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     DinoChicken - Maybe Not!

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orion

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New studies are providing some arguments against the idea that birds are direct descendants of theropod dinosaurs.  The verdict is not yet in, and I suspect the debate will rage on for some time.  

Here's the gist of the new findings from some Oregon State University researchers.

It's been known for decades that the femur, or thigh bone in birds is largely fixed and makes birds into "knee runners," unlike virtually all other land animals, the OSU experts say. What was just discovered, however, is that it's this fixed position of bird bones and musculature that keeps their air-sac lung from collapsing when the bird inhales.


Dinosaurs, on the other hand...
However, every other animal that has walked on land, the scientists said, has a moveable thigh bone that is involved in their motion – including humans, elephants, dogs, lizards and – in the ancient past – dinosaurs

The implication, the researchers said, is that birds almost certainly did not descend from theropod dinosaurs, such as tyrannosaurus or allosaurus. The findings add to a growing body of evidence in the past two decades that challenge some of the most widely-held beliefs about animal evolution.


The OSU researchers suggest that birds had a parallel evolutionary path to dinosaurs, and that perhaps birds and dinosaurs had a common ancestor, rather than birds being direct descendants from theropods, which came later.

Here's the article:

New Doubts about Dinosaur-Bird Link


I find this to be very exciting, although I'll admit that I like the idea of a dinosaur-bird link.  And maybe there is.  It just goes to show that there is a lot yet to be learned yet, a lot of puzzle pieces remain to be sorted out.  It makes me wonder about evidence of feathers in some dinosaur fossils?  Could the femur have become more fixed later on?  Time will tell.  

 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 4:11 PM on June 9, 2009 | IP
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Quote from orion at 3:11 PM on June 9, 2009 :
New studies are providing some arguments against the idea that birds are direct descendants of theropod dinosaurs.  The verdict is not yet in, and I suspect the debate will rage on for some time.  


Cool stuff!  Thanks for the link.





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Posts: 143 | Posted: 4:24 PM on June 9, 2009 | IP
    
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