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Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the horsefeathers-still-a-mystery dept.

Earth 219

anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"

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219 comments

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CHICKEN DANCE! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925050)

These Dinos are the world's biggest Pheasants! What I wouldn't do for my shotgun!

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (3, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925230)

Would you kill a dinosaur for your shotgun?

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30925462)

Ah the paradox!

Need the shotgun to kill the dinosaur, but need to kill dinosaur to get the shotgun.

*head explodes*
*dinosaurs eat body*

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (1)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926316)

Depends on what it takes like.

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (1)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926332)

*tastes

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925342)

I think that for many dinasaurs, even an elephant gun wouldn't be big enough. At least we now know what dinasaurs tasted like.

BTW and OT, your new sig hurts my brain... well done.

A Statue for Father. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926370)

Mmm... Dinachicken! Anything else is just food.

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926380)

Considering the closeness of the relationship, dinosaurs probably tasted like chicken.

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927230)

Oh, why stop at elephant gun. Here's what I'd take hunting: Boys Anti-Tank Rifle [wikipedia.org] , re-chambered for .50 BMG. Also known as Charlie the Bastard for it's kick.

Re:CHICKEN DANCE! (4, Funny)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926750)

You seem to be the dinosaur here.

Summary hilariously wrong (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30925250)

TFA explicitly states that:

 

"... we cannot predict specific colors in fossils, maybe except black. So we are still far from putting colors on dinosaurs."

The "orange, white and black" colours are from an illustration at the top of an article, and a theory about a different dinosaur that definitely had stripes (possibly white and black ones.)

Is it only the sensationalist submissions that get through, or only the sensationalists who submit?

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (5, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925664)

You must be new here.

If the post is from Timothy, you can pretty much assume the only correct part is the name of the person that submitted it, and in my experience, he gets that wrong too.

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (2, Funny)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926114)

That's a fairly sensational accusation.

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (5, Informative)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925772)

You cut that WAY too short:

But while Vinther is convinced by the melanosomes that Zhang has found, he's more skeptical about the inferences about colour. "Saying that Sinosauropteryx was rufous-red, based on one sample is a stretch," he says. We don't even know how melanosome distributions in modern birds lead to specific colours. "Without this knowledge quantified, we cannot predict specific colors in fossils, maybe except black. So we are still far from putting colors on dinosaurs."

Zhang feels we can, whereas Vinther is "more skeptical". So unless Zhang is a 'sensationalist submitter', your reading comprehension isn't so hot.

This part was further up:

Melanosomes are packed with melanins, pigments that range from drab blacks and greys to reddish-brown and yellow hues. Their presence in dinosaur filaments has allowed Fucheng Zhang to start piecing together the colours of these animals, millions of years after their extinction. For example, Zhang thinks that the small predator Sinosauropteryx had "chestnut to reddish-brown" stripes running down its tail and probably a similarly coloured crest down its back. Meanwhile, the early bird Confuciusornis had a variety of black, grey, red and brown hues, even within a single feather.

Its a good article. You should read it again.

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (5, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926232)

Vinther also has a good point about feathers being capable of diffraction. For example, green parrots have no green pigment; the green is the result of the natural diffraction grating formed by the feathers. If you give a parrot a bath or shower, its green feathers turn a dark grayish brown. By only looking at the pigments, you'd think that a green parrot would actually be a dark grayish brown.

Still, it's very interesting work. Additionally, while it seems unlikely that we will ever be possible to 100% recreate a dinosaur, there are a lot of individual lines of data -- morphological characteristics, the DNA of their descendants, the remains of broken-down proteins in the fossils, microscopy of fossilized cells, etc -- that should allow us to come pretty close, as biological science continues to mature.

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926592)

Meanwhile, the early bird Confuciusornis had a variety of black, grey, red and brown hues, even within a single feather.

Confuciusornis say, man who guess dinosaur feather color knows dinosaurs ex-tint.

