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Divining Dino Dining

Some of those big, fierce-looking dinosaurs—cousins to T. rex—could have been vegetarians.  That’s a paradigm-shaking announcement being made by PhysOrg, Science Daily, and Live Science: “Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Not So Carnivorous After All.”  The revision is based on information from the Field Museum of Chicago.     A similar article on PhysOrg laments that one of […]

Mammals Partied When Dinosaurs Left

A research team headed by a biology professor at the University of New Mexico are claiming that mammals had a field day when the dinosaurs went extinct.  They got bigger and more diverse, filling in the ecological wasteland left by the missing giant reptiles.  Their analysis was published in Science.1     In addition, they […]

Kinder, Gentler Dinosaurs Envisioned

See if this statement by Tim Rowe [U of Texas at Austin] meets your mental picture of dinosaurs after a lifetime of movies: “We used to think of dinosaurs as fierce creatures that outcompeted everyone else,” he said.  “Now we’re starting to see that’s not really the case.  They were humbler, more opportunistic creatures.  They […]

Dino-Bird Link Confused by New Fossil

A “bizarre” new dinosaur fossil found in Spain with a hump on its back that resembles a fin also has quill knobs on its arms, interpreted as attachment points for feathers.  For this reason, the BBC News announced that it “may” yield clues to the origin of birds.”  It has been named Concavenator corcovatus and […]

Dinosaur Graveyards and Arctic Tortoises: Who’s Got the Context?

Science articles often go beyond the data.  A jumble of bones found on an island is boring; people want a story of what they were, and how they got that way.  Many scientists and reporters are only happy to fulfill that curiosity.  But are the stories they tell, usually presented as fact, the only way […]

Revising Dinosaurs

Reconstructing a lost world from fossils is an inexact science.  The realization that two species of dinosaur were different growth stages of the same species is just one example of the difficulty of drawing conclusions about past ecological conditions.  It raises additional questions about the mental visions we have of the world of dinosaurs.   […]

Fossils Without Evolution

New fossils continue to turn up around the world.  Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale.  It’s interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable lack of evolution in all that time. […]

How Science Is Done: Upsetting Applecarts

Hardly a week goes by without some scientific finding upsetting an applecart – a long-held belief.  Often, those beliefs are scientific theories taught in textbooks by science professors.  Defenders of science say that this is the way science works.  It’s a self-correcting process, they argue; it’s to be expected that new data will lead to […]

Archaeopteryx Fossil Retains Original Soft-Tissue Material

We are usually told that fossils involve the complete replacement of original living material by rock, except in rare cases (such as amber), because organic material is quickly destroyed.  One of the most famous rock fossils is Archaeopteryx, the bird that has often been claimed to be a missing link from dinosaurs.  An international team […]

Dino-Feather Story Gets Fluffier

Xing Xu is at it again, claiming that dinosaur feathers are found everywhere – in China, at least, where the bulk of “feathered dinosaur” claims keep turning up in farmyards.  The latest claim is that “Feather structures in maturing dinosaurs changed as they grew.”  This story is accompanied by artwork showing the critters looking as […]

Dinosaurs Lived in Vast Ecological Zones

Don’t think of dinosaur species living in small ecological zones.  Their habitats covered vast areas, according to a new study: “Researchers at McGill University are unlocking the mysteries of the little-known habits of dinosaurs in discovering that the entire western interior of North America was likely once populated by a single community of dinosaurs,” reported […]

How Much Can One Bone Say?

Two fossil discoveries are generating a lot of news from a single bone.  The first is a dinosaur hip.  The second is a human finger.  How much weight can a single bone carry? Australian tyrannosaur:  The tyrannosaurid dinosaurs had a distinctive hip bone.  Live Science cast any doubt on the claims: “it’s still a hypothesis […]

Dinosaur Evolution Is Relative

The science news media are all reporting that the “oldest known dinosaur relative” has been found.  The artist reconstructions of Asilisaurus kongwe, found in middle Triassic layers in Tanzania, make the creature look quite dinosaurian; at least it was dog-sized and walked on thick legs under its body like its famous brethren did.  Its early […]

Evolutionary Inferences: Are They Incontrovertible?

No matter what is found in plants or animals, it finds its way into an evolutionary explanation eventually.  Are these explanations driven by the data, or forced into a belief system?  Are other explanations possible?  Some recent reports might inform these questions. Your inner plant:  Get in touch with your inner plant with a report […]

Dinosaurs Evolved from Birds

Birds evolved from dinosaurs, we are often told.  That’s backwards, reply some scientists at Oregon State University.  According to PhysOrg, the recently-published bi-plane model study of Microraptor gui (01/29/2010) demonstrates that theropod dinosaurs did not sprout wings and fly; instead, they became flightless after their bird ancestors came down from the trees.     Their […]
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