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What Drones can Learn From Ancient Flying Reptiles!

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The fossil record provides inspiration for powered flight, via inverse.com

It might sound obvious—large, flying pterodactyls, which were part of the taxonomic order Pterosauria, are some of the most iconic flying animals in history, a staple of childhood wonder ever since it was first named in 1809 by Georges Cuvier, considered the modern father of paleontology. But when studying how to best design drones or achieve aerial stability, says first author Liz Martin-Silverstone (@gimpasaura), a post-doctoral researcher and paleontologist at the University of Bristol, speaking in a press statement, Pterosauria has often gone ignored.

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff in the fossil record that goes unexplored because engineers generally don’t look to paleontology when thinking about inspiration for flight,” she says. “If we’re only looking at modern animals for inspiration, we’re really missing a large degree of the morphology out there and ignoring a lot of options that I think could be useful.”

Learn more and check out the study this article is based on!



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