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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Can Ostriches Tell Us How Dinosaurs Moved?
1 July 2010 3:44 pm
If you think ostriches' wings are purely ornamental, you've got your head in the sand. New research suggests that the giant birds use their wings as "air rudders" to rapidly change directions while running and to stop quickly. Nina Schaller, a biologist at the University of Antwerp in Belgium and Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, raised ostriches from birth and watched how they used their wings as they wheeled about. Based on her observations, she told fellow biologists today at the Society for Experimental Biology annual meeting in Prague, ostriches use their wings to run more nimbly and efficiently. The same might be true for feathery dinosaurs, like Gigantoraptor and Avimimus. Scientists have usually assumed these dinos used their forelimbs to manipulate objects, but they may have also used them to balance their bodies and zigzag while running.