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New Dinosaur

  1. May 4, 2005 #1
    "When my colleagues saw a CAT scan of the new fossil, they tore up their family tree diagrams and said, 'Back to the drawing board!' ... We never suspected such a creature existed," said paleontologist Robert Bakker.

    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7702738/
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2005 #2


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    Thanks zooby! Very interesting.
  4. May 4, 2005 #3


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    Darwin's flipping in his grave..
  5. May 4, 2005 #4
    What bothers me about alot of literature about dinosaurs and other extinct life forms is that the presentation of educated guesses sometimes takes the form of statement of fact.

    In this particular article I noticed mention of an anotomical feature "which was used to..."

    Now, any given anotomical feature might seem to have a use that is obvious, but you have to make alot of assumptions to state that, since a certain species had a really thick scull, it used that scull to ram enemies.
  6. May 4, 2005 #5
  7. May 4, 2005 #6
    Yeah, the biology of creatures living in the past depend on a lot of factors that history and archaelogy depends on. Still they doubt it much less than the other two...

    That reminds me about some parts of the evolution theory which depended on such 'historical' proofs similar to the ones we use to learn about the Dinosaurs.
  8. May 4, 2005 #7


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    We'll the only other option is that it had religious significance. Oh sorry, that's the universal catch all for ancient objects. Nevermind.
  9. May 4, 2005 #8


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    I found it a little amusing that they seem surprised by the fact that evolution continued even as the dinosaurs were about to go extinct. Did they expect the dinosaurs to say "Hey, we're about to go extinct. Why don't we quit this 'evolving' crap." :biggrin:
  10. May 4, 2005 #9
    While we know the dinosaurs were a very devout bunch, can we confidently distinguish between their religious and utilitarian practices?
  11. May 4, 2005 #10
    Yeah, there's somthin' kinda off about paleontologists' thinking.
  12. May 5, 2005 #11


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    I thought that approaching extinction brought about more rapid evolution, as they try many strategies to adapt to quickly changing conditions. Its been observed in trilobites I think.
  13. May 5, 2005 #12


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    This is really cool. And I like Robert T. Bakker. He's written some really interesting books. He used to be considered somewhat rogue/revolutionary in his thinking. I'm not sure if that's true anymore. For all I know, he may have managed to redefine what is "orthodox" in paleontological circles.

    I think maybe by the comment, they meant that they were surprised to see dinosaurs diversifying because they felt that in the heyday of the dinosaurs, the last few million years of the Cretaceous, dinosaurs ought already to have been stagnating somewhat, ie for whatever reasons (disease, climatic change, shifting continents), dinosaurs had fewer niches to fill. Of course, this implies a slow decline of the dinosaurs, flying in the face of the asteroid impact theory. Bakker was not a proponent of that anyway. In fact, if I remember what I read from his book correctly, he believed in a decline much along the lines of what I just said, and offered justfication for the point. I'm not sure what the general consensus is on the cause of extinction now, at least 10 yrs later.
  14. May 5, 2005 #13
    The last new TV program I saw about dinosaurs was within the past couple months (they do alot of them) and they were still assuming it was the yucatan asteroid impact. The iridium layer and all that.

    Edit to add: I am curious to see what it looked like and wonder when they'll have a fleshed out rendition. It doesn't seem like they found any of the body, though.
    Last edited: May 5, 2005
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