John Maynard Smith, one of our most eminent evolutionary biologists and scientific communicators originally trained as an engineer and spent the war years designing aircraft.  In this video he describes the way that flight developed in the animal kingdom. The fossil record indicates that the long tails which stabilised the flight of the first birds evolved into shorter, less stable, structures which allowed greater agility.


 

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

 

 


 

The implications of these ideas for increased manoeuvrability in modern computer-controlled aircraft is explored with the aid of simple model demonstrations and discussion.


 

Links To Other Information:

Biology
at Sussex University

Books
by John Maynard Smith, with reviews

Interview
with John in the Evolutionarist 

The Origins of Life
John Maynard Smith`s Royal Institution Discourse

Flight in Birds and Aeroplanes - John Maynard Smith, University of Sussex



Useful Links:
Problem Viewing Videos?
Please Read
Link to Vega
add us to your website
Contact us
by phone, post, e-mail, or the web

The Vega Science Trust is actively supported by: