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Study: Dinosaurs "Shrank" Regularly To Become Birds 138

An anonymous reader writes A new study suggests that large dinosaurs shrunk to small birds to survive over a period of around 50 million years. Aside from a few large species, most modern birds are predominantly tiny and look nothing at all like their prehistoric meat-eating ancestors. The evolutionary process that governed this transformation has not been well understood, but now researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia have put together a detailed family tree mapping the evolution of therapod dinosaurs to the agile flying birds we see today. Their results indicated that meat-eating dinosaurs underwent several distinct periods of miniaturization over the last 50 million years which took them down from an average weight of 163kg to just 0.8kg before finally becoming modern birds.
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Study: Dinosaurs "Shrank" Regularly To Become Birds

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  • Bad phrasing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twistedcubic ( 577194 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @04:47PM (#47595289)
    This is evolution. The dinosaurs did not "shrink". The smaller dinosaurs within a species had a higher survival rate.
  • Re:No no no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@NoSPaM.nerdflat.com> on Sunday August 03, 2014 @10:35PM (#47596497) Journal


    Pastafarianism is readily historically verifiable as being deliberately conceived of as a fake religion for the express purpose of satirizing other religious beliefs, not so much to mock those specific beliefs, but to actually show how ludicrous it is to use science classes in school to teach scientifically unverifiable stories about the origin of mankind, arguing that the Flying Spaghetti Monster story has exactly as much scientifically credible as any other unverifiable account of the origin of mankind (which is a mostly accurate assessment, the only difference that I can think of being that how the story of the FSM came about, and the entire purpose of its existence, to mock the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools, is very well historically documented, so the comparison isn't valid 100%... but it's close).

    So if you are going to lay claim to any kind of sincere belief in a religion, you should probably try picking one whose origins are lost in obscurity by the passage of time, or at least pick one where there isn't an abundance of documentation to show that the originator only invented it to mock a specific idea, not as something that anyone should necessarily seriously believe in.

  • Re:No no no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Boronx ( 228853 ) <evonreis@mohr-engineerin g . com> on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:16AM (#47597187) Homepage Journal

    Please. That origin story was put there by Satan to test our faith. You don't really believe it was all made up, do you?

  • Re:Smile (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Confusador ( 1783468 ) on Monday August 04, 2014 @06:33AM (#47598217)

    You're not feeding a religious troll, you're feeding a racist troll.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner