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Study: Dinosaurs "Shrank" Regularly To Become Birds

samzenpus posted about a month and a half ago | from the getting-small dept.

Science 138

An anonymous reader writes A new study suggests that large dinosaurs shrunk to small birds to survive over a period of around 50 million years. Aside from a few large species, most modern birds are predominantly tiny and look nothing at all like their prehistoric meat-eating ancestors. The evolutionary process that governed this transformation has not been well understood, but now researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia have put together a detailed family tree mapping the evolution of therapod dinosaurs to the agile flying birds we see today. Their results indicated that meat-eating dinosaurs underwent several distinct periods of miniaturization over the last 50 million years which took them down from an average weight of 163kg to just 0.8kg before finally becoming modern birds.

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Smile (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47594933)

Think of it as evolution in action.

Smile (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47594969)

nonono evolution is only a micro-scale affect!!! it takes intelligent design to produce evolution on the macro scale.
There is still no link !!!

No no no. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47594991)

First of all, Dinasours never existed. The fossils were put there by Satan.

Now, since birds are claimed to be dinasours one can only come to the conclusion that birds do not in fact exist.

The data is there to prove it. The only point where you and I disagree is how that data is interpreted and since I have the Word of the Lord, it is obvious that I am right.

Re:No no no. (1)

linearZ (710002) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595037)

First of all, Dinasours never existed. The fossils were put there by Satan.

Wrong. The fossils were put there by a noodley appendage.

Re:No no no. (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595401)

Wrong. The noodley appendage is a make-believe idea put in our heads by the Invisible Pink Unicorn to test our faith in her.

Re:No no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595685)

The Pink Unicorn is a he, you homophobe.

Re:No no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47598127)

How dare you forcibly gender the IPU - such mortal concepts does not apply clearly!

Re: No no no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596053)

Pff the Invisible Pink Unicorn was a clone of the Mystic Drunken Hobo, Pabst be upon you.

Re:No no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596089)

It's turtles all the way down!
To suggest otherwise is an impertinence, up with which I shall not put.

Re:No no no. (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596497)

Please.

Pastafarianism is readily historically verifiable as being deliberately conceived of as a fake religion for the express purpose of satirizing other religious beliefs, not so much to mock those specific beliefs, but to actually show how ludicrous it is to use science classes in school to teach scientifically unverifiable stories about the origin of mankind, arguing that the Flying Spaghetti Monster story has exactly as much scientifically credible as any other unverifiable account of the origin of mankind (which is a mostly accurate assessment, the only difference that I can think of being that how the story of the FSM came about, and the entire purpose of its existence, to mock the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools, is very well historically documented, so the comparison isn't valid 100%... but it's close).

So if you are going to lay claim to any kind of sincere belief in a religion, you should probably try picking one whose origins are lost in obscurity by the passage of time, or at least pick one where there isn't an abundance of documentation to show that the originator only invented it to mock a specific idea, not as something that anyone should necessarily seriously believe in.

Re:No no no. (3, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597187)

Please. That origin story was put there by Satan to test our faith. You don't really believe it was all made up, do you?

Re:No no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47598383)

I'd say that there is plenty of documentation to say that Smith and Hubbard were deliberately conceiving fake religions, but that hasn't stopped people from following them.

Re:No no no. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about a month and a half ago | (#47598545)

How do you feel about the Latter Day Saints?

Re:Smile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595409)

Because the asteroid never hit and the TK boundary doesn't exist.

Re:Smile (0)

RoLi (141856) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597589)

Wait, I've been told that evolution "stopped" 10,000 years ago and that is why human intelligence is exactly the same for everybody except for dissidents who are stupid, stupid, stupid.

I'd really be interested what kind of supernatural force made evolution "stop" for humans but allowed it for dinosaurs and all other non-humans. Also why - and how - does this supernatural force make an exception to the exception for dissidents and makes only them stupid, while everybody else is exactly equal?

Basically we have evolution which says that genes exist and that different populations have different traits. Then we have the unexplained exception for human intelligence, which is designed (uh?) to be exactly the same for everybody - which means that in some way evolution was suspended for the human brain which is designed (uh?) to be exactly equal for everybody, regardless of any genes - but not for the non-brainy parts, which are still dependent on genes. But then again we have the exception to the exception for dissidents who are all stupid and not equal at all. Hmmm....

Kind of hard to understand what makes evolution happen only in some cases, maybe somebody can clear this one up.

