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101872.  Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:19 pm Reply with quote

So that makes polar bears practically cannibals, then? ;)

101921.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:05 am Reply with quote

It just seems strange that they never find evidence of the in between animals, the one's going through the change.

Like the Hippale that has 2 furry front teeth and an indention on it's head. Or, if we are now to believe, the Sear, a white furry seal swimming around with cannibalistic tendencies to it's nearest cousins. Why have zoologists never found the frozen skeletons of a polar beal, a bear like creature with no hair, flippers and a large beach ball within it's vicinity.

The dinosaur skeletons seem to have survived why not the changelings?

101928.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:19 am Reply with quote

Some of the changelings do survive in skeletal form. I seem to recall that skeletons of the pre-dinosaur animals have been found (see Walking With Dinosaurs et al for names and so on). Megalodon of various size have been found, pre-cursors to the Great Whites. Who is to say that the smaller Megalodon's are not the in-betweenies?



101933.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:26 am Reply with quote

These "inbetweenies" don't always survive that well in the fossil record, esp the land-sea and sea-land ones because they lived on the coasts where the chances that their bodies would be destroyed before they became a fossil.

Also, as these animals were "inbetweenies" they probably weren't around for as long as some other species as they rapidly evolved into other animals. Hence there are fewer of them to find.

The simple fact is that we have discovered only a tiny fraction of the species that actually exist in the fossil record. We've found all of the ones that are easy to get at in the fossil record, so we're now looking for the ones that are harder to find.

It's one of the reasons that many are now inclined to use genetic analysis of the genomes of existing animals to how they have evolved rather than search for physical evidence.

Hans Mof
101947.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:04 am Reply with quote

Lots of organisms don't fossilize well and the environmental conditions for forming good fossils are not that common. For long periods of time, most individuals in some species may not have survived long enough after their deaths to become fossils because they were eaten, and the few fossils that were formed may have been destroyed at a high rate by increased erosion in particular regions.

Gaps in the fossil record are sometimes due also to the simple fact that we have looked for them in the wrong places. The climate has dramatically changed many times in the past. When that occurred, members of the same species often died out in one region but flourished in others.This may seem as if the fossil record has been abruptly broken, only to begin again millions of years later.

Scientists have found many transitional fossils. For example, there are fossils of transitional organisms between modern birds and their theropod dinosaur ancestors. On a finer scale, evolutionary change within some types of animals is known in exceptional detail. For example, about 200 million years ago, oysters underwent a change from small curved shells to larger, flatter ones, with progressively flatter fossils being seen in the fossil record over a period of 12 million years

Fossils have been found linking all the major groups. In recent years some of the major remaining gaps in our understanding of vertebrate evolution have been closed. The recent discoveries of Ambulocetus and Rodhocetus have filled in the gaps between the mesonychids, the hypothetical ancestral link between the whales and the hoofed mammals.

102028.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:52 am Reply with quote

Crunchy wrote:
I was watching TV last Saturday and came across the new Lotto game 1-100. One of the questions was: What is the hippopotamuses closest relative. A: Pig B: Rhinoceros or C: Whale.

I took an educated logical guess and thought it was Rhino. It could I suppose have been the pig, but I thought the hippo looks like a rhino it's just missing a few horns. Logical really.

Who would have guessed it was the whale!

Interesting point. Like you I guessed rhino, while Dr Mrs Bob guessed pig. We were both surprised.

However, looking at wikipedia, what do I find? The entry for the order Cetacea says:

Cetaceans evolved from land mammals (most likely from certain hoofed carnivores which also gave rise to the artiodactyls the even-hoofed mammals, including pigs and the hippopotamus)

Sure enough, check out the entry for the order Artiodactyla and you'll see that it consists of "even-toed ungulates" and includes the Family Hippopotamidae (hippos) and the Family Suidae (pigs).

So if pigs are members of the same order as hippos, and whales' evolution diverged before before the rise of the artiodactyls, how on earth can it be said that whales are closer relatives to hippos than pigs?

I think we should storm the BBC and demand Dermot O'Leary's head on a spike!

