December 5, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

If It Swims Like a Duck

The artist did everything possible to make this dinosaur look ducky,
but if it swam, it might have done so in sand.


How many readers of science news look at the pictures instead of the facts? Here again is another catchy artist rendition that misleads the eye instead of informing the mind. This is how evolutionary dogma advances: one visualization fallacy at a time.

The Non-Duck Duck

Newly discovered dinosaur has a streamlined body like a diving bird (New Scientist, 1 Dec 2022). Reporter Corryn Wetzel posted a large image of Yusik Choi’s rendition of a creature from bones that is almost as extreme as the case in the cartoon above. For one thing, the fossil was found in Mongolia in 2008, far from water. Yet Choi portrays it swimming on its breast like a duck, paddling with its hind feet, and sporting a coat of feathers.

A new species of dinosaur is the first found to have a streamlined body like diving birds but not belong to the feathered class of dinosaurs that modern-day birds evolved from. This suggests that streamlined bodies evolved independently in different lineages of theropods, a group of hollow-boned dinosaurs that walked on two legs and mainly ate meat, including Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.

Artwork of Natovenator polydontus by Yusik Choi.

The toothy snout was made as beak-like as possible. And yet all the reports are calling the creature a dinosaur. The discoverers gave it the name Natovenator polydontus, “swimming hunter with many teeth.” And yet there is no proof it did swim. It had a “sleek body” and “goose-like neck,” but that’s it. Most of the interpretation is suggestion. Without any evidence of stomach contents, they “posit that it ate fish and insects.”

Mongolian fossil is first known species of streamlined non-avian theropod dinosaur to walk on two legs (, 2 Dec 2022). Bob Yirka also reproduced the artist rendition at the top of his write-up, and proceeded to birdify this wingless dinosaur as much as possible.

The researchers also noted that its ribs pointed toward its tail, another common feature of waterbirds. But it was not avian—there was no sign of wings. The researchers also noted that the overall shape of the skeleton suggested very strongly that it did not use its forelimbs for walking, likely giving it a penguin-like gait.

New toothy diving dinosaur discovered ( by Nature Publishing Group via, 2 Dec 2022). This press release printed by only shows the bones, not the artwork. Notice that similarity does not prove this creature, whatever it looked like, was a swimmer and diver.

A new species of non-avian dinosaur with a streamlined body similar to those of modern diving birds, such as penguins and auks, is described in a study published in Communications Biology. The findings represent the first case of a non-avian theropod—a type of carnivorous dinosaur that walked on two legs—to have a streamlined body.

Evolutionary paleontologists, convinced that birds are dinosaurs, use the term “non-avian” dinosaur or theropod to refer to the lineage that did not evolve into birds. So why cover it with feathers and make it swim like a duck?

Noodle-necked swimming dinosaur may have been a diving predator like a penguin (Live Science, 1 Dec 2022). Mindy Waisberger included more of the artwork, showing a second individual diving deep under the water like a penguin. Like all the other gullible reporters, Mindy appeals to the power of evolution to work miracles.

Ever since the first vertebrates crawled out of the oceans to live on land, “many different groups have secondarily adapted to aquatic environments,” the scientists wrote in the study. Whales, for example, evolved from four-legged terrestrial mammals before adapting to live exclusively in the oceans. Among dinosaurs, only birds and some of their extinct ancestors evolved aquatic or semi-aquatic forms.

A non-avian dinosaur with a streamlined body exhibits potential adaptations for swimming (Lee et al., Nature Communications Biology, 1 Dec 2022). This is the scientific paper. The investigators clearly believe the fossil represented a swimming dinosaur, but let’s examine the actual evidence to see how ducky this creature was.

  • Any wings? No.
  • Any feathers? No.
  • Any webbed feet? No.

The body shape only “suggests” that this creature was anything like what the artist depicted. The force of suggestion is strong in the imaginations of these evolutionists.

The new specimen includes a well-preserved skeleton with several articulated dorsal ribs that are posterolaterally oriented to streamline the body as in diving birds. Additionally, the widely arched proximal rib shafts reflect a dorsoventrally compressed ribcage like aquatic reptiles. Its body shape suggests that Natovenator was a potentially capable swimming predator, and the streamlined body evolved independently in separate lineages of theropod dinosaurs.

And so “convergent evolution” comes to the rescue again.

The streamlined body of the Natovenator also reflects the high diversity of body shapes among non-avian dinosaurs and exemplifies convergent evolution with diving birds.

Two comments were made by others not part of the team. One of them noted that the genus Homo also has a dorsally compressed ribcage. The other asked, “This taxon was found buried in desert sands. Where is the actual water for the authors’ hypothesis?” He also noted related taxa that were desert creatures.

Imaginary bird evolving into a penguin. Can’t fly or swim. Will it survive until the next lucky mutations?

We’ve seen this kind of art manipulation before. Remember the platypus-duck-dinosaur five years ago? It was also described years after it had supposedly been found in Mongolia. We saw a good deal of  interpretation going on in that case, and the evolutionists waved their magic wand of “convergent evolution” then, too. What is it with these Mongolian fossils? Is there a racket going on?

The evolutionists say this was a “non-avian dinosaur” because of the strata and location in which it was found and because of some of its skeletal traits. But non-swimmers sometimes have compressed ribs, and some animals with long necks were not geese (sauropods, giraffes). Most of the traits these evolutionists are saying “suggest” a diving dinosaur could be otherwise interpreted.

A skilled artist could probably have made this new creature look like a platypus or a duck-billed Homo if so inclined, complete with imaginary feathers and webbed feet.

We don’t know what this creature looked like on the outside, because all we have are bones. No scientist  witnessed its lifestyle and habits. Perhaps it did spend some time in water, but lots of animals do that. 

If the Darwin Party was not a totalitarian dictatorship, there would be some hard questions being asked. Evolutionists would have to give up their magic wands and thought bubbles. They would have to do rigorous analysis and quit appealing to the power of suggestion.



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