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Giant Dinosaur Bird Discovered 166

Posted by Zonk
from the einstein-looks-scared-of-the-big-birdy dept.
Cyclist110 writes "The BBC has the story of the discovery, in Inner Mongolia, of a Dinosaur bird twice the size of a man and weighing in at over 3000 lbs. From the article: 'Chinese researchers uncovered the fossilised remains of the flightless giant in the Erlian basin in Inner Mongolia. The researchers had originally thought they had found the bones of a tyrannosaur — the group of dinosaurs to which T. rex belongs — due to their large size.'"
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Giant Dinosaur Bird Discovered

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  • Discredited (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomcircuit (938963) on Friday June 15, 2007 @09:37PM (#19527835) Homepage
    So this will be discredited when?
    • Re:Discredited (Score:5, Informative)

      by mark0 (750639) on Friday June 15, 2007 @10:37PM (#19528177)
      Why is the parent modded down? There is a long history of fake fossils [paleodirect.com] coming out of China. The posting is, perhaps, a bit terse, but hardly a troll.
      • by cyfer2000 (548592)

        Did you bother to read the white text in the website you referred before you jump to the yellow text? While at least, all Chinese fossil out side of China are illegal, because exporting fossil is forbidden by Chinese law. We can not come to a conclusion that all of Chinese fossils out side of China are fake, but there is a big chance.

        As fossil discovered in China by scientist, your source said "China has an immense scientific wealth of genuine fossil deposits."

        • by mark0 (750639)

          Did you bother to read the white text in the website you referred before you jump to the yellow text?

          Yes, of course I did.

          While at least, all Chinese fossil out side of China are illegal, because exporting fossil is forbidden by Chinese law. We can not come to a conclusion that all of Chinese fossils out side of China are fake, but there is a big chance.

          We aren't at odds here. There are plenty of legitimate fossils in China. At the same time, there are plenty of fakes that hit the news are are show to be bunk. I believe that shows that you are right, I am right, and the parent posting in this thread simply refers to that history of bunk that overshadows the legitimate.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          We can not come to a conclusion that all of Chinese fossils out side of China are fake, but there is a big chance.

          I have bought fossils from China. They sell everything over there no matter what they say. I had a Chinese trilobite embedded in a slab of sedimentary rock. Then my house burned down. When I went back to salvage it later I made my huge scientific discovery: trilobites were made of plastic!
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by MichaelSmith (789609)

            trilobites were made of plastic!

            Clear evidence of intelligent design.

            • by mcpkaaos (449561)
              Sounds plausible. Most ID believers are themselves made up of mostly plastic, so why not a 6,000 year old bird?
        • My knowledge of Asian politics and geography is a little hazy, and I haven't read TFA, but the summary says that fossils come from Mongolia. So if these are coming out of China, the researchers must have taken them there first...
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        There is no way this can be a fake. Everybody knows of these animals; they even are alive today [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by paleo2002 (1079697)

        China has been a major source of new theropod fossils over the past 15 or so years. I have friends at the AMNH who are working on dinosaur and bird fossils from the Gobi. The AMNH cosponsors digs with Chinese researchers all the time. Sometimes their government is not very enthusiastic about sharing material, but we often work something out.

        Check out http://palaeoblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/gigantorapt or-erlianensis-from-china.html [blogspot.com] for more information. It turns out a Japanese film crew was there whe

  • So it's twice the size of a man and weighs 3000 pounds?
    • The writeup is bad. The article is something like "Dinosaur be twice the size of yo mama, fat Capitalist Caucasian Running Dog". The scientist studied Communism at Mao Tse Tung University in Beijing and then did a post Doc in Ghetto Insults at a community college in Brooklyn.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NotQuiteReal (608241)
      3000 lbs is not much more than twice as much as this 1200 lb guy [go.com]

      But, in general, I agree with your shock and horror of picturing a 1500 pound man...

    • by jfengel (409917)
      Remember the square-cube law. If it's twice as tall, it's got eight times as much volume. Double the height of 200 pound man and you get a 1,600 pound man. That puts us within a factor of two.

      The thing must be somewhat rounder than we are. Remember that a horse the size of a man at the shoulder weighs over a ton. If it were shaped like a horse, at "twice the size" of a man it would weigh 16,000 pounds.

      Clearly it's shaped somewhere between a human and a horse, and much closer to the human side of thin
      • What you're aying is totally correct. Nonetheless, the headline was clumsily worded and confusing.
        • by jfengel (409917)
          Without a doubt. I should have repeated my comment, made in a different post, that I prefer to get my science news from Science News than from the regular media outlets. The BBC is a bit worse than most on that score. Headline (and the rest of the article) were really badly written.
      • by jbengt (874751)
        Would you say that a gallon is twice the size of a pint?
        TFA does indeed say that that the dino is twice the height of man at the shoulder.
        But the sumarry says that it's twice the size.
        Those aren't the same thing.