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926936)

Meanwhile, the early bird Confuciusornis had a variety of black, grey, red and brown hues, even within a single feather.

Ah ha! Now we know for sure which dinosaur got the worm.

OK, I think I'm done now.

Re:Summary hilariously wrong (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925952)

The summary may have jumped the gun a little, but the article does present some interesting evidence with regard to theoretical color:

The microscopes revealed a number of small structures all less than a micrometre long. In shape and size, they are identical to the melanosomes of modern birds. There include two broad categories. The phaemelanosomes are rod-like and produce phaeomelanin, a reddish-brown or yellow pigment, while the eumelanosomes are more spherical in shape and produce black-grey eumelanin.

Variations of that color:

In some cases, the fossil feathers are clearly striped by bands of pigment and the alleged eumelanosomes only turn up in the dark ones, just as you'd expect.

Just not absolute proof of specific color:

We don't even know how melanosome distributions in modern birds lead to specific colours.

My interpretation of the first and 3rd quote is that, perhaps, on a microscopic level we see the cell structures that produce variations of X and Y color, but like pixels on a screen, the overall color may be quite different.

Yea right (4, Interesting)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925258)

"If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period."

Nobody out there not convinced by the existing lines of evidence proving birds are dinosaurs is going to be convinced by this. And don't kid yourself, there are lots of such people.

Re:Yea right (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925366)

Yeah exactly. The amout of evidence that say birds are dinosaurs is overwhelming.

I personally though, have not met anyone who argues against it.

Re:Yea right (2, Insightful)

kingjoebob (1011701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925768)

Come to Tennessee, I have neighbors who think the world is 6000 years old and made in 6, 24 hour days. Concepts like science are too complicated for people that closed minded. kjb

Re:Yea right (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925974)

Well yes, those are the people for whom the question of whether birds evolved from dinosaurs is ridiculous on its face because nothing "evolves" and dinosaur fossils were just put there by God to test our faith*.

The question is, is there anyone who actually believes in evolution who doubts the evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs?

I don't really think there's anyone in that camp anymore though I could be wrong.

* Ob Hicks: Dude, I think you were put here to test my faith.

Re:Yea right (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925812)

Well, I for one need education into what this means, exactly.

I thought that "dinosaurs" were gigantic reptiles that went extinct many, many years ago.

The chicken I had for lunch is none of these things.

Please, explain.

Re:Yea right (5, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926454)

Well, diapsid reptiles.... but birds are diapsids, too. They just no longer fit into the class "Reptilia". Naming is somewhat of an arbitrary distinction.

For contrast, we're offshoots of synapsid "reptiles".

Re:Yea right (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926528)

Time is an allusion.

Lunchtime doubly so.

Re:Yea right (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926818)

albeit a very persistent one.

Re:Yea right (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926618)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_birds [wikipedia.org]

This is some nice light reading.

If you think all life ended when the dinosaurs went extinct, you'd be a fool. Otherwise, how would we have come around?

Our (alleged) evolutionary ancestors are considered just as extinct as the dinosaurs. Homo habilis for example. Don't think this is an ape, this was a smart species that built stone and bone tools. While Gorillas have shown to use bones and stones as tools, they have not yet constructed their own, like this species has.

If you firmly believe that fossils are here to test our faith, turn in your geek card and leave the tech sites. Computer sciences won't gain noteriety as a science with those types hanging around.

Re:Yea right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926702)

If you firmly believe that fossils are here to test our faith, turn in your geek card and leave the tech sites.

He didn't say anything that implied he believes such a thing.

Re:Yea right (0, Offtopic)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926718)

If you firmly believe that fossils are here to test our faith, turn in your geek card and leave the tech sites. Computer sciences won't gain noteriety as a science with those types hanging around.

While I don't subscribe to this particular creationist belief, I would likewise assert that the 'geek' community could do well with a little less fascism about what sort of thoughts and ideas are tolerable.

Don't be a fascist. Try and keep an open mind, and when you disagree, simply be polite about it. Barring people access because they don't agree with you is the least civilized path a person can advocate.

Re:Yea right (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926896)

1. Only idiots use the word "fascism" twice in a comment totaling 4 sentences.

2. If you don't support the right of groups to self-select their membership criteria, then you're a fascist.

That is all.

Re:Yea right (0, Offtopic)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926994)

Don't look now, but you also used the word twice.

I stand by the advice about being polite, and suggest you re-read it.

And what I genuinely don't support is the 'right' of a vocal few to marginalize others on the basis of religion. In short, who made you or anyone else the authority on what all geeks believe?

People have the right to believe what they wish. You have the right to try and convince them otherwise. Should you fail, you have the responsibility of being civil about it.

That is all.

Re:Yea right (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927160)

Don't look now, but you also used the word twice.

*sigh*

Will someone cue the *whoosh* machine, please?

you have the responsibility of being civil about it

Fascist.

Re:Yea right (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927258)

Okay, fine. Color me as a civility fascist if it makes you feel better.

Re:Yea right (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927170)

I got a little riled up, I'll admit, issues with the room mate lately.

I have nothing against those who hold religious views, as I sort of fall into that category, but it upsets me when they discredit science in the name of religion.

What I mean is, there are some very factual principles upon which our technology is derived. These same principles are fundamental throughout the observed universe, and we have used those principles to determine a fossil was created 65 million years ago. If you choose not to believe those fossils were created by a dead animal, than you should not be part of the club that firmly believes so. Everyone on Slashdot (Being News for Nerds) is of a scientific or technical inclination. To claim to be scientific and then refute reproducable scientific evidence is ridiculous, and should be treated as such.

Re:Yea right (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927306)

Everyone on Slashdot (Being News for Nerds) is of a scientific or technical inclination. To claim to be scientific and then refute reproducable scientific evidence is ridiculous, and should be treated as such.

I agree, somewhat, and would like to opine that while the position is ridiculous the person stating it may or may not be such. I would like to see more slashdotters assume the latter.

There is an unsavory element around here that enjoys being with the 'in' crowd and likes to give religious people verbal wedgies. Probably repressed bully issues from their real lives, but inexcusable none-the-less.

I apologize for lumping you in with that group.

Re:Yea right (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927380)

Everyone has to draw a line somewhere - i.e. as an exaggeration, you would not be polite to people who think murdering, raping etc others is acceptable (but don't do it themselves). As a community you define the values that you accept, the values you refuse and those that are in-between. If as geeks we say that we do not accept values that include ignorance of science at that level then there is nothing fascist about it. At the end of the day as geeks we are probably one of the few pro-science groups and should not be ashamed to say we think something is stupid or plain retarded out of politeness if it goes against our values.

Re:Yea right (1)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926708)

Around 65 million years ago, dinosaurs went extinct. The assumption, based upon fossil evidence, is that many types of dinosaurs, specifically the saurischian superorder, evolved into birds. While the ornithiscian superorder is called 'bird-hipped,' referring to the hip structure, it is actually the saurischian superorder which evolved. As the saurischian superorder evolved into birds, the evolution of the hips of the various species resembled the ornithiscian hips more and more.

Collagen found in fossils from the Tyrannosaurus rex have been broken down and analyzed on a spectrometer to find its amino acid content, and researchers have found that it is similar to that of chickens and ostriches.

Basically, that chicken you had for lunch today is the great great(insert remaining greats here) grandchild of the T-rex.

Note that I am not a paleontologist, so I can only provide limited information regarding the exact details regarding the change.

