Sunday, September 14, 2014

Forming feathers

American biologist and author Thor Hanson (IMAGE ABOVE) points out in his new book the marvel that is the evolution of feathers. Feathers can be soft or barbed, can store water or repel it, can conceal or attract. They are diverse in both form and function, they are a near-perfect airfoil, and they are the lightest, most efficient insulation ever discovered. As the fossil record shows, this "accident of physics” took 50 million years to unfold as dinosaurs became birds. Hanson explains how it happened in this lovely short animated film.

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