        And if you look at the picture in the article, it's twice as high, but it carries it's body horizontally and, counting the tail, is 3 or 4 times as long as an average person is tall.
  • Wark! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Arakageeta (671142) on Friday June 15, 2007 @09:41PM (#19527859)
    Waaaaaark!
  • While some have theorised that meat-eating dinosaurs got smaller as they evolved to be more bird-like, this beast weighed about 1,400kg (3,080lbs). That is about 35 times heavier than other similar feathered dinosaurs. Nature journal reports that the beaked animal was 8m (26ft) long and twice as tall as a man at the shoulder; yet it was only a young adult when it died.

    this thing wasn't even done growing either- it was 11 years old when it died and apparently had a lot more growing up to do before it die

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15, 2007 @09:50PM (#19527913)
    I have already spent years mastering the control of these beasts!
    • by Tatisimo (1061320)
      Let's get cloning these things right away! Not just for joust, think of he Chocobo racing!!!
      • I have to admit that one of the first things I thought was "Pass the barbeque sauce!"

        I figure a ton and a half of barbequed dino-chicken should be food enough for a nice party (considering some of the ones we've had where we roasted half a cow). Besides, eating something that would probably want to eat you first is a case of turnabout being fair play in my book.
    • This thing cannot fly; it can only run. It is the Chocobo.
      • In Joust, you were riding an ostrich as player one or an emu as player two and neither of those fly, so I think he's alright.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Friday June 15, 2007 @09:53PM (#19527933)
    If birdlike dinosaurs got that big then giant chickens must be possible. Just imagine the MacNuggets!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      If birdlike dinosaurs got that big then giant chickens must be possible. Just imagine the [size of the] MacNuggets!

      Or the people who eat them
           
    • by ozbird (127571)
      You're assuming that McNuggets are actually chicken.
    • by aliquis (678370)
      Just when you thought american fast food consumers couldn't get any fater this one turns up.

      Well, atleast your McNuggets idea explains why the man weights 1500 lbs.
  • (score -1: really, really f'ing lame)
  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Friday June 15, 2007 @10:04PM (#19527993)
    Phorusrhacids (marketed as Terror Birds!!! by the ever highbrow Scientific American) are cooler giant extinct birds. I like the way in the SciAm pictures they have a thoughtful, confident expression too, like they're thinking "I could bite that dude's head clean off. I don't think he knows that"

    E.g. see the picture here -

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/08 01_050801_terrorbirds.html [nationalgeographic.com]
    • "I could bite that dude's head clean off. I don't think he knows that"

      My parrot, who weighs about 5 pounds soaking wet, has that same expression. It's just a birdism.

    • by bar-agent (698856)
      Yeah, I remember reading about terror birds many years ago. Here's a nice picture [muohio.edu] of one going after those tiny horses from back in the day. Note the wing-claws. It was theorized they use them like daggers.

      And if one species of terror bird had the speed, that beak, dagger-wings, and the kick in a 10-foot tall package...well...that's one mother-f'n scary bird.
  • by emm-tee (23371)
    It would have been more terrifying if I didn't first have to work out what those ridiculous Imperial units meant...!
    • Well, dinosaurs existed before the metric switch, after all.
      • You're absolutely right. But dinosaurs also existed before Imperial units, so according to your logic the story should have read:

        ...a Dinosaur bird twice the size of Ugg when he stands on that big, mossy stone just near the creek, and weighing in at about five times as much as that mammoth leg we hacked off that really big bull mammoth we killed last winter and dragged back to the cave, remember?

        Happy now?

        Then again, you do know that dinosaurs existed way before humans, and therefore any measurement syst

  • [Eating_Chicken] Giant bird resembling a chicken walks up to me and stares menacingly.
    [/Eating_Chicken]"I hope you two were not related"
    [Loud Clucking]
    [run]
  • Xing Xu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BamZyth (940235) on Friday June 15, 2007 @10:17PM (#19528069)
    I am too lazy to find hard references, but Xing Xu, the researcher who found
    this fossil was once involed in the discovery of another "dinosaur bird" which
    was shown as a fraud. To his credit, he was also involved in the team that discovered
    the fraud (isn't it strange?)