Re:Smile (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597893)

I have no idea what you're talking about. Evolution never "stopped" and no one credible said that.

As for humans, modern humans are about 50,000 years old, and went through a bottleneck. That's not long in evoloutionary terms given the rather slow development of human. The genetic diversity of humans is actuallt rather low compared to many other species.

Intelligence certainly has a strong genetic factor, but it is very, very complex. It also has significant non-genetic factors too.

Re:Smile (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47598195)

"Wait, I've been told that evolution "stopped" 10,000 years ago ..."

Your priest lied to you.

Re:Smile (3, Insightful)

Confusador (1783468) | about a month and a half ago | (#47598217)

You're not feeding a religious troll, you're feeding a racist troll.

Makes Perfect Sense (5, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47594953)

In times of extraordinary resources, an ecosystem's offspring are afforded the opportunity to grow larger, and larger is often a breeding advantage.

In times of constriction of resources, those life forms with the minimal caloric needs tend to flourish.

What a beautiful and strange World it must have been in the dinosaurs heyday to support a seven ton carnivore and a 50,000 to 100,000 kilo plant eater.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

russotto (537200) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595019)

What a beautiful and strange World it must have been in the dinosaurs heyday to support a seven ton carnivore and a 50,000 to 100,000 kilo plant eater.

Support global warming!

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

pijokela (462279) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595061)

There was a lot more oxygen in the air back then. It wasn't just hotter. With the lower oxygen levels the huge dinos wouldn't do so well because they didn't have muscles for breathing like we do.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (3, Informative)

Arker (91948) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595413)

"There was a lot more oxygen in the air back then. It wasn't just hotter. With the lower oxygen levels the huge dinos wouldn't do so well because they didn't have muscles for breathing like we do."

I think you are rather badly mistaken [wolframalpha.com] . There was actually much less oxygen in the atmosphere then.

Warning, link is not really a webpage, js required :( but you can search yourself for a better source.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

Truth_Quark (219407) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596157)

Don't be mistaken by the name of Michael Crichton books. Those big dinosaurs were Cretaceous.

Your point still stands that there wasn't more oxygen in the atmosphere, but by the end it was about the same [wolframalpha.com]

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596553)

That's a neat graph. I think there might have been little oxygen because they overgrazed the vegetation, and there wasn't enough green to keep up with it, so the equilibrium point was at a lower o2 level, lower vegetation abundance, and those dinos that could drag it out long on very little food, or minimum food, but able to graze anything that sprouts, proliferated. This requires cold blood like snakes that can go for a whole year without feeding. (Humans can only do it for a few weeks on fat reserves before massive protein tissue loss hits.) This also requires low abundance of predators to keep a high grazing population equilibrium, and there might have been massive oscillations in green stuff vs. grazers vs. predators flirting with extinction like collapses. Cold blood is also a bad thing to have in an ice age. I wonder what the CO2 levels were, on the same graph. And right before them there were times when oxygen levels were near 30% - ammonia would burn in that, I think, unlike today. Also if we ever invented time travel, we'd probably fall asleep in the 12% O2 level the dinos were living in, or at least feel very lethargic and slow speed, plus lactic acid muscle burn that high speed athletes get, running on stored oxygen energy, not requiring breathing, might set in very fast, and marathon runners dependent more fully on external oxygen, would not be able to do as well. They must have been moving really slow, and that's why inertial things, like having huge tails with huge masses that take forever to turn under rotational inertia, did not really matter for the predators, because it was a quick sprint, and if you had to turn, it was too late, lactic acid built up in your muscles - a cheetah can only chase for so many seconds before it runs out of breath, and this must have been much shorter in a low O2 environment for those predators back then, possibly as short as 5 seconds, and then stalking up to a prey slowly becomes everything. Also it might have been a really slow motion elephant like world, at least with the big ones, while you might have had quick snakes and scorpions. Bugs must have really suffered in size, because their two-way trachei are not as efficient as blood and lungs in extracting and transporting oxygen to the cells.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597229)

Wonder what the atmospheric pressure was at the time? We always assume that the atmosphere has been consistent but I've never seen any research on it.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47598159)

Research has been performed. Experiments recreating the atmosphere that existed on earth within hyberbaric chambers, and then growing plants/insects in those chambers. You might be interested in the results.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595077)

Ah, but there were no modern humans in the Jurassic.

