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  • Paleontology

    Paleontology or palaeontology is the scientific study of life existent prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene Epoch roughly 11,700 years before present. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology).
    Dinosaur fossils, human ancestors and stuff, yo.
    Last edited by Piirka; 27-04-2015, 09:49 PM.

  • #2
    'Bizarre' Jurassic dinosaur discovered in remarkable new find

    Chilesaurus diegosuarezi was related to Tyrannosaurus rex, but was vegetarian and has other curious features



    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2...kable-new-find

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    • #3
      Strange and largely immobile organisms made of tubes were the first complex life on Earth. Appearing 579 million years ago, they thrived on the seafloor for some 37 million years, then vanished – becoming a curiosity we know only from faint impressions in the sandstone fossil record.
      What made them die out? New fossil evidence from Namibia suggests that the Ediacarans, as these creatures are known, had their world turned upside by an explosion of life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian period 541 million years ago. Some of these may have evolved to eat their enigmatic predecessors and to bioengineer the environment in ways that left little hope for the passive Ediacarans.
      http://www.newscientist.com/article/...l#.VUCG600cS70

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      • #4
        This mid Jurassic bat winged freak is pretty strange. http://www.theguardian.com/science/l...feather-nature

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Space pope View Post
          This mid Jurassic bat winged freak is pretty strange. http://www.theguardian.com/science/l...feather-nature
          Actual real-life wyvern...
          When I first saw some paleoart of the Yi qi, I thought it was just people shooting the breeze until I saw more of it.

          Original paper here.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by IraGlacialis View Post
            Actual real-life wyvern...
            When I first saw some paleoart of the Yi qi, I thought it was just people shooting the breeze until I saw more of it.

            Original paper here.
            I got a copy of the paper (somehow) and I'm surprised at the pictures they included of the excavation in order to try to alleviate concerns over its authenticity. Didn't want another "Archaeoraptor" on their hands.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Space pope View Post
              I got a copy of the paper (somehow) and I'm surprised at the pictures they included of the excavation in order to try to alleviate concerns over its authenticity. Didn't want another "Archaeoraptor" on their hands.
              Considering how bizarre of a find this is, can't exactly blame them.
              Even without this find, scansoriopterygids are weird in general between the dentition and tail feathers.

              And damn is it aggravating how BANDits and young-Earth creationists still bring up "Archaeoraptor" as an "example" of how the (specifically) there's no connection between birds and non-avian-theropods or (more broadly) how evolutionists are deceitful hucksters all part of some insidious conspiracy to... I really don't know what.
              Last edited by IraGlacialis; 03-05-2015, 06:59 AM.

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              • #8
                Hey now, don't lump YEC and the BAND camp together. I studied under one of the BAND fathers, and though I think their argument in the end fails, they do bring up some valid questions about morphology and chronology that make the BAD camp actually check their own work and do decent science, instead of just repeating a claim long enough to think it true (*cough Horner cough*). Things like the making Dromaeosaurs into bird-wannabes 100 million years after actual birds appeared, the crocodile-identical tooth replacement, the whole digit I,II,III vs II, III, IV...

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                • #9
                  Ah, point.
                  Originally posted by Space pope View Post
                  Things like the making Dromaeosaurs into bird-wannabes 100 million years after actual birds appeared, the crocodile-identical tooth replacement, the whole digit I,II,III vs II, III, IV...
                  In what way? How much does them and the Troodonts sharing the closest common ancestry with Aves give similarities and how much do things diverge? I mean, nobody's expecting Dromaeosaurs to fly (granted, there is some debate as to how far Microraptor could go).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IraGlacialis View Post
                    Ah, point.
                    In what way? How much does them and the Troodonts sharing the closest common ancestry with Aves give similarities and how much do things diverge? I mean, nobody's expecting Dromaeosaurs to fly (granted, there is some debate as to how far Microraptor could go).
                    That's not 100% true, ever since the discovery of the anchor points for primaries on the radius of Velocraptor. In any case, I stay out of the BAD/BAND debate as much as possible for many reasons, including 1) I primarily work on turtles, mosasaurs and fish lately and 2) The fanatical theropod fanboys with the spit foam forming in the corners of their mouths...

                    I may be working on a neat little theropod (as far as late Cretaceous goes) soon, so my insular bubble may get burst. Oh well, field season is starting. Get me to Kansas!

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                    • #11
                      Though Marine reptiles are't always totally safe. Every cow int he pasture last July wanted to know what we were up to.

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                      • #12
                        Which survivor species of the five great extinctions were the most likely human ancestor?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rchrd View Post
                          Which survivor species of the five great extinctions were the most likely human ancestor?
                          This one : supposed ancestor of all vertebrate : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikaia

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                          • #14
                            Heh, considering what I'm working on right now, I'd probably fall under the theropod fanboy club.
                            In any case, that's a hilarious pic, SP.
                            Originally posted by Rchrd View Post
                            Which survivor species of the five great extinctions were the most likely human ancestor?
                            Can you clarify your question?
                            Which extant species (there is none)? Primate? Mammal? Tetrapod? Chordate? Recent common ancestor?

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                            • #15
                              I wish we could use technology to find fossils. So far no joy. Those aren't our thumper trucks in the pasture.

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