other
more » ... cal features11. In the evolution of the Paraves we observe shifts from static stability to inherently unstable aerial planforms; control effectiveness also migrated from tails to the forewings. These shifts suggest that some degree of aerodynamic control and and capacity for manoevering preceded the evolution of strong power stroke. The timing of shifts also suggests some features normally considered in light of development of a power stroke may play important roles in control.
doi:10.1101/001750 fatcat:nebv46r7fvagxi7jqxnqgu57am