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2007/19 50967.htm [abc.net.au]

    FTFA : In 2001 he was embroiled in controversy over the discovery of a fossil believed to be the 'missing link between dinosaurs and birds, which tests revealed to be a clever fraud.
    • by BamZyth (940235)
      Ok, he was victim of an elaborate plot. I do not want in any case to cast any doubt on this great scientific who identified around 20 new species of dinosaurs. And google did nothing wrong when they gave my info to the chinese, and I am going to jail without claiming 200$. goodbye.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      once involed in the discovery of another "dinosaur bird" which
      was shown as a fraud.


      It was the "Made in China" label that gave it away :-)
             
  • Drie duisend pond is 'n blerrie groot voe"l...
  • That, gentlemen, is a great big cock.

    What?

    It's basically a big rooster, right?

    What's that look for?

  • probably needed two Pratt and Whitney JT9D's to get it to fly. I believe this was the first wide-bodied chicken and was put into service by various airlines in China. When it crashed, there was always enough food until rescuers arrived.....
  • By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. But like anyone after much work, He was hungry; so at that moment He said: "Wait, one more thing...Let there be a KFC!" And with those words a giant dinosaur bird appeared, battered in the Colonel's secret recipe and deep fried. He took one bite of it and said: "Mmmm, tastes just like chicken."
    • From the article:

      "It belongs to a very unusual group of theropod dinosaurs, which are normally meat-eaters. But this one doesn't have any teeth, so what it ate is a mystery," commented Dr Paul Barrett, a dinosaur researcher from the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

      Oh my god! The creationists are right. Dinosaurs were vegetarians.
  • Why beaks? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088)
    What is not clear to me is why so many bird-like dino's evolved beaks, even (so far) indepedently of each other in some cases. Other than pecking into trees, which was probably a niche of only a few, I don't see what advantage beaks have over teethed jaws. If a beak cracks off, it is harder to grow back than teeth.

    Another little mystery is why snails survive. Their method of locamotion seems rather expensive and slow compared to legs. Being able to pull into a shell helps, but what about slugs? The insects
    • I don't see what advantage beaks have over teethed jaws.

      Well, it is less complex. Probably less mass. Better overall for a lightweight animal.

      Another little mystery is why snails survive

      Perhaps by being barely alive in the first place. Less energy needed to stay alive.

      Thats enough mysteries solved for today.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fimbulvetr (598306)
      Seed extraction.

      Read more about darwin's finches and how they had selective pressures to get better at seed extraction, both to overcome selective pressures of competition, but also about fruits developing more elaborate protection membranes. Depending on circumstances, beaks can and do vary in size over a matter of decades, depending on which fruits are available (i.e. more/less rain that year, new fruit from nearby island, etc).

      Digging for seeds and pecking a tree might seem to be about the same thing, bu
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Why would a fruit want to defend itself against birds. I thought that birds were one of the primary distribution methods for seeds?
    • by plunge (27239)
      The ancestors of slugs didn't have legs, and you can't just evolve something because it would be cool or even useful: you're stuck with the options you can get given your existing form and whatever might be likely to crop up via mutation. Slugs and snails, however, both do incredibly well in their niche, without legs. They have all sorts of other adaptations instead.
    • "Another little mystery is why snails survive. Their method of locamotion seems rather expensive and slow compared to legs. Being able to pull into a shell helps, but what about slugs? The insects should have wiped their niche out long ago."

      I was out hunting in Oregon's coast range once and came across a fresh coyote poop. Clearly visible (I ain't poking around in poop, especially one this nasty!) was the remains of a slug. Other than being bitten in half it had gone through the entire digestive tract
  • This story has been posted for long enough. Where's the "I bow before our new feathered overlords?" Or how about "I'm allergic to down, you insensitive clod!"

    Man /. really *is* getting less worth my time!
  • It's twice the size of a man but weighs 3000 pounds (about twenty times what a man weighs)...
    and it flew??

    • by rts008 (812749)
      "...and it flew??"

      At least read the summary, I know it's bad form on /. to RTFA, but not even the summary???

      Or is it the fact 'flightless'(from the summary) has too many syllables for you to grasp?

      I would ask if you were new here, but I see your UID says otherwise...you should know better by now if you aren't brain dead.

      If you feel your 5 digit UID elevates you past such concerns, then do the rest of us a favor and just lurk.

    • It's twice the size of a man but weighs 3000 pounds (about twenty times what a man weighs)... and it flew??

      But with a high wing loading (and stall speed). Maybe it was a giant hummingbird.

  • Mourn (Score:2, Funny)

    by weinrich (414267)
    I for one mourn the loss of our Gigantoraptor overlords. May we always be rulled by beings as humble and powerful as the Gigantoraptor.
  • over 3000 lbs. From the article: 'Chinese researchers uncovered the fossilised remains of the flightless giant

    That's a relief.
  • I, for one, welcome our giant bird dinosaur overlo--- oh, wait, just the fossils? Nevermind then.

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