Balderdash! Preposterous! (0, Troll)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927726)

I think the whole "dinosaurs evolved into chickens" things is rather silly. Exhibit A: Alligators and sharks. They were around the same time as T-rex. They may have shrunk, but that's about it. Exhibit B: Birds. They do not have useless forearms. In fact, in order to fly, their wings (they have these instead of arms, you see) must be powered by incredibly strong muscles. Even if humans had wings, our pectorals are all simply too wimpy for us to even lift ourselves off the ground. Withered, useless claws would not power up the beefy torso needed for a T-rex to lift itself off the ground.

So what about this "collagen" evidence? Easy. The T-rex ate enough birds that it got bird collagen to fill in its bones. Check out the sea slugs that eat enough algea to photosynthesize. There were T-rexes, there were dinosaurs with feathers, there were delicious birds.

Feel free to call me stupid in the face of your pithy evidences, but in 10, 20, or 50 years (however long it takes), I'll continue to say the same thing (and be right), and you'll say "Well, the facts have shown that our original theories were incorrect, so we've modified our theories, and it's ok, because that's what science does, but you were still a moron when you disagreed with our incorrect-but-widely-believed theory!" -- worse than religious nutjobs you are. (Oh, and parent poster, when I say "you", I'm speaking in the general "you people who disagree with me and my theory of 'T-rexes were too awesome to have stupid bird babies'") Just like with chimps. Latest evidence (findings published last fall, I believe?) shows we didn't evolve from chimps, but everyone who believed in the chimp-is-my-grandpa theory is still right/was always right, and everyone who said "I don't think chimp is my grandpa" was wrong, is wrong, and is an idiot, aren't they?

Well, when it finally finds us, I'll meet you at the truth. Until then, I propose a philosophical, rhetorical question: would you rather be stupid but right or be scientific and wrong? It seems both sides have something to share.

Re:Yea right (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926720)

I thought that "dinosaurs" were gigantic reptiles that went extinct many, many years ago.

Yeah, that's your problem right there. Three incorrect assumptions in one nice little sentence. While some dinosaurs were gigantic, most were small, and as far as being reptiles, well... some were, some weren't. As far as going extinct, some did, some didn't.

Re:Yea right (2, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926286)

Judging by the size of the clod that dropped from the sky onto my car this morning, I'm sure it came from a dinosaur.

Re:Yea right (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926772)

From what I see it's strangely "underreported"; lots of people don't care to know / don't realize how directly birds come from one group of dinosaurs. Or that the latter had feathers.

Re:Yea right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926036)

Apparently, there is also a lot of people out there that can't spell a simple four letter word like "yeah."

Re:Yea right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926174)

'Yea' is a word. An antiquated word, but still grammatically applicable. Perhaps he likes to mix a little olde english in with his sarcasm.

Re:Yea right (2, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926556)

'Yea' is a word.

Yea, verily.

Re:Yea right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926430)

Apparently, there [b]are[/b] also a lot of people out there that can't keep their grammar straight when pointing out spelling mistakes.

Re:Yea right (4, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926596)

Apparently, there [b]are[/b] also a lot of people out there that can't keep their grammar straight when pointing out spelling mistakes.

Apparently, there are also a lot of people out there that don't know how to use HTML tags properly.

Re:Yea right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30927532)

Well, I actually didn't like that line in the summary.

Birds, strictly speaking, are not dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are extinct. Also, they are classified under Reptilia, while birds belong to Aves. (Now, Reptilia happens to be a contentious class in that Aves is specifically excluded from it. Cladists like to speak of the birds and reptiles together because of their shared evolutionary history.)

Also, birds probably evolved from members of Theropoda, and Theropoda does not represent all of the dinosaurs. So for various reasons "birds are dinosaurs" does not tell the whole story and you're not likely to find that sentence in a science textbook without further qualification. I'd prefer it if people said "birds most likely have an ancestor in a specific group of dinosaurs."

Maybe I'm nit-picking, but isn't that the whole essence of taxonomy?

As for the creationists, send them one of these: http://controversy.wearscience.com/design/devil/

Earl Sinclair (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925296)

Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were?

