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The Earliest Known Dino?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the movies-rights-for-triassic-park-already-sold dept.

Science 69

sciencehabit writes "A team of paleontologists thinks it may have identified the earliest known dinosaur — a creature no bigger than a Labrador retriever that lived about 243 million years ago. That's at least 10 million years earlier than the oldest known dinos and could change researchers' views of how they evolved. But some scientists, including the study's authors, caution that the fossils could instead represent a close dino relative."

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69 comments

Hmmmm? (-1, Flamebait)

zippo01 (688802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189455)

How can this be when the world is only 6000 years old? Hahahahahah I make myself laugh. No this is cool, lets clone it and get our dino bbq on.

Re:Hmmmm? (-1, Flamebait)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189467)

How can this be when the world is only 6000 years old?

Easy - God made the dinosaurs long before he made the earth. (The reason we find their bones everywhere is that he recycled the dinos when making the earth.)

No this is cool, lets clone it and get our dino bbq on.

BBQ chicken is close enough, and far cheaper.

Re:Hmmmm? (2, Funny)

greywire (78262) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189677)

You're an idiot.

The reason all the dinosaurs are embedded in layers of sediment is because of the great flood (you know, the one that noah saved all the animals from by putting them on the ark) which killed all the dinos and then layered them in dirt and mud kicked up by the flood. This didnt happen slowly over millions of years but in 40 days during the rains and flooding.

And don't give me carbon dating or any other dating method because they vary so much from each other that they prove the world is only 5000 years old.

And don't tell me about single specimins of trees that reproduce by self cloning that are over 5000 years old. I'm not listening LALALALALALA....

Re:Hmmmm? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42189779)

No no no
God is testing you and your belief.
He put all these false clues out there to find the non believers!
True truth is in the Bible. Anything else is wrong!

Don't laugh - I have actually had that, um, discussion.

Yep, God is tricky, very tricky.

Re:Hmmmm? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42189803)

You forgot the best one of all... earth was blinked into existence with an old earth history baked right in. A little misdirection to tempt us. I suppose that's because we need to keep religion on a faith basis, or there'd be no challenge on which to judge us later.

There's got to be a judgement, after all. There's obviously not enough space in Heaven for all of us, so there needs to be a cosmic coin flip to divide the herd between luxury resort and lakes of fire.

Makes sense, right?

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190389)

You forgot the best one of all... earth was blinked into existence with an old earth history baked right in. A little misdirection to tempt us. I suppose that's because we need to keep religion on a faith basis, or there'd be no challenge on which to judge us later.

There's got to be a judgement, after all. There's obviously not enough space in Heaven for all of us, so there needs to be a cosmic coin flip to divide the herd between luxury resort and lakes of fire.

Makes sense, right?

That's not a cosmic coin flip but a cosmic gotcha!

If true, God's a dick. The biggest possible, obviously.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190169)

which one did Noah save the fresh water fish or the salt water fish?

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42189493)

How can this be when the world is only 6000 years old? Hahahahahah I make myself laugh. No this is cool, lets clone it and get our dino bbq on.

Don't you know Satan has been planting false evidence, just to mess with your mind ?

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189593)

But why did he just insert old bones and crystals that take billions of years to form like the zirkonia? Couldn't he just plant, lets say, a rubber boot somewhere into appearently 400 million old rock? (Sorry, Terry Pratchett!)

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42189613)

Everybody knows that the Magratheans created and recreated Earth.

Re:Hmmmm? (3, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189599)

Ok, this one always makes me laugh.

Since God (should he exist) is omnicient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, why does Satan have all this power if God doesn't let him?

Answer, please, if you can.

The god of the old testament especially seems like a petulant kid running his own "Sims Universe" like this guy:

MaxxLarge [TotalFark] 2010-06-11 05:53:28 PM

I was HORRIBLE to my poor Sims.

I'd build GIANT houses with concrete floors, coffin-lining wallpaper, and hallways one tile wide leading in a giant spiral all the way to the center...where a staircase led to a second level with another spiral that reversed itself to the outer wall. The toilet was at one end, and the 'fridge was at the other. No beds, doors, windows, chairs, or bathing facilities. And there'd be four of 'em living in there, all with conflicting personalities, and no way to walk around each other. Then I'd put the time clock on high speed, and watch as all of their misery meters red-lined. Completely hilarious.

