Cold dinosaurs were just like warm dinosaurs, scientists have found. Species living in the Antarctic, with up to six months of winter darkness, show no major differences in bone structure than those who lived in temperate climates. This was a surprise that falsified earlier studies. Whatever adaptations the high-latitude dinosaurs had did not show up in their bone structure. Holly Woodward, Montana State doctoral candidate, examined bone tissues from Australian dinosaur fossils that were thought to reside within the Antarctic Circle when the creatures lived. The bones of the dog-sized ornithopods and theropods studied showed annual growth rings, like those of temperate-climate dinosaurs, but no evidence of hibernation. “If we were trying to find evidence of dinosaurs doing something much different physiologically, we would expect it to be found in dinosaurs from an extreme environment such as the South Pole,” she said. “But based on bone tissues, dinosaurs living within the Antarctic Circle were physiologically similar to dinosaurs living everywhere else” (source: PhysOrg). The paper by Woodward and colleagues was published in PLoS One.1 Well-known dinosaur researcher Jack Horner commented, “I think the most important finding is that polar dinosaurs don’t seem to be any different than any other dinosaurs in respect to how their bones grew.” Woodward found a way to credit the unexpected finding to evolution: “This tells us something very interesting; that basically from the very start, early dinosaurs, or even the ancestors of dinosaurs, evolved a physiology that allowed an entire group of animals to successfully exploit a multitude of environmental conditions for millions of years.” See also the 03/29/2004 entry. Update 08/09/2011: PhysOrg reported the discovery of multiple trackways of polar dinosaurs in Victoria, Australia. The tracks were found in a flood plain. According to the article, this indicates it was “period of pronounced global warming, about 105 million years ago.” 1. Woodward, Rich, Chinsamy and Vickers-Rich, “Growth Dynamics of Australia’s Polar Dinosaurs,” PLoS ONE 6(8): e23339. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023339. Let’s correct that last sentence: This tells us something very interesting; that basically from the very start, early evolutionists, even the Father of evolutionary theory, came up with a plot line that allowed an entire group of scientists to successfully exploit a multitude of contradictory data for 150 years. The millions of years are fiction. Wouldn’t dinosaurs living near the South Pole for millions of years develop some spectacular changes? Wouldn’t they show a gradation in features from temperate to antarctic latitudes? They didn’t. Evolution wins anyway. A neutral observer might think creationists could score a point here, that the pre-Flood climate was more uniform, but no; evolutionists have a wild card: the ability to invoke miracle talk. From the very start, Woodward tells us, dinosaurs “evolved a physiology that allowed an entire group of animals to successfully exploit a multitude of environmental conditions for millions of years.” Yes, children; dinosaurs evolved their own physiology. They got together and had an engineering session. They reasoned together, croaking that if they would just develop certain features of their bones and musculature and other systems, they could wander all over the earth and thrive for millions of years. And you, too, children, can follow their example. Just DON’T call it INTELLIGENT DESIGN! That is forbidden! Now, go out and evolve yourselves. Pick your mutations very carefully with your eyes blindfolded and your ears covered up. If you win the lottery, you can live at the Sahara or Antarctica without changing clothes. Good luck!(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
When most fossils consist of small shelly creatures, finding a whale is indeed big news. Two whale fossil discoveries on opposite sides of the world are spectacular and puzzling. Do they support the theory that whales evolved from land mammals? Aye: Egyptian Whales: PhysOrg announced triumphantly, “Whale fossils show important characters of the transition to water.” Easier said than proved. Limestone plates quarried in Egypt were found to bear fossils of Aegyptocetus tarfa, a putative whale transitional form. Owen Gingerich [U of Michigan] is usually nearby wherever whale-evolution fossils are found, and this was no exception. He said this species, alleged to be 40 million years old, “falls right in the middle of what we know about the evolutionary transition of whales from land to sea.” In what ways? “The transitional characters present in this species include a retained sense of smell (which is usually lost in aquatic mammal lineages), an enhanced ability to hear (a characteristic of later and modern whales), and the ability to still haul itself out of the water, similar to modern seals.” The holotype was discovered and named by Gingerich. Wikipedia says Aegyptocetus is classified under Protocediae, “a diverse and heterogeneous group of cetaceans known from Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America.” How these diverse fossils relate to one another, let alone to whales, is not clear from the limited write-up on this genus. The article said nothing about how such a large mammal got buried in fine limestone. Nay: Chilean Whales: Watch a one-minute video clip on the BBC News about a spectacular assemblage of fossil whales being uncovered in Chile. Dozens are expected in this fossil graveyard. The workers exceeded expectations by finding 15 whales in 15 days. Remains of sharks, dolphins and seals have also been found, with many of the skeletons intact and complete. Paleontologist Sol Square calls this a “discovery of global importance. There’s never been a find of this size or this diversity anywhere in the world.” That boast, though, seems overshadowed by a discovery announced in Geology in 2004 of 346 whale fossils buried in diatomaceous earth (see 2/02/2004). That discovery was published by creation geologists who believe a global flood was responsible for their burial. Update 11/19/2011: A report on PhysOrg says it is possible all these whales, in an area covering two football fields, died simultaneously. The article also states that hundreds more may be found in the area. The paleontologists seem puzzled trying to explain the mass burial. “Chilean scientists together with researchers from the Smithsonian Institution are studying how these whales, many of the them the size of buses, wound up in the same corner of the Atacama Desert,” one of the driest spots on Earth. Hans Thewissen, a spokesperson on ancient whales, thinks they were buried over a long period of time, but offered an alternative scenario that they were stranded in a lagoon whose outlet got cut off. “Subsequently the lagoon dries up and the whales die,” he said. Waiting for sediments to accumulate gradually over whales seems highly improbable, though, considering how quickly stranded whales decompose today. Besides, Nature on Nov. 10 reported that “ancient whales were worm food.” Sea worms are capable of boring through whale bone, leaving little evidence of dead whales remaining on the ocean floor. By contrast, “the Chilean fossils stand out for their staggering number and beautifully preserved bones.” Mammal puzzles: The evolution of whales has to be fitted to the bigger Darwinian picture of the evolution of mammals. On that subject, Science praised the work of Meredith et al. who produced a new mammal phylogeny (28 October 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6055 pp. 458-459, doi: 10.1126/science.1214544). Kristofer M. Helgen rightly asked, “what group of mammals was the closest relative of primates, or bats, or whales?” Evolutionists have long puzzled over the bad fit between morphological and genetic data. Meredith’s magic solution that made everything come together neatly was to use a “relaxed clock approach.” Helgen described this as something that “allows the tremendous variability in rates of evolution across the mammal tree of life to be taken into account.” Relaxed clock approach. Right. The Darwinian rubber band solution comes to the rescue again: use the stretch-and-squish method to force uncooperative data into your storyline (1/18/2006, 12/14/2004). Remember that with evolution, the story comes first, then the data. Gingerich is an evolution huckster who specializes in whales. We’d like to have him tell us how hundreds of whales got quickly buried in Peru and Chile. How many other whale fossil graveyards lie undiscovered between those sites? And how did his pet transitional form get buried in limestone in Egypt? Whales don’t just sit on the sea floor waiting for microscopic particles of lime to cover them over millennia. They are quickly scavenged by other animals all the way to the bone. Instead of divining for the Spirit of Charlie, Gingerich should be thinking seriously about how these large creatures suffered catastrophic fates in large numbers. Meanwhile, give him a clock that keeps rigid time.(Visited 141 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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