Re: Makes Perfect Sense (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596465)

Are you suggesting that The Flintstones and the Bible contain inaccuracies and/or transcription/translation errors? 'Cause if so, our infinitely compassionate and merciful Lord is sure to roast your soul in horrific agony for all eternity...

Re: Makes Perfect Sense (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596709)

In good company, though, I will be.

Makes Perfect Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595213)

Back then that world didn't have to support 7 billion carnivores of around 80 kg...

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595613)

Omnivores is what we are.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595345)

Came to ask similar, but there's more to this story, and I can't read it due to the damn paywall!. While this:

"The functions of each special feature of birds changed over time - feathers first for insulation, and later co-opted for flight; early reductions in body size perhaps for other reasons, and later they were small enough for powered flight; improvements in sense of sight and enlargement of brain - even a small improvement in these is advantageous.

is interesting, i'd like to know what role atmospheric changes played. Namely, changes in average temperature, humidity, CO2 and Oxygen levels as well as respective geologic changes that these dinosaurs would have encountered over that time frame. Yes, I could 'infer' what 'feathers for insulation' would mean with regard to area climate change, but that isn't scientific.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596549)

There's also the argument that wings evolved from smaller structures which were held angled down to in turn hold the running bipod proto-bird (or advanced dinosaur) down when making sharp turns at high speeds (like automotive spoilers) . Strange as that idea sounds, if this actually worked, then it helps explain what's otherwise a pretty large gap - evolving flight. Arms races, as this one where the predators would be trying to outcorner their fleeing prey, and the prey would be trying to evade ever more agile predators, are often considered as explanations for complex evolutionary paths, and may well be true in this case, but it also means we would have an even harder time matching feathers to any specific climate data - as we don't know whether insualtion was the major advantage of the structures just because the animal didn't have the wing surface for actual flight..

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595479)

Growing larger is a response to competition, prey grows larger to defend themselves from predators. Predators grow larger in order to hunt successfully. Dinosaurs were in an arms race against each other.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595955)

If you were watching it you'd probably feel you were in slow-mo. Ever tried to ride an elephant? It's sloooooooow and even though they might stampede over a very short distance it's quickly over and back to a trot. Despite the huge size most estimates of T. Rex's speed suggests a human sprinter could outrun it, it only needed to catch even slower dinosaurs. If you want action I'd take a leopard and a gazelle instead.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596129)

Have you ever seen elephants running? Walking and running are different.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596391)

larger is often a breeding advantage.

We got a chubby chaser over here.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596469)

HG Wells in the Short History Of the World, says, that right before they went extinct, dinosaurs highly proliferated in extremely great variety, but then ice-age hit. Only a few species made it through the ice age, and 37C temperature mammalian wombs or even hotter, 42C but externally heated bird eggs, that hugged and nurtured their offspring in warm fur or feather arms once born, had an upper hand in fighting against cold, compared to plain lizards that just left their eggs behind. In fact he says ice-ages were responsible for most of the major extinctions. Some of it may be an asteroid hit, some of it might be solar output drop, if the solar output fluctuates. Of course he could be wrong too.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596479)

In absence of an ice-age, the mammalian womb is just a major time wasting exercise compared to an external egg. Prepare for our biotech Monsanto future of phosphorescent humans to be like that. In fact a neat trick for a lab scientist at Monsanto would be to make people glow in the dark only when they are sexually aroused, but not otherwise. Then even black people, who have been able to hide well in the dark, will shine, and everyone will know what they just been thinking about. That would be a neat prank, wouldn't it? Unleash a gene-modifying virus infection into the world that makes humans glow in the dark like fireflies if they think about sex.

Re:Makes Perfect Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596535)

I think you've read "Oryx and Crake" one too many times.

Penguins Came from Whence? (3, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595101)

I wanna see the armor plated Tyrannopenguin.

Re:Penguins Came from Whence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595323)

Penguinnosaurus rex !

Penguins Came from Whence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595457)

You have come to the right place.

Re:Penguins Came from Whence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596911)

Movie trilogy pitch: Tux

1. Tux gets bullied by his evil nemesis, Bill.
2. Tux follows in the footsteps of his friend Steve and gorges himself on the cellular material.
3. Tux grows up to be an 8 ton flightless bird from the Jurassic period, and he gets his revenge by taking a huge steaming dump on the monopoly board set up on top of Bill's desk.