After a few days of them whining about the lack of a shower, I'd take the 'fridge just to show 'em what REAL misery was. Then, a few days later, I'd put in a window, and then I'd put an end table just outside with a big, juicy roast turkey on it. The poor little digital bastards had to sit there, clustered around the window, crying about how the flies were eating like kings while they slowly starved to death. They just stood there in their own Windex-blue pee, sobbing and begging for relief that would never come. Eventually, I'd hang up the clown painting, then watch as he popped in and tried in vain to cheer them up. About then is when I'd start the fires.

GOD, I was horrendous. But I'm still giggling like a little girl just remembering it. I'm convinced that being able to take out my frustrations on little computer jerks kept me out of therapy, and made it so I could be nice to meat-people.

"Hey, let's convince Abraham to kill his kid. It'll be hilarious!"

--
BMO

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42189715)

Since God (should he exist) is omnicient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, why does Satan have all this power if God doesn't let him?

Answer, please, if you can.

You left out "omnibenevolent," which is a key part of the equation. Without that, what's to say he gives a rat's what Satan does?

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190049)

God does now willingly greive or afflict the children of men. don't colour Him bad.
He is the Lord, the Lord, merciful, compassionate, abounding in steadfast love and grace.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190425)

If you have to power to prevent suffering, which an omnipotent god has by definition, then it is wrong not to prevent it. Therefore if the Christian god exists he must be evil and not worthy of worship.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42193983)

If you have to power to prevent suffering, which an omnipotent god has by definition, then it is wrong not to prevent it.

Even if the ones suffering deserve it?

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42195265)

There are cases of babies being abused, tell me, how on earth could they possibly deserve it?

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42260123)

How would I know, I'm not omniscient.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190507)

God does now willingly greive or afflict the children of men. don't colour Him bad.
He is the Lord, the Lord, merciful, compassionate, abounding in steadfast love and grace.

You didn't answer the question.

Jedi-mind-trick FAIL.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42199809)

God does now willingly greive or afflict the children of men. don't colour Him bad.
He is the Lord, the Lord, merciful, compassionate, abounding in steadfast love and grace.

IOW, sit down and shut up.

Re: Hmmmm? (1)

minogully (1855264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42190345)

I'm an atheist, but I can tell you what my parents believe...

To summarize: God gave Satan power as he did all angels. He did remove some power, however, by banishing him to the earth. He isn't just killing him off because he is giving him an opportunity to learn for himself that God is good... And this also is a convenient way he can test the faith of man without bothering his conscience. He's set a time limit where enough is enough, at which point he'll put an end to it.

Again, not my beliefs.

Re: Hmmmm? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42199819)

I'm an atheist, but I can tell you what my parents believe...

To summarize: God gave Satan power as he did all angels. He did remove some power, however, by banishing him to the earth. He isn't just killing him off because he is giving him an opportunity to learn for himself that God is good... And this also is a convenient way he can test the faith of man without bothering his conscience. He's set a time limit where enough is enough, at which point he'll put an end to it.

Again, not my beliefs.

Never mind all the people who spend an eternity being tortured in Hell because of this little experiment.

Re: Hmmmm? (1)

minogully (1855264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200607)

according to my parents, there's no eternity in Hell, you're just dead. And while I'm pointlessly defending their beliefs (despite the fact that I no longer share them), I should mention they also don't believe that the 6 days to create the world was literal (usually interpreted as 6000 years because a scripture says that a day for God is like 1000 years), instead they believe that the word "day" in this context is referring to an unspecified period of time (ie, as in the phrase 'back in my day').

But they also believe that we're too complex to evolve, so what do they know...

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42191029)

God is not human, why would you attribute human morality to something that is not human?

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42192597)

Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42196937)

God is a hermaphrodite?

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42198529)

No, just a word that was translated poorly from the original Hebrew texts. An alternate translation would be mankind.

Good time to make a reference to How to Serve Man since we're looking at poor translations...

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214151)

jpeg? gif? tiff? iso?
what image I ask?

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191185)

I bet paleontologists would be pissed that Slashdot uses their interesting scientific findings as a soapbox for religion trolling.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42199829)

I bet paleontologists would be pissed that Slashdot uses their interesting scientific findings as a soapbox for religion trolling.