I remember being a kid and told a lot of things would never come to pass that did in fact come to pass.

Re:Earl Sinclair (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925592)

I think it's pretty impressive that colors like black, orange, and even white have traditionally been used to color dinosaurs in books and museums, and now they're finding that they may in fact be the actual colors. We do see greens a lot, but black and dark orange are very popular dinosaur colors.

Re:Earl Sinclair (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926968)

I always colored them green.

I don't really remember being told anything was really impossible. Even pure fiction like warp drives and transporter beams (ducks the incoming trekkie armada) were one of those "we'll have to wait and see" sort of things. There's always the cop out of "not in your lifetieme", but that's lame.

My father said he never thought the Berlin wall would come down, or that Soviet Russia would collapse, but I grew up a geek and took nothing as static. I'm actually really interested if anyone else has any specific outcomes that they were told was impossible or would never happen.

Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (4, Interesting)

nloop (665733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925306)

Flamingo pink, canary yellow, "red factor" coloring. Lots of the brighter colors like those are diet based. That dinosaurs whites could be neon pink if it has the right diet!

Also, some of those melanosomes degrade chemically fairly quick and will never show in a fossil record.

Re:Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925390)

Canary Yellow...

You mean they had post its back then?

Re:Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926060)

you sir, spend far too much time in an office!

Re:Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926172)

Seriously. The first thing I thought of was the yellow jersey, not post it notes :D

This is proof that science isn't like religion, though - long established theories are constantly challenged and re-worked based on new evidence.
Unlike religious views :)

Re:Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926264)

This [3m.com] is why I thought of Post its. Look at the very bottom of the page.

Re:Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (1)

electrons_are_brave (1344423) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927816)

Wow. You can trademark a colour? Or is it the words "Canary Yellow" that have been trademarked?

Either way, stuff 'em.

Re:Still don't know the real colors unfortunately. (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925516)

Plus the color blue in birds isn't the result of pigment at all, but light refraction. Though that is due to the microscopic structure of the feathers, so maybe we could find fossil evidence for it, I don't know.

So everything really (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30925316)

tastes like dinosaurs?

Re:So everything really (5, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925338)

tastes like dinosaurs?

My wife gets the kids dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets at the warehouse club. I've always thought that particularly poetic.

Dinosaurs are green, doggone it! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925324)

Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were?

Funny, I thought they were green like Godzilla and not purple like Barney.

Re:Dinosaurs are green, doggone it! (4, Funny)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925838)

Barney has always bothered me... Why are we teaching our children to play with a large and obviously dangerous carnivore?

Re:Dinosaurs are green, doggone it! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926828)

Don't worry, they tore out his teeth and nails and then hopped him up on prozac.

Re:Dinosaurs are green, doggone it! (1)

Trecares (416205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927182)

It's not dangerous as long as it's purple. When was the last time you saw an dangerous carnivore in purple? See, now just relax and sing along with Barney!

bipedal != carnivore (1)

thenewguy001 (1290738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927486)

there were plenty of large bipedal herbivore dinosaurs. I don't see how you can assume that barney was a carnivorous dinosaur based on the observations that he is large, bipedal, and purple.

Birds are dinosaurs. (4, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925412)

The evidence and reasoning for birds being the modern descendants of the raptor-like dinosaurs is already pretty damn compelling. If that line of reasoning could have led us astray, then it's just as likely that this is just a case of parallel evolution where feathers and feather pigmentation were evolved separately by both dinosaurs and whatever the hell birds' actual ancestor's were.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is more about answering the question of how bird-like were the dinosaurs already or how early did bird-like features evolve, rather than piling more evidence on the dinosaur-bird connection.

Though I'll admit I'm biased, since that connection means my bird watching is a little less nerdy since it's actually dinosaur watching!

Wait... no, it's still just as nerdy.