Re:Penguins Came from Whence? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597091)

I wanna see the armor plated Tyrannopenguin.

http://i.imgur.com/Tkhwh.jpg [imgur.com]

The Red Queen (4, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595145)

I'm sorry, birds are the showiest class on the planet. Any theory about how they went from ~160Kg to ~1Kg in (only) 50 million years needs to have a healthy dose of sexual arms race to be plausible.

Re: The Red Queen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595607)

Yeah I'm smaller than the others, but ain't I pretty?

There you go.

Re: The Red Queen (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596429)

Yeah I'm smaller than the others, but ain't I pretty?

That's not how sexual selection works!

Re: The Red Queen (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596619)

Does sexual selection actually work at all? Less controversially, does it accomplish anything regular natural selection can't, or is is an explanation that is simply redundant to natural selection as a whole?
          For example, there are some species, such as Walruses, where there are extreme differences between males and females, and we use Sexual Selection to explain how those evolved. The problem with that is revealed by Bighorn Sheep, among various other species. There, we have both a lot of dimorphism, and males acting very competitively in displaying themselves for the female, but it turns out that the famales aren't 'selecting right'. Female Bighorns seem to go off with the loser as often as the winner, or sometimes take up with a mate who isn't engaging in the head butting displays at all. Unlike Walruses, the males don't seem to have any way to keep females in a harem unless they can be convinced voluntarily, and since all a sheep has to do to signal unwillingness to mate is stop standing perfectly still, opting out seems to be the female's choice. Most recent studies either show no real pressure at all or a rather mild form of selectivity that doesn't seem like it's enough to explain major size and feature difference unless they could also be explained by non-sexual selection pressures. In other words, winning at head butting doesn't really seem to increase a male's chance of mating, so it's now unclear both why males butt heads, AND whether there as been any sex-based selection, at least in sheep, to cause the behavior.
            Something like this also shows up in African lions, where the male's size and mane can probably be explained by them being the part of the tribe that fights off Hyenas and Baboons just as well as sex based selection.

Re: The Red Queen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47597549)

Female Bighorns seem to go off with the loser as often as the winner, or sometimes take up with a mate who isn't engaging in the head butting displays at all.

Sounds like someone is misinterpreting their mating rituals.
If I were to replace Bighorns with Humans in that sentence and place the context in a bar fight it all makes perfect sense.
The female is just as likely to go off with the loser as the winner and if she doesn't want to end up with a retard who engages in bar fights she goes off with someone else.
Seems to me like Bighorns are smarter than previously thought.

Re: The Red Queen (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about a month and a half ago | (#47598097)

Social behavior can often maladaptive. It this case though, I'd imagine if predation became more of an issue the better fighters would suddenly be more attractive...unless they've gone too far down the pacifist path to survive the interim. Well, for the bighorns. Pugilism's primarily useless in similar human cases. Oddly, it can attract women specifically easier to impregnate though. Attraction's rarely an intelligent matter for any species.

Re: The Red Queen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47597511)

It more or less is. Like size is one way to show that the offspring will be healthy and able to take care of itself pretty feathers is another way of saying that one has no problem staying alive and eating healthy.
Wasting resources is a way of showing that you have more than enough for the basic needs and selecting a partner based on their ability to waste excess resources is beneficial.

Dinosaurs went obsolete (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595207)

Because of the square cube law, gigantism is energetically expensive. The bigger an animal gets, the heavier it gets (disproportionately), and the more energy it needs to move. But size is relatively easy to tweak genetically, so making animals bigger to out compete their mating or territorial/predatory rivals must have been a solution which evolution hit on pretty quickly. But then evolution moved on, developing more sophisticated technology like feathers, hollow bones, and more powerful brains which could support flight and cooperative pack hunting, and gigantism became a relatively more expensive and less useful trait. Huge dinosaurs disappeared, for the same reason huge battleships did. Put a t-Rex into a forest with a pride of hungry lions. How long do you think the Rex would last?

- Tristan

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595395)

Put a t-Rex into a forest with a pride of hungry lions. How long do you think the Rex would last?

What do you mean? An African or European tyrannosaurus rex?

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (1)

gargleblast (683147) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596567)

How do you know so much about T-Rexes?

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47597175)

he must be a King

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (3, Funny)

gwolf (26339) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596673)

Do you mean Laurassian or Gondwanan tyrannosaurus rex?

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (1)

khallow (566160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595665)

Put a t-Rex into a forest with a pride of hungry lions. How long do you think the Rex would last?

