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Birds Evolved From Dinosaurs Slowly—Then Took Off

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posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 01:35 PM
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Birds Evolved From Dinosaurs Slowly—Then Took Off

One of the big go to claims from evolution deniers is to explain how animals evolved to fly. Well new information is coming out that shows exactly this. Apparently many of the traits and characteristics that allow birds to fly developed haphazardly in dinosaurs since about the time they came on the scene. This lends credence to the dinosaurs evolved into birds theory, which is gaining more and more ground.


Birds are defined by a plethora of traits that are unique to them, such as feathers, hollow bones, a wishbone, and beaks. Paleontologists once supposed that the earliest bird, 150-million-year-old Archaeopteryx, represented a great evolutionary leap from dinosaurs. But over the past two decades, new discoveries have revealed that many of its avian traits had evolved in dinosaurs long before.

The Current Biology journal report released on Thursday confirms this new picture, finding that the dinosaur forebears of birds began gradually evolving avian traits almost as soon as dinosaurs appeared on Earth some 230 million years ago. (Related: Watch "Dinosaur Birds.")

The new study also supports a view proposed by the American Museum of Natural History paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson in 1944. He suggested that evolutionary novelty, flight in this case, can lead to rapid diversification among species exploiting new environmental niches.

The Current Biology paper shows that about 80 million years of gradual evolution culminated in a burst of bird diversity after Archeopteryx took off, albeit clumsily. "Once the whole body plan finally came together, then something was unlocked and they started evolving really fast," says paleontologist Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, lead author on the study. (Related: "The Changing Science of Just-About-Birds and Not-Quite-Birds.")

"This is statistical confirmation of a view about bird evolution that paleontologists have described for a while," says paleontologist Roger Benson of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. "Scientifically, it would have been crazier if they had shown birds appearing from dinosaurs all of a sudden out of nowhere."


This is some exciting stuff here. We are starting to get a better and better idea of what happened to allow organisms to travel through the air while defying gravity for long periods of time.


In the study, Brusatte and colleagues looked at a database of 152 carnivorous, two-legged dinosaur species in the family that led to both Tyrannosaurus rex and birds. The records allowed statistical comparison among 853 traits on the creatures, looking at everything from the presence or absence of feathers to the size of the gap between their wrist bones. (Read about the evolution of feathers in National Geographic magazine.)

Feathered dinosaur discoveries have come at "astounding" rates in the past two decades, according to Benson, making such close looks at the ancient roots of birds possible. "We really do have a strong fossil record for birds now," he says.

In August, a research team led by Michael Lee of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide reported in Science magazine that bird ancestors decreased in weight from about 359 pounds (163 kilograms) to 1.8 pounds (0.8 kilograms) over 50 million years to reach the size of Archaeopteryx.


Note the quote: "We really do have a strong fossil record for birds now" So don't let anyone tell you that science has trouble explaining the origin of flight. Just like everything else it evolved slowly over time until the animals (dinosaurs) were able to combine all the evolutionary changes that evolved over millions of years to allow them to fly.


Unlocking fight as an evolutionary niche in a new way may also have been what allowed birds to escape the extinction of other dinosaurs some 66 million years ago, Brusatte suggests. "Small dinosaurs that flew had a lot of advantages over other ones," he says.


Now, I'm not suggesting that ALL the dinosaurs escaped extinction during the KT extinction event (that would be ridiculous), but clearly that isn't the full picture.




posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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I wonder if they tasted like chicken...
Kentucky Fried T-Rex.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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Well, I thought it was interesting.
Beats arguing politics all day.

I did go out and get a rotisserie chicken, too.

A million years is a long time and strata suggest that it took that long at least for all the big dinosaurs to die out...sure, the iridium levels are higher as well, hence the lead paint on the bones in museums, but the extinction was not an overnight process.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 09:56 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Quite likely. Among people who study the domestication of dogs, understanding is beginning to emerge of the different potentials for domestication that must have evolved over time, randomly or at least for other selective reasons, within the ancestral wolf population before actual domestication began. This is a similar hypothesis.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 10:18 PM
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The fact that birds are dinosaurs was known in the early-to-mid 1800s, and more and more evidence has shown this to be true. I once tried to get a zoo to change the name of their bird house to dinosaur house, an altogether appropriate proposal. That dinosaurs evolved gradually into birdlike animals, and then at some mysterious point "became" birds, counters the evidence that they had been birds/dinosaurs all along. The amazing dinosaurs we have with us now, such as the hummingbirds who can hover in place and move, then stop, quickly and easily, or the crows, magpies and others who are evidently very smart and highly evolved animals, have shown that dinosaurs have never left, have evolved into creatures of talent and expertise in such things as flight, survival, and cleverness, and explode the myth of the extinction of dinosaurs that many in science and culture erroneously postulated and passed along for too many decades and too many generations. Dinosaurs never went extinct, live in very efficient compact biological packages all around us, and have proven themselves one of the most adaptable life forms in nature.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

" I know of two things that go to infinity!
The universe and the stupidity of man.
I'm not quite sure about the universe".

Albert Einstien



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: Aleister


The fact that birds are dinosaurs was known in the early-to-mid 1800s.

You astonish me, especially since The Origin of Species was first published in 1859. Typo? If not, then citation, please.