Re:Birds are dinosaurs. (2, Funny)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926048)

Though I'll admit I'm biased, since that connection means my bird watching is a little less nerdy since it's actually dinosaur watching!

In Jurassic period Soviet Union, dinosaur watches you!

Re:Birds are dinosaurs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926088)

Chris Burke! Holy crap. I just LOVED your role in ABC's Life Goes On. What's Kellie Martin really like?

Re:Birds are dinosaurs. (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926394)

A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell. And I'm not sure, but I think that applies to wild furniture-breaking monkey sex too. So I won't say!

Re:Birds are dinosaurs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926506)

Well played, sir. Well played.

That thing doesn't look so scary (3, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925416)

More like a... six-foot turkey.

Re:That thing doesn't look so scary (1)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925752)

six foot? more like a twenty six foot turkey!

Re:That thing doesn't look so scary (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926170)

I could never quite figure out whether that was a very girlish pudgy little boy or a very manish pudgy little girl.

I also love that they made the claw-on-cotton sounds more like a claw-on-burlap when he does the "cutting" on him/her.

Birds are what now? (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925536)

If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period.

No, they're not. Birds are not dinosaurs any more than squid, octopus and nautilus are ammonites. Closely related they may be, but birds are birds.

Re:Birds are what now? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926138)

pedantic much?

Re:Birds are what now? (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926268)

No, not really. Dinosaurs had teeth. Birds do not.

Re:Birds are what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926500)

No, not really. Dinosaurs had teeth. Birds do not.

Fail. [wikipedia.org] .

Some dinosaurs even had beaks [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Birds are what now? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926698)

Double fail!

Yes they are [berkeley.edu] :

Dinosaurs are not extinct. Technically. Based on features of the skeleton, most people studying dinosaurs consider birds to be dinosaurs. This shocking realization makes even the smallest hummingbird a legitimate dinosaur. So rather than refer to "dinosaurs" and birds as discrete, separate groups, it is best to refer to the traditional, extinct animals as "non-avian dinosaurs" and birds as, well, birds, or "avian dinosaurs." It is incorrect to say that dinosaurs are extinct, because they have left living descendants in the form of cockatoos, cassowaries, and their pals — just like modern vertebrates are still vertebrates even though their Cambrian ancestors are long extinct.

Re:Birds are what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30927586)

Might want to read up on the bird's egg tooth before making a generalization like that.

Re:Birds are what now? (2, Interesting)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926350)

If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period.

No, they're not. Birds are not dinosaurs any more than squid, octopus and nautilus are ammonites. Closely related they may be, but birds are birds.

I can see where they'd think modern birds are descendants of velociraptors, or even the T-Rex to some extent. But what about dinosaurs like Brontosaurus or Triceratops? Do we really think those guys were bird ancestors? They look more like elephants than ostriches. We lump a lot of animals together under the generic "dinosaur" tag. But how much does a stegosaurus have in common with an allosaurus... and by extent, a chicken or an eagle?

They are indeed (3, Informative)

haggholm (1678078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926512)

Birds are grouped in the same clade as dinosaurs—the same even-narrower clade as theropod dinosaurs, in fact. (Or in Wikipedia's words: “Based on fossil and biological evidence, most scientists accept that birds are a specialised sub-group of theropod dinosaurs. More specifically, they are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurs and oviraptorids, among others.”) Squid, octopodes, and nautiluses do not fall into the clade of ammonites (the nearest clade including all of these animals is the class Cephalopoda); therefore (1) they are not ammonites and (2) your analogy is completely off base.

Re:They are indeed (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927188)

Indeed.

The original dinosour did some stuff and split off into groups like triceratops and velocirapters. One of those groups split off into birds. All of life is a giant tree and you cannot escape your roots.
You are a homo sapien, a primate, a mammal, and an animal.
Birds are something, something, a dinosaur, and an animal.
You are not a bird or a dinosaur, all birds are dinosaurs, some dinosaurs are birds, both you and are animals. You want a chart?

