I've been wondering this for a while and I thought I'd ask you this! Would it be possible for a mammal who's of a species that does not have wings to be able to USE wings if they surgically got them applied, with muscles and whatnot that were needed to move the wings? Or, would they need a brain that could use the wings as well? Like, if we managed to 3D print rat tissue into wings and surgically gave them to a rat, could the rat fly?
The thing is, flight requires a lot more than just muscles. I think the brain would be able to learn how to move the wings, might even be able to learn how to do that without the test subject actively thinking about each step along the way, but I doubt that we’d get to see flight anyways.
For the simple reason that flight is an incredibly specialized way of moving. It’s the bar none most expensive way to get from A to B and requires a lot more than just muscles. If you look at the chordates that can actively fly (Birds, bats) they’re very very specialized in things from beyond their muscles. Their skeleton structures are altered, if you look at the most specialized flyers on this planet, birds, they’ve altered their bone structure, their internal structure, their metabolism.
So even if you stuck functional wings onto a rat and somehow managed to implant it in a way that leaves them entirely functional (which…. unlikely really), I doubt that the rat would be able to fly for longer stretches because rats are totally not built for it.