Actually, citation please even if you meant the early-to-mid 1900s.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 11:57 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Aleister


The fact that birds are dinosaurs was known in the early-to-mid 1800s.

You astonish me, especially since The Origin of Species was first published in 1859. Typo? If not, then citation, please.

Actually, citation please even if you meant the early-to-mid 1900s.


Nope, 1800s. I have to log off now, but will get to this tomorrow. It surprised me too. And by "known" I mean it was theorized and scientifically explained by one of the early experts on the new discoveries of the 'terrible lizards'.
edit on 25-9-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

That's interesting. How birds evolved has been an interesting topic to me, but I would certainly like to learn about the domestication evolution of canines. Insects and similar animals (like spiders and scorpions) are another branch of evolution that is very interesting since they are the most populous animals on the planet and are HIGHLY varied with all sorts of crazy adaptations to survive or to hunt.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:12 AM
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a reply to: randyvs

That's nice. Do you have anything better to contribute to the thread other than a quote mine though?



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I'm reading a book, In Defence of Dogs, that contains a lot about it. It's a book for dog lovers but it's written by a biologist. A bit of a slog (he's not the world's most digestible writer) but the information is gold. The focus of the book isn't the evolution of dogs, though, but dog behaviour and a comment on certain training methods.

It also has quite a bit of information about the Russian Arctic fox breeding experiment that evolution deniers and boosters of alternatives to natural selection sometimes trot out in the belief that it supports their claims.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: randyvs

Always insightful, Randy. Thanks for contributing. Your CTRL & V keys must be getting worn to nubs by you pasting this into any thread that discusses evolution.

Or you could, you know, actually live up to your "gold contributor" status and contribute to the thread by reading the linked article and discussing why you seem to think it's bunk. But that's quite a bit of effort, I guess.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Interesting. I'll have to check that out, especially since I got a puppy a few months ago. lol.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Alright I'll ask a question and even SnF your thread for scientific
content.

Are there more specific findings of dinosaurs to birds? For intance,
would it be only reptile dinosaurs that evolved this way? Or would it
be only the mammalian dinos or perhaps both?



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: randyvs

Reptilian dinosaurs? Mammalian dinosaurs?

Can you provide any information on this? Dinosaurs, as has been popularly understood, are neither reptile or mammal (or fish).

They were warm blooded and laid eggs. Like birds.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan




In 1841, Sir Richard Owen coined the word "dinosaur" to identify the fossils of extinct reptiles. It traces its origins to the Greek words deinos, meaning "terrible" or "fearfully great," and sauros, meaning "lizard." Newly discovered dinosaurs are named by the discoverer or by the palaeontologist who determines that it represents a new genus (or species). There are many different ways to choose a dinosaur name. Sometimes the name describes something special about its body, head, or feet, such as the triceratops, which means "three-horned head." Some dinosaurs are named after their size or behavior, such as the gigantosaurus, meaning "gigantic lizard," and the velociraptor, meaning "speedy robber." Others are named after the place where they were found, such as the Utahraptor and the Denversaurus, or they are named in honor of a person, such as the Chassternbergia (after Charles Sternberg, the discoverer). Giving names to dinosaurs is serious business and all new names must be reviewed by a panel of scientists and approved by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.


Source

I know the argument was made in one of my threads when I
referred to the serpent being cursed by God. To go about
on his belly and eat the dust of the earth all the days of
it's life. The convenient argumentation was that dinosaurs
weren't reptiles. They were mammals. But now their birds?

And isn't there supposed to an ELE in there somewhere?


Above top secret

edit on Rpm92614v53201400000011 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: randyvs

I didn't see mention of mammalian dinosaurs. I don't think there was such a thing. In 1841, when they thought they may be lizards, the popular view was also held that abiogenisis (or, Spontaneous Generation) was a viable theory on how things came into being.

We have come such a long way since then. Even so far as to find fossilized tissue with feathers on it.

However, if you have any documentation regarding mammalian dinosaurs, I would be interested in reading it. When I was a kid it was still presumed that dinosaurs were exothermic, placing them closer to lizards in our mindset. Since then, new discoveries have shined a light on their endothermic nature.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:55 PM
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We must also come from dino's, walking on 2 legs!

Just saying I do believe it's quite possible birds came from dino's but then again most of the animal kingdom could be as well as we.
1 big family...

But hard proof nope.., dino's lived for hundreds of millions of years and really in all those hundreds of millions of years they didn't show great leaps in evolution.. only after it seems some really big change/destruction/meteor or whatever suddenly all new species seemed to be appearing.
Just kind of weird and no really in between species as well? I mean species that would be in between lets say modern mammals/birds and dino's?
Should have gone really fast then?

edit on 26-9-2014 by Plugin because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I was mainly concerned with trying to ask a pertinent question
with a not so biased perspective for once. You know me.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: Plugin

There are a few things that need to be addressed here. First, there were THREE distinct periods during the age of the dinosaurs (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods) with different dinosaurs in it. Also evolution continued to work and help create new dinosaurs throughout the Mesozoic era. Though you are also correct about the explosion of new life after the KT event. That can be explained due to punctuated equilibrium where evolution tends to speed up to fill many niches when there is a void created of all the niches after a mass extinction event. Keep in mind though that even sped up by punctuated equilibrium, evolution still takes millions of years though.



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