I bet they're glad we do it here instead of on their blogs.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42193427)

I used to think like you (after I was raised an evangelical christian).

Then I realized that I was trying to apply logic/reason to a situation where it had no business.

People don't believe in God because it makes sense. They "just" believe. It's a decision, and not one based on logic. So because they choose to believe what their pastor or the Bible tells them, it's not a problem to believe what those sources say about Satan, or anything else for that matter.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42196069)

You have to understand the context of the controversy at hand.

http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc29.html

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190751)

Satan managing to make a 6000 year old world appear to be a 13.5 billion year old Universe is quite possibly more awesome than what God did when he created the world.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189791)

Are those universe simulations that physicists run billions of years old? From the perspective of the physicist or the the stuff in the simulation? The external historical age of a universe simulation does not have to be the same as the internal historical age. A simulation of the universe 13 billion years ago could have been started up 6 days ago or yesterday for all you know. Or a restored from a snapshot copy a minute ago.

From what I know of our universe, it seems a great assumption to expect everything to be so simple as fanatical atheists or creationists believe. Go ask the top physicists how simple the universe is. Even if they come up with a good TOE they would still have plenty of interesting unanswered questions to work on.

If you were an all powerful, all knowing, etc God would you really make a universe as boring as the creationists believe? If you are that boring an eternity in the Heaven you create might not be that much better from an eternity in Hell. Eternity is a very very very long time. Even with 72 houris or golden harps or whatever. Maybe the first 1000 years might still be fun, but after a billion or trillion years? And even if you were "changed" to still be able to enjoy that same old thing for eternity, do you think that's an improvement?

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190017)

I want to say here that no one knows how long a day is for God... Who is to say his day is only 24 hours long... it could be 24 million years long... going on that idea, then it is possible for all things to form or become somthing else....

Re:Hmmmm? (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42190195)

... brain in a jar philosophy ...

Well yeah, we could all just be brains in jars or some equivalent.

And it's possible that the universe was created 6000 years ago with photons placed as if they had travelled 13 billion years already. But once you've done the basic philosophy, why bother even considering it. There's no evidence for it and it doesn't have any predictive power and there isn't anything philosophically interesting that hasn't been covered much better elsewhere.

So yeah, while it's very hypothetically possible, but anyone who is actually positive it is true is worthy of ridicule or pity. And all because someone wrote it down in a book. Actually they didn't. A bunch of people wrote a bunch of stuff, then a bunch more people translated it a bunch of times. Then someone came along thousands of years later and tried do deduce it based on cherry picking a few bits and filling in the huge gaps rather creatively.

The entertaining thing is that while people try to imagine the greatness of god, what they actually do is limit themselves to pathetically human scales.

Anyway my point was that the whole 6000 year old thing is ridiculous.

From what I know of our universe, it seems a great assumption to expect everything to be so simple as fanatical atheists... believe.

What on earth is that even meant to mean? Do you enjoy making up opinions that people have then cutting them down? Do you truly strike fear into the heart of every straw man ever to venture online?

Firstly, I don't even know what you mean by a "fanatical atheist". What? "no, there REALLY is no evidence that a god exists. Really, really. Nope, still no evidence. Nope. no...... and no. That's not evidence either. No, I still don't believe in god." I also have never met an atheist who believes that the universe is simple.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42193041)

Firstly, I don't even know what you mean by a "fanatical atheist".

I think he's referring to an antitheists. Those guys want to rid the world of all religions, and they are indeed fanatical about it. And since there's no evidence that you've seen, the only logical choice is agnosticism.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42194307)

And since there's no evidence that you've seen, the only logical choice is agnosticism.

No, the only logical choice is atheism. Allow me to elaborate:

If the only logical choice was agnosticism, than I should be agnostic about every single hypothetical thing that anyone has ever come up with.

I should equally well be agnostic about the existence of Thor, Zeus, Anubis, Marduk and so on.

I feel entirely happy stating unequivocally that there isn't a large humanoid deity who fights ice giants with a large magical hammer which always hits its mark and always returns to him, and rides in a chariot pulled by goats.

If you believe that's an illogical position to hold, then I'd be interested to hear your arguments.

