Origin of flight: Could 'four-winged' dinosaurs fly?Nature. 2005 Nov 17; 438(7066):E3; discussion E3-4.Nat
Our understanding of the origin of birds, feathers and flight has been greatly advanced by new discoveries of feathered non-avian dinosaurs, but functional analyses have not kept pace with taxonomic descriptions. Zhang and Zhou describe feathers on the tibiotarsus of a new basal enantiornithine bird from the Early Cretaceous of China. They infer, as did Xu and colleagues from similar feathers on the small non-avian theropod Microraptor found in similar deposits, that these leg feathers had aerodynamic properties and so might have been used in some kind of flight.