A robot dinosaur is helping scientists peer into our prehistoric past to learn why some dinosaurs evolved feathered wings before they could fly. But one expert is skeptical that this robot can reveal much about the ancient predators, because there isn’t yet evidence that the dino ate the prey these researchers tested.

Researchers built a metal robot with black felt and wheels, nicknamed Robopteryx, to resemble Caudipteryx, a peacock-size dinosaur with tiny feathered wings that roamed Earth about 125 million to 122 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous period (145 million to 100.5 million years ago). The researchers unleashed a flapping Robopteryx on a group of grasshoppers to test whether feathered-but-flightless dinosaurs may have evolved early wings to flush out prey from their hiding spots, according to a study published Thursday (Jan. 25) in the journal Scientific Reports.

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