Furthermore, it is fundementally no different from stating that no other deity exists.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42194697)

I always saw it as the difference of assigning probabilities. If you can allow for a near-infinitessimal, but still non-zero, probability of there being SOME sort of supreme/supernatural being that created the universe, you're agnostic. If you're willing to say "screw it, that number's so small, it's the same as zero," you're atheist.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203661)

In Tolkein's words, "Memory became history. History became legend. Legend became myth." Thor was the cave man who invented the hammer. His hammer made him a god. The polytheistic gods did indeed exist; they were merely superhuman for their times.

Once God reveals himself to you, you can no longer be agnostic.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42207505)

Agnostic is always the logical choice. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This includes godly revelations, and other such parlor tricks.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42199861)

Firstly, I don't even know what you mean by a "fanatical atheist".

I think he's referring to an antitheists. Those guys want to rid the world of all religions, and they are indeed fanatical about it.

Wonder what he calls people who want to rid the world of all religions except their own.

And since there's no evidence that you've seen, the only logical choice is agnosticism.

Do you apply that rule to all unfounded claims? FSM? Russell's Teapot? Irish mythology? Wrath of Khan is a true story?

Doesn't actually sound like a very logical choice to me.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203595)

Do you apply that rule to all unfounded claims?

Unfounded claims reported by thousands of witnesses, yes.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42194399)

From what I know of our universe, it seems a great assumption to expect everything to be so simple as fanatical atheists... believe.

What on earth is that even meant to mean? Do you enjoy making up opinions that people have then cutting them down? Do you truly strike fear into the heart of every straw man ever to venture online?

What's the matter? Did he insult your religion/faith or something?

Re:Hmmmm? (4, Insightful)

InterArmaEnimSil (2549238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42190897)

Article about dinosaur bones.

Comments about science? Paleontology? Dinosaurs? Not one.

Rants about creationism and insults to theists? Forty. ...I thought this was a science and tech site, not one dedicated to the analysis and criticism of religion. Apparently I was wrong.

You guys are more obsessed with creationism than the creationists.

Re:Hmmmm? (-1, Flamebait)

dmesg0 (1342071) | about a year and a half ago | (#42190985)

Well, god sucks. Hope that answers your rant.

Re:Hmmmm? (2)

InterArmaEnimSil (2549238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191315)

Hi. Your name comes up a lot in these discussions. I mean, I don't memorize people's slashdot ids - at one point I even forgot my own - but yours does ring a bell. I'm sorry if I offended you.

I'm really not ranting; I'm just saying that for a sci/tech news site, people here certainly are awfully concerned with lambasting religion, which is usually classified as neither science nor tech. It's just...weird. If people were knowledgeable scientists or science enthusiasts, I would expect more comments about actual science. I'd like to know if people have, oh, I don't know, questions or comments about the fossils that were found....their relationships to other fossils....conditions or sponsor of the dig...an analysis of TFA...followup plans...anything...anything at all scientific or newsworthy. Something where I actually gain new useful knowledge about the article's topic in return for my time spent reading people's remarks.

Instead, it's just a bunch of moronic...."Lol ever-body who lieks God is stoopid n sux" in fifty different varieties. I'm not ranting - just, I come here to read science, and lately, whenever paleontology or evolution is involved, the comments have more to do with hating religion than with anything productive.

Seems more like 4chan, really.

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

dmesg0 (1342071) | about a year and a half ago | (#42198649)

Well, you might have some false memories. The only religious wars I did participate in until now were related to Linux vs. other OSes or Android vs. iOS etc.
Actually my answer was somewhat poor attempt at humor - you ranted about a discussion completely unrelated to the original subject, so I answered with a post completely unrelated to yours. Never mind.
But I do think that all religions and deities are stupid and bad for humankind (or in slightly unscientific terms - they suck), and I'm not afraid to offend anyone by saying so. Yes, in RL as well. And I don't care about all the flamebait moderations I'll receive for it.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191121)

Given the fact that we have people on the House Science Committee who are active bible thumpers and science deniers, you have to ask whether bashing theists is deserved or not.

I think it is.

After the thousandth time you're told you're going to Hell because you don't believe in the 6000 year old universe, it's time to bash back. Religious nutters are dangerous. The only difference between the Taliban and Dominionists is which twisted interpretation of a phrase of whatever prophet of the Abrahamic God tells them to kill apostates, blasphemers, and sinners.