Depends on whether there's something the Rex can eat. It probably could hunt elephants or hippos, but there's not much else out there that they can catch. Most mammals are small and fast. I imagine the Rex would become almost exclusively a well-armed scavenger. And the lions' calculation would be that something that big and that toothy is going to take a bunch of us down if we try to take it on. Let's hunt zebras instead. Odds are good that the Rexes would learn to follow lion prides around and take their kills.

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595755)

Huge dinosaurs disappeared, for the same reason huge battleships did.

Wrong. Battleships were so big because they needed to be to carry what was then the most effective weapon available: high-caliber, long-range gunnery. By the end of WWII they had been rendered obsolete by the development of effective naval aviation, carried on aircraft carriers that are even bigger than battleships were.

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (1)

RoLi (141856) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597623)

Aircraft carriers are only bigger by volume but they weight much less than the biggest battleships. So for all practical purposes (especially cost) they are smaller than battleships.

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597981)

Aircraft carriers are only bigger by volume but they weight much less than the biggest battleships. So for all practical purposes (especially cost) they are smaller than battleships.

Nope. The biggest carriers are larger than the biggest battleships.

The Nimitz is near 100,000 Tons.

The Yamato (largest ever battleship) was closer to 65,000.

The HMS Vanguard (the last battleship built, and the UK's largest, though given it's radar and armament---100 AA guns---it was as much of an antiaircraft platform as a battleship ) was about 45,000. By comparison, the UK's newest not-quite-built and utterly-fucked-up-by-BAe-systems carrier is about 65,000 tons.

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596641)

The T-Rex would go extinct after only 50 years if all it had to eat was lions.

Unless of course someone raised a lot of lions to keep feeding T-Rex's. Or maybe T-Rex might think it was really cute how a kitty was chewing on it's bunions -- that tickles.

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (1)

RoLi (141856) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597615)

Put a t-Rex into a forest with a pride of hungry lions. How long do you think the Rex would last?

Interesting question, the answer would obviously depend on whether the T-Rex would find enough food. Maybe the T-Rex could hunt elephants? Also new research hints that T-Rex may have been more of a scavanger than a hunter, so maybe T-Rex just follows the lions and chases them away everytime they kill a gazelle? On the other hand, a T-Rex probably weights more than a pack of lions, therefore it would have to snatch away the prey of several lion packs.

So probably you are right and the T-Rex would starve.

Re:Dinosaurs went obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47597773)

Also new research hints that T-Rex may have been more of a scavanger than a hunter, so maybe T-Rex just follows the lions and chases them away everytime they kill a gazelle?

Even newer research suggests that T-Rex was more of a hunter than scavanger but of course it would eat whatever carcasses it came across.

There's a theory that suggests that T-Rexes might have operated in small packs where there was one or two big adults and several juveniles. The hunting strategy is then that the agile juveniles chase the prey animals towards the adult who then jumps in for kill.

Bad phrasing (3, Insightful)

twistedcubic (577194) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595289)

This is evolution. The dinosaurs did not "shrink". The smaller dinosaurs within a species had a higher survival rate.

Re:Bad phrasing (1)

martas (1439879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595945)

The phrasing is good enough for anyone who isn't an idiot or a pedant, while also being concise. I.e. what a headline should be.

Re:Bad phrasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596097)

If I wanted "good enough" or "concise" I wouldn't be reading Slashdot. No, I want all headlines to be published on arXiv.org or it didn't happen!!!!!111!!!1two

Captcha: newsman

Re:Bad phrasing (2)

disposable60 (735022) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596123)

Haven't you encountered a frightening number of ID idiots who insist - often a top volume - my grandaddy warn't no MONKEY!
Your observation is true, but given the sheer number of people proud to be ignorant, not super useful.
For their benefit - and thus, ours - we gotta watch that flippant phrasing.
As the environment changed, dinosaurs evolve to be smaller, and eventually into birds.
Not catchy, but easier to defend.

Re:Bad phrasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596461)

Haven't you encountered a frightening number of ID idiots who insist - often a top volume - my grandaddy warn't no MONKEY!

I believe them. Based on the fact that monkeys actually exhibit a decent amount of intelligence, it's probably a good bet that their granddaddy wasn't a monkey, but rather some much stupider creature.

Re:Bad phrasing (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596433)

The phrasing is good enough for anyone who isn't an idiot or a pedant

I.e., not good enough for Slashdot.

