The Four-Winged Dinosaur

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This one-hour program is divided into six chapters. Choose any chapter below and select QuickTime or Windows Media Player to begin viewing the video. If you experience difficulty viewing, it may be due to high demand. We regret this and suggest you try back at another time.

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Chapter 1
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FEATHERED DINOSAURS

Liaoning Province in the northeastern corner of China has produced some of the most spectacular fossils ever seen, including one that may hold clues to the origin of flight.
running time 6:30

Chapter 2
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A PUZZLE

The dinosaur-bird connection first came to light in the 1860's, when quarrymen in Germany discovered a fossil called Archaeopteryx, a creature with feathered wings of a bird and the skeleton of a small carnivorous dinosaur.
running time 8:58

Chapter 3
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MICRORAPTOR

The discovery in China of Microraptor, a four-winged feathered dinosaur, reignites a long-running controversy over how birds evolved flight.
running time 10:10

Chapter 4
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MODELLING

Two teams take different approaches to creating a scientifically accurate model of Microraptor, one using a cast from a single fossil, and the other making a sculpture based on 16 different specimens.
running time 9:00

Chapter 5
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WIND TUNNEL

Experts from the American Museum of Natural History, Harvard, Brown, and MIT fly a model of Microraptor in a wind tunnel to see how four wings might have worked.
running time 8:06

Chapter 6
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AN UNEXPECTED FIND

The wind tunnel experiment suggests that Microraptor could have formed a useful wing with its hind limbs in typical dinosaur posture and been a perfectly capable glider, but its still not clear whether this was the pathway to flight for birds or a dead-end experiment in gliding dinosaurs.
running time 7:14

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© | Created February 2008