"Christian" Warriors or Taliban. Makes no difference.

--
BMO

Re:Hmmmm? (4, Insightful)

InterArmaEnimSil (2549238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191827)

I'm not even trying to touch on the issue of fundamentalism, endorsing it or countering it. Maybe fundamentalism in America needs to be countered, maybe not. I don't even mean to remark on that. As far as congressional committees go, I think you are giving the US too much credit. Give it a couple hundred years and this country won't even exist any more. My point was more about how useless Slashdot is becoming with regard to these sorts of articles.

I'm just saying, this is a sci/tech news site. I'd like it if my time spent reading comments added to my knowledge of the topic. Instead, that time doesn't give me any new topical knowledge. It just adds to my knowledge of the fact that yes, the majority of Slashdot members are quite hateful and condemning people, and truly despise religion and everyone who takes value from it.

You say something interesting,

After the thousandth time you're told you're going to Hell....it's time to bash back.

So, you're hitting them because someone - maybe a parent, or a former pastor - bashed you "for the thousandth time." I'm sorry you were hurt by someone telling you that you were going to Hell. Probably wasn't the best way to approach the situation. But bashing back isn't really the way to go. Everyone from Jesus to John Stuart Mill would agree on that. It's petty.

Moreover, ranting on Slashdot isn't bashing creationists. It's more like *trying* to hit a creationist and instead swiping at thin air. The creationists are in Southern Baptist churches, not on Slashdot. I'd bet that less than 0.1% of Slashdot readers are YECs...so ranting about how wrong you think YEC is on this site is (pardon the religious idiom) preaching to the choir. It's pointless. I'd like to read science instead of spending time scrolling across a bunch of people who already all believe, with all their heart, the same thing, and sit around telling one another how right that belief is, when they all already agree. I don't know of any "Christian Warriors" who are going to be reached by picking on creationism here.

I could direct myself to several sites which are dedicated to ridiculing Christianity. There are tons of those sites, and they're easy to find. Instead, I come to a tech news site. I just wish the comments would discuss tech news instead of how silly they think religion is, in keeping with the whole point of why Slashdot exists.

Re:Hmmmm? (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191883)

Maybe if you weren't so condescending I'd take you seriously.

Lastly, Jesus thought that flipping tables was an option.

Bye.

--
BMO

Re:Hmmmm? (1)

InterArmaEnimSil (2549238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191931)

Man, I wish Slashdot had a private messaging system. Condescending how?

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42192177)

Given the fact that we have people on the House Science Committee who are active bible thumpers and science deniers, you have to ask whether bashing theists is deserved or not.

I think it is.

After the thousandth time you're told you're going to Hell because you don't believe in the 6000 year old universe, it's time to bash back. Religious nutters are dangerous. The only difference between the Taliban and Dominionists is which twisted interpretation of a phrase of whatever prophet of the Abrahamic God tells them to kill apostates, blasphemers, and sinners.

"Christian" Warriors or Taliban. Makes no difference.

--
BMO

Quit being a total fucking idiot.

I don't see any Dominionists deliberately destroying priceless non-Christian religious sites, actively participating in the running of global terrorist organizations, killing girls who dare go to school, or a host of other crap.

"The only difference .. is ... interpretation of a phrase"!?!?!?!

You're either being deliberately dense, or you really are a total fucking idiot.

Re:Hmmmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211357)

In large parts of the world the USA is seen as a global terrorist organization responsible by proxy for killing girls who dare go to school, or a host of other crap

Birds and dinosaurs (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189587)

The absolute definition of a dinosaur, when we now consider most of them to be birds, seems to be pointless - They used to be reptiles, or others.

What I'm guessing this find is an early reptile, it's happened before... I may be way off base though.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189641)

The absolute definition of a dinosaur, when we now consider most of them to be birds, seems to be pointless

Yes and no. It's no more useless than "fish", for exactly the same reasons.

Polyphyletic classes FTW.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189777)

"Reptiles" is a paraphyletic group, and is no longer used. The classification "reptile" has some serious problems, as for instance turtles branched early from the other reptiles, later the mammal-like reptiles, and then the other branches of reptiles radiated. So reptiles would cover a very incomplete tree where one early branch is missing (mammals) and one very late one (birds). Instead we are talking "amniotes", meaning animals whose early development involves the growing of an amnios, a pouch in which the embryo develops. The amniotes then branch into Anapsides (including turtles), Synapsides (mammals and their predecessors) and Diapsides (all other reptile-like animals including the birds).

