We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
New Dinosaur Fossil Challenges Bird Evolution Theory
What we are learning is that feathers were an early and likely
necessary adaptation for land animals operating away from the water
side during day time. We have exceptions but they are not nearly as
successful. The Komodo Dragon is not going to invade the Great
plains anytime soon.
We have gone from doubting their existence to finding them
everywhere. We have also discovered that the descendants of the
dinosaurs are around us in plain sight. It is time to quit
attempting to sustain our present paradigms and rethink them on the
basis of a very early emergence of feathering.
It is all good.
New dinosaur fossil
challenges bird evolution theory
The discovery of a new
bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic period challenges widely
accepted theories on the origin of flight.
Co-authored by Dr
Gareth Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the
University of Southampton, the paper describes a new feathered
dinosaur about 30 cm in length which pre-dates bird-like dinosaurs
that birds were long thought to have evolved from.
Over many years, it
has become accepted among palaeontologists that birds evolved from a
group of dinosaurs called theropods from the Early Cretaceous period
of Earth's history, around 120-130 million years ago. Recent
discoveries of feathered dinosaurs from the older Middle-Late
Jurassic period have reinforced this theory.
'bird-dinosaur' Eosinopteryx described in Nature Communications this
week provides additional evidence to this effect.
sheds further doubt on the theory that the famous fossil
Archaeopteryx - or "first bird" as it is sometimes referred
to - was pivotal in the evolution of modern birds," says Dr
Dyke, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
suggest that the origin of flight was much more complex than
The fossilised remains
found in north-eastern China indicate that, while feathered, this was
a flightless dinosaur, because of its small wingspan and a bone
structure that would have restricted its ability to flap its wings.
The dinosaur also had
toes suited to walking along the ground and fewer feathers on its
tail and lower legs, which would have made it easier to run.
Dr Gareth Dyke is also
Programme Leader for a new one-year MRes in Vertebrate Palaeontology,
which offers potential students the chance to study the evolution and
anatomy of vertebrates, in order to inform and increase our
understanding of the workings of modern day creatures.
Dr Dyke's co-authors
are Pascal Godefroit of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural
Sciences, Helena Demuynck of Earth System Science Vrije Universiteit
Brussel, Dongyu Hu of Paleontological Institute Shenyang Normal
University China and Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology Northeast
Normal University China, Francois Escuillie of Eldonia France and
Philippe Claeys of Jilin University Geological Museum China. Paper
can be found here.