Thursday, April 8, 2010

What do we really know?

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has once again shown what is so exciting, and frustrating about science. The report throws a wrench it to the thought that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The thought was that birds descended from ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs. The team looked at an 2003 specimen, a microraptor, the team used models and discovered the raptor more adapt to gliding rather than flying.

Prof John Ruben feels that some of the species we think of as dinosaurs were actually birds that had lost their flight. Ruben feels the evidence points to this fact. Ruben feels that their may have been a common ancestor, but then evolved on their own path. This part gets me Ruben says that the velociraptor is actually a bird that lost its ability to fly, this is why they resemble a bird more than a dinosaur. The over all feeling is that the ground-dwelling theropods were not the best design for a ground up flight, however they were able to glide down from trees.

What does this tell us it tells us that sometimes even scientists see what they want to see. The evidence is there, but for what ever reason the dots are connected just a little off. Its not a bad thing scientists are only going with what they have in front of them, and with out a complete fossil record these things are bound to happen every twenty years or so. I feel this keeps scientists working, and to never give up because a new species may come around and blow every ones mind all over again.

Ray Cliche Jr (10)


  1. I definitely think scientists can see what they want to see sometimes. That's why I think it is good to have multiple people working on a discovery or if one is found, then have others examine it to see if they come up with similar results. I'm not familiar with dinosaurs and birds or animals and evolution in general so I'm curious at how they find out which animals came from what. For example, how do they know that the dinosaurs were actually birds that lost their flight and not the other way around...That birds were actually dinosaurs that gained flight.

    Posted by Kayla Perry

  2. I agree with Kayla, sometimes scientists could be to hopeful when looking for evidence to prove their theory. I feel with time more evidence could be recovered as technology advances. Why knows the true answers of the bird dinosaur relationship. Only time can tell and with multiple people working on possible theories the stronger they will get.
    -Valerie Silva-

  3. The scientists doing the research concluded that the idea of dinosaurs learning to fly was not a viable option. The ground-up theory was tested using models, and results showed the thoery to be faulty. They concluded the most likely result was that birds lost thier fight instead of dinosaurs gaining flight. I feel a big problem is the gaps in the fossil record. I also feel scientist need to go with what they have in front of them, however they should not be against changing the accepted thoery when new evidence presents itself.