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (3, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189859)

Upon reading a little about those groups, I noticed that molecular analysis does suggest that even though turtles have no additional holes in their skulls (which would morphologically put them into the anapsid group), it seems that they are closer related to some diapsid groups, especially lepidosauridae (lizards, snakes etc.pp.). So the point in time when the last common ancestor of turtles and other reptiles lived, is still debated.
So the question for this reconstructed animal is not so much if it fits a morphological definition of a dinosaur, but rather if the last common ancestor of this animal and a bird was living later than the last common ancestor of birds and crocodiles. If yes, then it would put it definitely into dinosaur territory, being either an early dinosaur or a member of one of the sister groups of early dinosaurs. If no, it might still be an archosaur, closer related to recent birds and crocodiles than to other lizards and snakes.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (3, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42190115)

"Reptiles" is a paraphyletic group, and is no longer used.

Well, that's a little harsh. It's widely understood what it means, and is easier to say than non mamallian, non avian amniotes. :)

It's no worse than fish, which would include all vertibrates, and possibly hagfish too, depending on how you feel about it. (Though to my mind, "is a hagfish a fish" is up there with "is pluto a planet".)

Perhaps they're not used all that much when one is working in the taxonomy/classification literature, bit I've definitely heard cell biologists claim they work with fish instead of mice.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42190779)

So lets call "reptil" and "fish" more or less a morphological type, not so much a classification, the same as "lizard" is not a classification, more a description of a certain habit, as there are lizards in different groups (archosaurs, lepidosaurs, anapsides), which also contain non lizard forms (birds, snakes, turtles). Thus we still have mammals and birds as animals with reptile ancestors, and all of them together with fish ancestors. Still, this does not help in determining, if Nyasasaurus is a dinosaur or not.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190231)

As a paraphyletic group, "Reptile" is fine to use provided you understand the implication of the equation: reptile = amniote - (birds + mammals), or the more logical way to put it: amniote = reptiles + birds + mammals

It's a lopped-off tree, and that makes it awkward (especially for herpetologists and ornithologists [xkcd.com] ), but it's not as bad as the polyphyletic groups.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42190267)

What do you mean "used to be"? It's not like creatures stop being what their ancestors were. You can't eliminate their history. Whales don't stop being mammals just because they took to the sea and abandoned the land. Bats don't stop being mammals because they took flight. Thus, all birds are STILL dinosaurs. The fact some of them took flight and persisted to today doesn't change that.

Of course, that same logic means that all tetrapods are strange types of fish [blogspot.ca] , so I can see why people might be confused by it. Ray Troll's Venn diagram [hmnh.org] (half way down the page) is probably the clearest way to visualize it, but it's still weird to think about things that way.

Re:Birds and dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42191623)

"It's not like creatures stop being what their ancestors were"

You're just saying that so that you can keep using your "Homo Erectus" line at bars, aren't you? Or are you still a bacteria as well?

Earliest Dino? (1, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42189615)

Um, this Snorkasaurus [wikipedia.org] ?

DINO? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42189789)

Did anyone else think this was going to be about the Democrats?

T-Rex closer to us than Stegosaurus (1)

Tator Tot (1324235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191499)

I saw something recently that made me have to do some Wiki'ing.

Stegosaurus lived around 150 to 155 million years ago.
T-Rex lived 67 to 65 years ago.

This means that we live closer to T-Rex than T-Rex lived to Stegosaurus. Crazy eh?

How did I ever guess (1)

wganz (113345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42191995)

that this would turn into a troll thread rather a rational discussion of one of the greatest paleontological finds? Sad that so many 'open minded' people are as bigoted && mean spirited as they perceive others to be.

It is exciting to me to have any new scientific discovery of this magnitude. Hopefully, this will lead to the further study of earlier finds to push the veil back even further on the predecessors of these fossils.

And to explode the minds of the trolls, I confess that I'm an orthodox Christian.

Misread as "Dildo" (1)

pseudofengshui (1432581) | about a year and a half ago | (#42195173)

Misread as article title as "The Earliest Known Dildo"

Nevermind.
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