(well, we should maybe just do that anyway)

102051.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:33 am Reply with quote

One QI fact about the Hippo is that the great Oracal FRY, or the one know as Steven wrote a book call The Hippopotamus. Not much about our 4 legged friends though, but very good it was anyway. Maybe he should contribute to the discussion.

The fact is that someone messed up in the laboratory, Hippo's are closer to Pigs than Whales. The BBC should give that guy his money back.

Maybe we should start a campaign to reunite the Pig and the Hippo and give the whale it's dignity back.

Hans Mof
102053.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:34 am Reply with quote




102057.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:46 am Reply with quote

Megalodon of various size have been found, pre-cursors to the Great Whites.

As far as i know, no one has ever found a complete Megaladon skeleton. Indeed, the only parts ever found are the teeth, from which the conformation of the rest of animal is derived, ie this tooth is 4 times bigger than a Great White's, therefore it looked like a Great White but 4 times bigger.

There is some conjecture as to whether Megaladon may still exist in deep waters, trapped below thermoclines of colder water which prevent it from coming nearer the surface. There was one famous report by several Australian fishermen, related by Zane Grey:

In the year 1918 I recorded the sensation that had been caused among the "outside" crayfish men at Port Stephens, when, for several days, they refused to go to sea to their regular fishing grounds in the vicinity of Broughton Island. The men had been at work on the fishing grounds which lie in deep water when an immense shark of almost unbelievable proportions put in an appearance, lifting pot after pot containing many crayfishes, and taking, as the men said, "pots, mooring lines and all". These crayfish pots, it should be mentioned, were about 3 feet 6 inches [1.06 m] in diameter and frequently contained from two to three dozen good-sized crayfish each weighing several pounds.

The men were all unanimous that this shark was something the like of which they had never dreamed of. In company with the local Fisheries Inspector I questioned many of the men very closely and they all agreed as to the gigantic stature of the beast. But the lengths they gave were, on the whole, absurd. I mention them, however, as an indication of the state of mind which this unusual giant had thrown them into. And bear in mind that these were men who were used to the sea and all sorts of weather, and all sorts of sharks as well. One of the crew said the shark was "three hundred feet [90 m] long at least"! Others said it was as long as the wharf on which we stood about 115 feet [35 m]! They affirmed that the water "boiled" over a large space when the fish swam past. They were all familiar with whales, which they had often seen passing at sea, but this was a vast shark. They had seen its terrible head which was "at least as long as the roof on the wharf shed at Nelson Bay." Impossible, of course!

But these were prosaic and rather stolid men, not given to 'fish stories' nor even to talking about their catches. Further, they knew that the person they were talking to (myself) had heard all the fish stories years before! One of the things that impressed me was that they all agreed as to the ghostly whitish colour of the vast fish. The local Fisheries Inspector of the time, Mr Paton, agreed with me that it must have been something really gigantic to put these experienced men into such a state of fear and panic.

However, one should note that megalodons were probably coastal sharks, and that deep-sea survival is extremely unlikely.

102058.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:48 am Reply with quote

Sorry! I am not worthy. May the great man strike me down and hit me over the head with a kipper


102072.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:35 am Reply with quote

ie this tooth is 4 times bigger than a Great White's, therefore it looked like a Great White but 4 times bigger.

It is unfortunate that as a mostly cartiliginous body structure there are few bones to be found, but the vertebrae and teeth found do lend themsleves to stupendous sizes, in comparison to the modern GWS.

You may want a quick shuftie at this wiki:



102089.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:35 am Reply with quote

Sir, you insult my intelligence!

I thought our previous round of fisticuffs would've taught you some damned manners, but I see I'm going to have to give you another drubbing.

Have at you, poltroon!

102097.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:38 am Reply with quote




(is having a Led Zep moment.....'Dazed And Confused')

102102.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:41 am Reply with quote

Please...your advice consisted of 'look on Wikipedia'. What a breakthrough eh?!

102108.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:56 am Reply with quote

I thought the fisherman's tale was QI, that's all.

*sulks with his Lemsip and Quilt in the corner*




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