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Did This Dino Have Bird Breath?

Birds are the only vertebrates with a unique one-way, flow-through breathing system that includes hollow bones.  Their unique respiratory system is part of the set of features that allows flying with its need for rapid metabolism.  Science news outlets are clucking wildly about another putative missing link between dinosaurs and birds: “Meat-eating dinosaur from Argentina […]

End of the Neanderthal Myth?

A grim Neanderthal face stares out from the cover of the October 2008 National Geographic Magazine.  Coinciding with the cover story is a TV special, Neanderthal Code, about the Neanderthal genome.  Both are replete with artwork from the magazine’s army of illustrators charged with putting flesh on bones and bringing lost prehistories to life.  The […]

Fully Gecko 40 Million Years Earlier?

Amber, or fossilized tree sap, usually contains remnants of insect parts.  One piece, mined in the jungles of Myanmar, contained the foot of a gecko – alleged to be 100 million years old.  That’s 40 million years older than the previously claimed oldest gecko fossil.  This critter may have skittered under the feet of dinosaurs.  […]

Human Skeletons Found in Sahara

They went looking for dinosaur bones, and found human skeletons instead.  That’s what is being reported by National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times.  A barren wasteland in the Sahara, covered with sand, has turned out to be a treasure trove of evidence of human occupation.  The area appears to have been a lakeside paradise […]

How Much Is Known About Climate History?

Scientific papers on earth history can seem very erudite and confident, filled with jargon and named periods that appear carved in stone.  Every once in awhile, though, a surprise discovery raises questions about how sound their timelines and models really are.  Get a load of this opening to a review by Jacqueline Flückiger,1 an environmental […]

Dinosaur Soft Tissue: Fooled by Slime?

The claim made in 2005 that soft tissues in dinosaur bone had been discovered (see 03/24/2005) has been challenged by new research published in PLoS One.1  Maybe the pliable stuff is just slime.     Thomas Kaye from the Burke Museum of Natural History in Seattle with two colleagues were actually hoping to find more […]

Another Evolutionary Statistic Is Wrong

Marine invertebrate diversity has not increased dramatically over time, contrary to conventional wisdom.  That’s the conclusion of a team of 35 researchers who spent a decade analyzing seashell fossils from around the world.     Science Daily reported the story July 7.  A week later, on July 14, Science Daily reported a follow-up story, entitled, […]

Feather Fossil Fallacy?

Imprints of melanocytes have been found in fossil feathers.  What does this mean?  The popular science news reports, like Science Daily, Live Science, PhysOrg and the BBC News seem convinced it can tell us something about how birds evolved from dinosaurs.  Understanding what was discovered requires sifting through claims that go far beyond the evidence. […]

Not Another Tetrapod Missing Link

Fossils don’t contain light bulbs, but almost every time a new one is found, scientists claim it sheds light on evolution.  The BBC News kept that tradition going with this line, “Scientists say a fossil of a four-legged fish sheds new light on the process of evolution.”  What, exactly, was found?  Whatever Ventastega curonica was, […]

Big Dino Site Found in Utah

A big dinosaur fossil quarry has been found in Utah near Hanksville, reported the Associated Press (see copy on PhysOrg).  The Bureau of Land Management says it may be comparable to the Dinosaur National Monument site and other well-known quarries in the region.  Apparently feeling a need to appeal to the MTV generation, a National […]

Evolution Out of Sync

Evolutionary theory explains everything but the kitchen sink, but what if things get out of sync?  According to Darwin’s tree of life, things happen in a particular order.  The same complex trait should not emerge on separate branches independently.  Findings contrary to the tree pattern could sink the theory – or at least give some […]

Fossil Frog-amander Claimed to Be Missing Link

It looks like a frog with four equal legs and a tail; is it the ancestor of frogs and amphibians?  It depends on whether you read the original paper or the popular press.     Live Science writer Jeanna Brynner is absolutely certain this puts a feather in Darwin’s cap: “the creature represents a transitional […]

Dinosaurs Walked in Yemen

Dinosaur tracks have been found in Yemen – a region with few fossils of dinosaurs.  The reports on National Geographic News, Science Daily and the BBC News said the tracks had been covered up with rubble and debris.     Dinosaur evidence is “exceptionally rare” in this part of the world.  The paleontologists believe that […]

Update:  Cambrian Explosion Damage Control

Here’s an update to the “State of the Cambrian Explosion.”  Two years ago, our 04/23/2006 entry analyzed a lengthy paper in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences by Dr. Charles R. Marshall, a Harvard professor of biology and geology.  Dr. Marshall had taken on the arduous task of explaining, in evolutionary terms, the sudden […]

Veggie Tales of Human Evolution

Evolutionists may not know who our human ancestors were, but they know they were vegans.  That seems to be the essence of a couple of new twists on the human evolution saga. Pear-shaped tones:  Paranthropus has been called the “Nutcracker Man” because of robust teeth assumed strong enough to munch on nuts and seeds.  Enter […]
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