Re:Bad phrasing (2)

asifyoucare (302582) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596587)

Survival rate of smaller dinosaurs is only the 'selection' part of evolution. Another other important part of evolution is mutation, so I think it IS fair to say they shrank. Imperfection + Inheritance + Selection + Mutation = Evolution

Re:Bad phrasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47598329)

The mutation isn't important to the discussion. Some were bigger than their parents, some were smaller. As it always has been.

The important part is that the smaller ones survived.

Re:Bad phrasing (1)

m.shenhav (948505) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597917)

First of all, the phrasing can very well refer to cladel trends (this is how I would interpret it in a technical text), in which case it kinda makes sense (while being admittadly somewhat ambiguous) to speak of Dinosaurs shrinking. Second of all, I resent the implicit conflation of evolution with natural selection espoused by your last sentence. Yes, this is evolution. No, this does not automatically mean every phenomenon is explained by selection (despite what adaptationists try to sell you).

Not all of them (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595379)

Sorry guys, we got lost on the way.

Signed,
turtles.

ORLY? (1)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595387)

"...and look nothing at all like their prehistoric meat-eating ancestors." Have chickens. Check out their feet. "Dinosaur" will indeed cross your mind.

Re:ORLY? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595491)

And watch a chicken when it catches a mouse. Vicious carnivore will cross your mind.

Re:ORLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595849)

Just don't say "clever girl!", it only encourages them.

Re:ORLY? (1)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596005)

IF ONLY they went after other rodents - they've cleared my lot of bugs, but they couldn't care less that there are voles about.

Re:ORLY? (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596083)

Wow, yeah. There are some good videos [youtube.com] on YouTube - it's not hard to imagine similar scenes in the Triassic.

Re:ORLY? (1)

RoLi (141856) | about a month and a half ago | (#47597641)

Oh come on - the mouse in the video seems to be extremely slow and probably already heavily injured. The chickens outnumber the mouse and are so confused and timid that they let it get away.

Re:ORLY? (1)

Jesrad (716567) | about a month and a half ago | (#47598153)

That's domestication for you... You can be pretty sure that guinea fowls, which have kept more of their hunting instinct, would have made short work of the mouse.

That said, from the point of view of the mouse that whole scene must have played much like something out of Jurassic Park 2 or 3.

Re:ORLY? (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596075)

Have chickens. Check out their feet. "Dinosaur" will indeed cross your mind.

We have wild turkeys where I work. Every time I see a flock, I think of the little pack of dinosaurs (Compsognathus?) that eats Wayne Knight in "Jurassic Park", and shudder. And the turkeys are actually much larger than this. Fortunately they also seem to be relatively slow-moving and don't eat anything larger than insects.

Re:ORLY? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596435)

Some birds have heads that practically scream "dinosaur".

OT: this stuff was solved in the 90's (1)

sysrammer (446839) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595425)

How is it a tech site can't produce a decent news reader? Come on, this stuff was solved in the 90's or so. I write up a nice posting, I see that all the lines between paragraphs are missing. Let's see, should I manually go and add a "br" between each? Ok, easy enough, but my entire living has been about making computers to the simple boring stuff for me. So I innocently click "options", make the correct selection, and "save". Well, it saved alright. Everything except the posting I had just spent 15 minutes on. Then the web site oh-so-helpfully folded up all the articles so I could see the same lame five that I started with. So, 20 or 30 years after stuff like this was fixed and perfected, we have a site that considers itself a premium tech site making the same damn mistakes one after the other. Here come your fucking "br's", Lamedot...

...happy? Anyways, I've seen people post what they consider a better tech web blog. I ignored them back then because I still was "loyal" to the posters here, but I think it's time to move on. Where are most Slashdotters moving to?

thanks, sr

Re:OT: this stuff was solved in the 90's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595561)

PipeDot has a *fantastic* interface which leaves this place for dead. Period.

https://pipedot.org/ [pipedot.org]

Check it out!

Re:OT: this stuff was solved in the 90's (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595759)

haven't you heard, all the slashdot intelligentsia made a mass exodus to kuro5hin.org

Interesting question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595593)

...that as far as I can tell, has not been answered by modern biology concerning evolution.

Fact: there has been no new cell made since the first cell decided it was going to divide to reproduce itself.
Yup, that's right! You, reading this, are here because a cell divided hundreds of millions of times to make you.
But that original egg and sperm were produced by their own cell division, and so on -- all of the way back!

