Losing traits won’t make a dinosaur fly, and other conundrums in the presumed dinosaur-to-bird evolutionary story.
Could Dinosaurs Fly? (Laura Geggel on Live Science). Michael Habib really wants to get dinosaurs airborne. “As long as the creature’s wing size, weight and muscles met certain criteria, it could likely fly,” he speculates. “But these feathery creatures would be no match for today’s birds, which can fly long distances.” Does he have evidence to back up his speculation? No, just some bone measurements. He could make dinosaur fossils fly by throwing them.
Foraging differences let closely related seabirds coexist (Phys.org). Frigate birds are amazing long-distance flyers that can fly for months over the ocean, but cannot swim . They are a far cry from dinosaurs, demonstrating the challenge to evolutionists to explain them by mutations and natural selection (see Evolution News & Views about the challenge to neo-Darwinism posed by frigate birds).
5 Times Evolution Ran in ‘Reverse’ (National Geographic). “Regressive evolution?” That’s when Darwin takes away things—evolution by subtraction. It’s not exactly a good way to create progress from dinosaurs to powered flight. On NG’s list are penguins and birds without teeth.
No teeth? No problem: Dinosaur species had teeth as babies, lost them as they grew: Discovery may explain why birds are toothless (Science Daily). Speaking of tooth loss, these evolutionists are not surprised that birds lack teeth. Some dinosaurs lost them, too. And your point is?
Anomalously high variation in postnatal development is ancestral for dinosaurs but lost in birds (PNAS). Here’s another story of trait loss that doesn’t help the narrative that birds evolved from dinosaurs. “Surprisingly, the earliest dinosaurs and their close relatives possessed an extremely high amount of variation, higher than either crocodylians or birds.”
Phylogenomics and Morphology of Extinct Paleognaths Reveal the Origin and Evolution of the Ratites (Current Biology). This is another story of trait loss: the origin of flightlessness in large ground birds, like the moas of New Zealand. The authors treat us to a tale of “overseas dispersal” by these birds, and subsequent gigantism. Interesting, but we’re looking for evidence that dinosaurs evolved into flying birds.
Geoscientists size-up early dinosaurs, find surprising variation (Phys.org). Cataloguing dinosaurs requires assumptions and arbitrary criteria. This article assumes birds are the living relatives of dinosaurs without providing evidence. As for the question “Why were there so many dinosaur species?”, Nick Longrich on The Conversation is not surprised; in fact, he thinks more will turn up. He does not automatically count birds in their number. “So it seems reasonable to guess that there were between 50,000 and 500,000 species of dinosaurs – without including Mesozoic birds, which might double the diversity.”
Biologists follow ‘fossilizable’ clues to pinpoint when mammal, bird and dinosaur ancestors became athletes (Science Daily). Active mammals, birds and dinosaurs seem to have smaller red blood cells (RBCs). What does that prove? Not much about dinosaur-to-bird evolution.
Similar environmental pressures can result in similar solutions to problems in these very different groups of animals,” says Huttenlocker. “In this paper, we’re just focusing on one little nugget of that. But the forerunners of mammals and birds were able to exercise and be athletes in the Permian-Triassic world.”
New prehistoric bird species discovered (Science Daily). This discovery isn’t going to help evolutionists, because the species “would have been a cross between a large seagull and a diving bird like a cormorant, but likely had teeth.” And that was as far back as 90 million Darwin years ago. If it was flying and diving already, it wasn’t a dinosaur by any stretch of the imagination.
Predicting the basis of convergent evolution (Science Magazine). This paper weaves the magic wand of “convergent evolution” to explain why different groups of birds, from hummingbirds to waterfowl, “evolved” high-altitude adaptation. Nothing about dinosaurs here.
Migrating birds pile up along Great Lakes’ shores (Phys.org). This tells more about living birds, which show not only flight but spectacular navigational skill. “Birds prefer to migrate at night—so much so that if day breaks while they’re over water, they’ll turn back toward the nearest shore rather than pressing on,” scientists learned. Hard to call these critters living dinosaurs.
We looked all over for weeks to find evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but couldn’t find any. We’ll keep looking.