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Could humans ever evolve wings? © Getty Images

Could humans ever evolve wings?

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To fly! The dream of man and flightless bird alike.

Asked by: Robin Turner, Warrington

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Virtually impossible. To even begin to evolve in that direction, our species would need to be subject to some sort of selective pressure that would favour the development of proto-wings, which we're not. To evolve useful wings, we would also need to become smaller, evolve honeycomb bones and lose most of the muscle mass in our legs and nearly all our teeth just to be light enough. If our wings evolved from arms, we would become much clumsier and lose the benefit of our hands. If they grew as separate limbs, we would need to reorganise our skeleton and muscle structure radically over thousands of millions of years.

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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