This site is no longer being updated. The Vega Science Trust closed in March 2012, and this site has been left here for reference purposes.

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.





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:

at Sussex University

by John Maynard Smith, with reviews

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

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