Pretty amazing?!

What, then, caused that first cell(s) to reproduce in that manner?

Re:Interesting question... (2)

khallow (566160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595717)

I believe the current WAG is that the earliest environments were free-fire chemical zones with molecules or perhaps groups of molecules prey on others. Anything you could throw in the way of a hostile molecule, such as a lump of protein or a sliver of calcium carbonate, improved your odds of survival. Later those obstacles became a wall of an organelle or bacterium and the interior a nice place for cooperative molecules to get to work. Some sort of arms race happened and some organelles became cells that incorporated other organelles. Then multi-celled life and photosynthesis happened and the neighborhood just went to hell.

Re:Interesting question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596495)

...that as far as I can tell, has not been answered by modern biology concerning evolution.

Fact: there has been no new cell made since the first cell decided it was going to divide to reproduce itself.
Yup, that's right! You, reading this, are here because a cell divided hundreds of millions of times to make you.
But that original egg and sperm were produced by their own cell division, and so on -- all of the way back!

Pretty amazing?!

What, then, caused that first cell(s) to reproduce in that manner?

1. We don't know how something happened.
2. Ergo, God did it!

Do you believe that? Yay. You failed logic.

Just one question. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595753)

Should I post the same post here that I did on SovlentNews? Oops, too late, I didn't.

But it had something to do with tasting like chicken. It was really good, seriously.

Bah.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47595905)

My granddaddy weren't no T-Rex!

In my head (2)

Chas (5144) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595911)

*ROAR!*

T-Rex: "See! THAT'S how you do it! Make sure they can't run because they've just packed those "pants" things with a fear-spawned self-crapping! Now you try!"

*CHEEP!*

Hummingbird: "How'd I do? He still looks terrified. But I can't tell if that's me or you!"

T-Rex: *SNIGGER* "Oh! It's you!" *SNERK* "Definitely you!"

Re:In my head (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a month and a half ago | (#47595985)

*ROAR!*

*Nuclear missiles*

*CHEEP*

*Winter feeding*

Welcome to the age of mammals, dude.

Pro-Evolutionists have devolved (0, Troll)

mtthwbrnd (1608651) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596207)

Reading through the comments and following the debate, it is clear that evolution may be an incorrect theory - but it is absolutely certain that pro-evolutionists, those who believe in the Theory Of Evolution, have definitely devolved into a state where they can no longer be conversed with in a sensible way by any member of the human species.

Re:Pro-Evolutionists have devolved (1)

TheRealSteveDallas (2505582) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596515)

Reading through the comments and following the debate, it is clear that evolution may be an incorrect theory

I read thru the comments but didn't see any debate, nor was it clear to me what made it clear to you that Evolution was an incorrect theory. Could you please present the case where magic is the root of all things as I am sure you are juuuust busting at the seams to do because I totally want to believe in magic. Thanks! (special thanks if your solution involves hottie chicks with wings)

Re:Pro-Evolutionists have devolved (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596789)

mtthwbrnd here.

"I read thru the comments but didn't see any debate"

Can you read? I did not write that I read a debate in the ./ comments.

Let me break it down for you. I wrote that:

1) I read through the comments and
2) following the debate.

Apologies for putting two pieces of information in a single sentence - it was clearly too much for you to cope with.

"what made it clear to you that Evolution was an incorrect theory."

I did not write that it is clear to me that Evolution is an incorrect theory, I wrote "it is clear that evolution may be an incorrect theory". Funny how evolutionists think that the word "may" means "definitely is", it explains how they have come to believe every article which uses the word "may" as though it is absolute proof. Much of their confusion must stem from their poor grasp of language.

"Could you please present the case where magic is the root of all things" Where did I write anything about magic?

Obligatory XKCD (2)

stoborrobots (577882) | about a month and a half ago | (#47596547)

http://xkcd.com/1211/ [xkcd.com] This is a good world....

Lazy Archeology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47596931)

Enough said.

Such Imaginations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47598317)

I can't believe that 'scientists' actually believe their 'facts'. 50 million years - 50 trillion years - not gonna convert from 163kg lizard to just 0.8kg bird. Birds become birds, lizards become lizards ,,,,,

Tastes like Chicken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47598371)

Research thus proving, once again, that dinosaurs taste like chicken (or turkey, or duck, or.... or something roughly like that...)

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