Evolution of Flight

  • Ulla M. Norberg
Part of the Zoophysiology book series (ZOOPHYSIOLOGY, volume 27)


There are two major conflicting hypotheses about the origin of powered flight in vertebrates, the arboreal (“trees-down”) and cursorial (“ground-up”) theories. According to the arboreal theory, powered flight in birds, bats and pterosaurs evolved via gliding in tree-living animals, while the cursorial theory holds that flapping flight in birds evolved in ground-running and jumping animals without a gliding intermediate.


Aerodynamic Model Vertical Lift Modern Bird Wing Stroke Body Drag 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulla M. Norberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Division of ZoomorphologyUniversity of GöteborgGöteborgSweden

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