Re: The missing link
Posted by Andy™ on Mar 06, 2002 at 23:29
Re: The missing link (John W)
Man, I hate it when this happens.
It starts out FINE. GREAT, even...
Paleontologists working in China say they have unearthed the first fossil of a dinosaur that appeared to have mature feathers identical to those of modern birds, including long, showy plumage on its tail and hind legs.
The U.S.-Chinese research team said the 3-foot fossil should settle once and for all the debate over whether birds and dinosaurs are related.
FINE! No problem. Questionable, but fine, the media likes to make definite statements everyone takes with a grain of salt. However, they have to go and get stupid.
It also reinforces the idea that dinosaurs were not cold-blooded after all, as the textbooks said for generations, but warm-blooded creatures that needed feathers for warmth, not flight.
*sigh* They might as well say salamanders change color to match their surroundings. You'll note, they don't. They're still LIZARDS, but they don't color-shift. Wouldn't it be reasonable to say that not ALL dinosaurs had feathers? Maybe? Maybe? MAYBE even the popular media might go a step further and stop using the term "dinosaur" completely! Why don't we just say "mammal" no matter what type of warm-blooded creature we're dealing with? I'll tell you why. Because that'd be stupid.
"We have unequivocal feathers on an unequivocal non-avian dinosaur,"
Nani? Again that overly-general word rears its ugly head. What we have here are unmistakable feathers on an unmistakable dromaeosaur.
I see this as compelling evidence that dromaeosaurs had feathers! Now, I hate to be a radical or a moron, but is it possible this fellow could be a... flightless bird? Like the Cassowary, Rhea, Dinornis, Dodo, Emu, Kakapo, Kiwi, Moa, any given penguin, and everyone's favorite horse-bird, the ostrich. These are all flightless creatures with hollow bones and feathers... They all have talons, which, if they were extinct, Fox News would call KILLING TALONS! You may begin fearing and cowering at your leisure. (Please refer to the wizard Tim's description of the terrible creature guarding the cave in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail for a comparison.)
ALRIGHTIE. I also noticed in the article that observers (including the senior zoologist from the Smithsonian) were skeptical, as any reasonable scientist should be, about this find. This, single, solitary find. Now, admittedly, this is compelling and interesting, but come now... "unequivocal feathers on an unequivocal non-avian dinosaur"?? One find, with questionable tail feathers as well as problems identifying the rachis of the feathers? Not to mention other researchers find that they think other feathers apparent in the specimen could have come from actual birds of the early Cretaceous Period that were mixed into the rock formation. These birds... were in the same formation as our dromaeosaur....
=\ I don't suppose I need to expand on my questions about that, they should be evident.
Anywho, I'm not saying it's not a feathered "dinosaur" (someone put a bag over that word, please.) and I'm not saying it is. I'm saying no one should be sure and it's CERTAINLY not enough to stop any arguments about anything.
- annnd the version without the mistakes. (read this one, unless you like lots of itallics) Andy™ 06/3 23:30 (0)
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