Draco lizards use specialized sideflaps to launch themselves into the air while evading predators. They're so skilled at steering, they can even choose which tree trunk to land on.
After ruling the skies for about 60 million years, insects were joined by a new group of creatures: vertebrates. The pioneers of the backboned flyers were the prehistoric pterosaurs, followed by a group of dinosaurs that acquired feathers. Finally, after a global extinction event, birds and the newly emerged bats took command of the skies. Join naturalist David Attenborough as he investigates the jungles of Borneo and the volcanic ash of China to track the evolution of these remarkable flying animals.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.