Natural selection turns pterosaur into a flying “master”

According to a study recently published in the British journal Nature, British scientists have for the first time combined statistical methods, biophysical models and archaeological information to prove that it is natural selection that makes animals from origin to extinction, and constantly improve flight efficiency. The study takes pterosaur as an example and points out that after 150 million years of evolution, pterosaur flight has become more efficient. < / P > < p > pterosaurs are a very good sample of how ancient animals started flying. Pterosaurs are known to be close relatives of dinosaurs, which evolved in the Triassic and died out with non bird dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous. However, the earliest pterosaur remains elusive, making it difficult for researchers to study how the important function of “flight” evolved in this group. < / P > < p > this time, Chris fanty, a researcher at the University of reading in the UK, mentioned his colleagues’ use of a new statistical method, which combines biophysical models with information from fossil records, to prove that it is natural selection that makes these animals from origin to extinction, and continuously improve flight efficiency during this period. This also makes them from “inefficient pilots” who can only fly for a short distance to “masters” who can fly for a long time and long distance. However, there is an exception in the biophysical model, that is, the Dragon pterosaur, which belongs to the huge Cretaceous pterosaur group. The Cretaceous pterosaurs also include Aeolus pterosaur and paleopterosaur. Their ability to fly is often controversial because of their adaptability, which suggests that they prefer to live on land. < / P > < p > the team’s study showed that although the Dragon pterosaurs could fly, their ability to fly did not increase over time – suggesting that flight efficiency was not as important to them as it was to other pterosaurs. This study not only clarifies how pterosaur’s terrestrial ancestors “flew into the sky”, but also explains its further evolution. The method used in this study also lays a foundation for more detailed study on the changes of function and energy through geological time. < / P > < p > we usually don’t realize that flying is as delicate as walking. After insects, the first animal ever to fly into the sky was pterosaurs, which were different from birds and bats. Why can pterosaurs fly? In fact, it is a very important subject in paleontology. Scientists can’t just imagine how a pterosaur flew in the sky, but also know how it flew and how it evolved into a flying ability – first, it has to be able to take off, then it can stay in the air safely and permanently, and finally dominate the sky for thousands of years – the cracking of this process has filled a link in the evolution of chemistry.