Friday, May 7, 2010

Dinosaurs Outgrew Their Baby Feathers

This is so incredible. The odds against finding an adult and a juvenile of the same species for such a comparison are astronomical, but sometimes the palaeontologists get lucky. These Similicaudipteryx, a type of oviraptor, were found in China.

Oh, boy, the dinosaur books on my shelf are looking pretty dated...

Dinosaurs outgrow their baby feathers: Fossils highlight differences between youth and adulthood.


  1. This sort of new discovery always gets my muse wheels turning. Imagine what secrets we are yet to discover buried in some rock.

  2. It gets me all excited because we're watching the evolution of science itself. Always something to revise and relearn and new directions in which to branch out!

    When I was small, and first fascinated with dinosaurs, they were big, clumsy, cold-blooded lizards. T-Rex dragged his tail. Archeopteryx wasn't considered a dinosaur. Brontosaurus was still considered a legitimate specimen instead of a cobbled together mistake.

    Now, when I look out the window at the cardinals and the robins and finches, I smile. My backyard is full of dinosaurs.

  3. My hubby is a geologist and he says we are like the blind men and the elephant. what we think we know and what we actually know is not as close as we think. if that makes sense. LOL!

  4. I think hubby hit it on the head, there, Pauline, lol. The circumstances under which organic matter might be preserved in the geologic record are so few, that we will be forever blind to certain parts of our planet's history.

    Unless I get that time machine built...gotta get back to work on that...

  5. Total sense, Pauline. Our knowledge base is probably the size of the Moon in a whole galaxy of information, and just like the Moon, we're constantly discovering new things with what we thought we understood well. (I would put it in SFR terms, huh? LOL)

    I love how scientific discoveries translate into mind fuel. Can you imagine how the roots of an alien species might affect their physiology, traditions, culture, psychology, or religions? Maybe there's a land species who once flew and diefies flight or bird-like species. Or possibly the total opposite, they consider flight backward and neanderthal and are attempting to eradicate all flying species on their planet.

    I once read a SF novel (a point to anyone who can recall the title!) where the MC's job was terraforming new worlds. They'd "build" them complete with a geological record. Just for fun, his colleagues would sometimes play practical jokes like embedding a T-rex skeleton in bedrock holding a Coke can, amusing themselves at the thought of the mystified scientist who stumbled on that fossil record.


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