David Attenborough is my god (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927832)

I didn't see any dinosaurs in "Life of Birds." Ergo, you are correct.

I remember being told ... (4, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925660)

Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were?

I remember being told that we could in theory breed dinosaurs in test tubes by extracting blood from mosquitoes preserved in amber ...

Re:I remember being told ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30925856)

Yeah, nuts on that count. For the record of actual detail, the mosquito's body would be dessicated. After about 5000 years, DNA breaks down into fragments no longer than about a thousand nucleotides long.

However, we have managed to clone things that old in the past! The record is a bacterium from 250 mya. Pretty impressive.

Evolution... (1)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925678)

How about "Birds were dinosaurs. Period."? There's this little thing called evolution... What my ancestors were may not be what I am now. Where you draw the distinguishing line is non-trivial.

~D

Re:Evolution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926004)

You are blue-green algae. Period.

Re:Evolution... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926570)

Though from what I see there's lately some trend of assigning groups of animals to "upstream" taxa...doesn't look so weird though with latin names.

New perspective at the dinner table (1)

Old Flatulent 1 (1692076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925700)

OH God I had a Dinosaur/Chicken dinner last night, no wonder... I have been having Jurassic Park like nightmares.

And the story continues... (2, Funny)

palmerj3 (900866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925788)

... and since Microsoft owns the patent to the color they've since filed a motion to sue the Jurassic Age.

very heavy feathers (2, Funny)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30925790)

 

The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead.

ah, no. Fossils are not feathers. Ever. In any way, shape or form. However, these fossils might be of feathers.

Re:very heavy feathers (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926288)

Just clearing that up for the two or three pinheads on here who are reading this while chewing on their keyboards.

Re:very heavy feathers (2, Informative)

the biologist (1659443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927044)

It really depends on the nature of the fossils in question. If actual keratin is retained, rather than just the shape of the presumed keratin, then there is good reason to say the fossils are feathers.

No such thing as dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926250)

If dinosaurs are birds, I guess that means there's no such thing as dinosaurs then.

Begs the question (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926256)

Could Carrot Top [wikipedia.org] be evolved from the "Carrot Bottom" dinosaur??

Re:Begs the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30927716)

In what way does Carrot Top's evolution assume the conclusion of an argument in its hypothesis?

Ginger Dinosaurs? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30926688)

Is that why they went extinct?

No solid profit just interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30927362)

There's been strong evidence of patterns in dinosaur skin for years, clusters of smaller sized scale which in modern reptiles always indicates color patterns. The evidence is interesting for color patterns in feathers but it's not conclusive. We may never know. Also this case closed on the dinosaur bird link is far from true. The problem is birds are potentially traceable to pre dinosaur tree climbing reptiles. Birds likely came from a tree climbing ancestor yet there aren't any fossils of tree climbing dinosaurs. It seems to be a case of parallel development. Dinosaurs are closely related to birds but there is zero evidence of a raptor turning into a bird. One massive problem is there is no significant surviving DNA evidence. Even today it's impossible to tell what group an animal belongs to without DNA. Completely unrelated animals can evolve to look the same to eye. If we can't tell where the split between dinosaurs and birds happened it's also tough to tell if some of the proto birds weren't dinosaurs at all but birds that lost the ability to fly. Also it's possible that some dinosaur due to parallel development ended up looking a lot like birds but never flew. Some rather large dinosaurs had well developed feather but all early birds were small. Their ancestors weren't Utah Raptors they were small tree climbing animals. The whole point is without much more evidence the verdict will continue to be out.

Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30927516)

Oh, yeah?

Didn't the research uncovered they were orange?

Well, the Dutch are orange, so I posit Dutch are Dinosaurs, period and all, smartyboy.

Unless you prove Dutch are birds... which live underwater... but then, they might be fish... error! error! error! aaaargh!

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