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Giant Creatures; huge prehistoric beasts.

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Sadurian Mike
461333.  Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:56 am Reply with quote

Sure. Where does one begin and one start? Bird-hipped dinosaurs always had bird-like characteristics, the question is, when did one species develop enough of these to classify as a bird?

 
Sebastian flyte
461395.  Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:20 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Sure. Where does one begin and one start? Bird-hipped dinosaurs always had bird-like characteristics, the question is, when did one species develop enough of these to classify as a bird?


That's exactly what I was asking...
Quote:
Would the oldest type of bird and the most recent dinosaur with flight, be very different?

What classifies it as a bird though you have one dinosaur definately dinosaur, then one bird definately bird what characterisitics would a mising link need to be in both classifications? It seems like it is more a fault in classification than that we are missing any links, but I'm no expert in this obviously it is just a thought, but classification is just saying this is this or that, but with the last and first which I assume there must be are they just not so similar to be seen as the same and to have been classified wrongly?

Or are the only examples they have vastly different and so they say that they are missing some examples?

 
Lukecash
461889.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:03 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure....but is the concept of the "missing Link" really scientific? Do one type of species"evolve" into another species? Or is it that one species exist and the slowly changed...leaving the modern day version.

For example: Did we actually evolve from apes or were we always a separate species that adapted differently from our cousins? Or were we actually "monkeys" that branched off differently?

I'm not a science guy, so I'm not sure.

 
Starfish13
461918.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:03 am Reply with quote

Lukecash wrote:
I'm not sure....but is the concept of the "missing Link" really scientific? Do one type of species"evolve" into another species? Or is it that one species exist and the slowly changed...leaving the modern day version.

For example: Did we actually evolve from apes or were we always a separate species that adapted differently from our cousins? Or were we actually "monkeys" that branched off differently?

I'm not a science guy, so I'm not sure.


We aren't monkeys, we are apes, but we didn't evolve from something like the extant species of ape (orangs/gorillas/chimps/bonobos). In the time we have taken to become Homo sapiens, they have become their own species. But back in the dim and distant past, we shared a 'common ancestor', which is a better term than 'missing link'. Our common ancestor with chimps and bonobos was much more recent than the one that we share with gorillas. It is possible to trace all animals back to the one common ancestor that we all shared when life began, but its kind-of like reading a map with half the pages ripped out, then the rest are all spoilt and stuck together.

Certain conditions would have led to populations of the common ancestor being isolated from each other, such as tribal fighting, food availability, predation, natural disasters and so on. At some point the population that became us left the forests to live on grassland/savannah, which led to them adopting an upright stance, and probably moved to the coast, hence our naked skin and sub-cutaneous fat. The populations remaining in the forests any have become more arboreal, developed tails, long toes, anything that better adapted them to their environment.

At another point we became reproductively isolated from the other population of common ancestors. We stopped shagging them, perhaps because we didn't like the look of them, or them of us, perhaps they hid from us because we looked daft, maybe even a taboo. That was the point where we became a different species from the common ancestor.

 
AndyMcH
461989.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:10 am Reply with quote

The point is "birds" and "dinosaurs" are quite modern definitions. We are looking back with hindsight looking to be able to fit the evoutionary stages into one of 2 very large boxes.

As Richard Dawkins explains, evolution is a comtinuum. There is no obvious jump from one species to another. He says that if you hold your mothers hand, and she holds her mothers hand, and she holds hers etc etc (assuming they can all be alive!) then by the time you get 200 miles away, the person / animal at the end of the chain will be the common ancestors of both apes and chimps.

Im paraphrasing here - I cant remember the distance involved ut its shorter than you might think

However although there will be a huge difference between both ends of the chain, each link will look pretty much identical to the one before it.

Evolution is extremely gradual and its hard to say that one particular generation is where the split happened.

 
Sadurian Mike
462311.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:06 pm Reply with quote

TubewayAndy wrote:
He says that if you hold your mothers hand, and she holds her mothers hand, and she holds hers etc etc (assuming they can all be alive!) then by the time you get 200 miles away, the person / animal at the end of the chain will be the common ancestors of both apes and chimps.

What if your grandparents have been cremated, how will anyone hold hands then?


You're quite right, of course. One place that many people (and a lot of Creationists) fall down is in trying to find a creature that is half-ape and half-man in order to point to the species that is the "missing link". There isn't one. We are the product of a slow and steady stream of individuals who were all marginally different from their parents.

 
Sadurian Mike
462325.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:17 pm Reply with quote

Giant Badgers
And not ones released by the British Army to terrorise Basra.



Living in modern China about 130 million years ago, Repenomamus giganticus was a large badger-like mammal that competed with dinosaurs on something like equal terms. It was over a metre long and a predatory carnivore, with sharp teeth but without molars, which suggest that it literally tore its prey limb from limb before swallowing huge chunks.

This creature was an important find because the time period is one where mammals are traditionally thought of as being small and secondary to dinosaurs, whereas Repenomamus giganticus suggests that at least some mammals were successfully completing.

 
AndyMcH
462351.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:44 pm Reply with quote

Dawkins then takes the analogy further where the common ancestor puts out her other hand and holds the hand of her other child (who looks exactly the same as her sister), so that both children are facing each other.

Then the hand holding of children continues back up the line till we find ourselves face to face with our chimpanzee cousin.

Its quite a thought, and one that underlines that we aren't just closely related to other apes, but we actually ARE apes....

Of course the hand holding could continue back much further into the past and we could come face to face with any living organism on the planet that is also related to us.

 
Davini994
462368.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:06 pm Reply with quote

What is the interbreeding rule for again?

 
Sadurian Mike
462371.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:09 pm Reply with quote

So that the children don't lose out on presents. If your mother, grandmother and aunt are all the same person it means only a third of the potential gifts at birthdays and Christmases.


Or.... so that the gene pool gets a good sluicing round and successive generations supposedly come out stronger. Otherwise we would be like banananananas; one virus could wipe us out.

 
Ion Zone
462391.  Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:39 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
.but is the concept of the "missing Link" really scientific?


It is a bit: "Whoops, we don't know."

 
Celebaelin
462616.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:52 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
...banananananas

Sadurian Mike knew how to spell 'bananas', he just didn't know how to stop.

 
Arcane
462836.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:11 am Reply with quote

Oh please Cele... stop monkeying around and don't ape the poor man any further.

.....Coat?

 
Bondee
463897.  Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:00 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Giant Badgers


But Michael, if you're here, who's grooming the giant badgers for the ...giant badger parade?!?

 
Sadurian Mike
463901.  Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:08 pm Reply with quote

I left giant Gareth Southgate badger in charge of that. Doooooh.

 

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