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back to article Fred Flintstone may not have been real but his pet Dino WAS - boffins

Scientists believe they have found the world's oldest dinosaur after fully analysing a fossil unearthed 80 years ago. The ten-foot-long dorky-looking Nyasasaurus parringtoni scuttled over the Earth 10 to 15 million years earlier than the previously oldest known dinosaurs, palaeontologists claimed in an article published in the …

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No wonder they died out

If they behaved like real Labradors they would have eaten everything

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Anonymous Coward

How dare you

How dare you say Fred Flintstone is not real!

They made a film about him, therefore it must be true.

Larry Redneck

State History Institute

Alabama

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Bad dinoboffins!

It's not purple, has no collar. It's nothing like Dino.

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Re: Bad dinoboffins!

@code monkey - who's to say it wasn't purple?

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Re: Bad dinoboffins!

The artist that did the impression is making a huge claim for non-purpleness.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Bad dinoboffins!

He omitted the purple and the collar to avoid licensing fees from Warner Studios...

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Re: Bad dinoboffins!

Good point. That also explains the lack of cars-with-no-floors-in-so-Fred-or-Barney-can-scoot-them-along-with-their-feet in the picture.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad dinoboffins!

Not true. I once had a Mini with no or little floor, and it had no licence terms from any film studio. Whether or not it had an MOT is debatable......

I really had to avoid those big puddles........

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FAIL

Re: Bad dinoboffins!

> I once had a Mini with no or little floor,

I had a Marina with the same feature. Note to self: Do not drive through puddles on the way to an interview.

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Re: Bad dinoboffins!

What? - you seem to be suggesting that some Minis had floors?

I thought that was just part of the cardboard packaging that they came in which the dealers didn't remove and dissolved in the first light shower.

As for Marinas - didn't the whole car just get made out of old rusty buckets?

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The world's oldest dinosaur?

The leaf-munching dinosaurs in the picture's background look even older

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Anonymous Coward

Non-dinosaurs in the background

I think those are suppose to be therapsids, a lineage more closely related to mammals than to dinosaurs. If it weren't for the Permian and Triassic extinctions, mammals may have become dominant over the dinosaurs, and primate-like creatures would be roaming the galaxy in starships a hundred million years ago.

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Re: Non-dinosaurs in the background

'I think those are suppose to be therapsids,'

I think they're actually rhynchosaurs which are more closely related to crocodiles, snakes and turtles than to dinosaurs.

One of the way of retaining a tiny amount of respect with the kids at the museum is being able to distinguish dinosaurs from all the other reptiles and mammal-like reptiles of the Triassic. Dinosaur legs were tucked under the body rather than being splayed out to the side.

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Boffin

A bit of a stretch..

one upper arm bone and six vertebrae

...and from this they worked out the total morphology? Good effort. Bit skeptical myself.

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Re: A bit of a stretch..

My thoughts exactly!

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Boffin

Re: A bit of a stretch..

Size is pretty easy, really. There isn't that much variation in the number of vertebrae in particular body regions amongst *all* terrestrial vertebrates, especially within a phylum, so the basic shape and size of any vertebrae that you find gives a pretty good indication of the overal size of the main body of the fossil critter. Neck and tail tend to be in proportion to the main body, so you can make a good guesstimate there as well.

The upper arm bone tells you about articulation of the upper limb, so you can generally determine whether the fossil critter was four- or two-legged. Pelvis is better, but upper arm bone works, as the physics of locomotion are pretty fixed and unforgiving.

So size and locomotion can be inferred from just a couple of bones, within reason. The artists' impression is...just that..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A bit of a stretch..

And for godknows how many years the British displayed the wrong skull on a skeleton so not to upset the "Elite" who found the first incomplete one as he was such a noted person.

so "impression" is just someones imagination.

http://voices.yahoo.com/everything-know-brontosaurus-wrong-4766008.html

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Bronze badge

Re: A bit of a stretch..

"There isn't that much variation in the number of vertebrae in particular body regions amongst *all* terrestrial vertebrates"

Well, not quite. The vertebrate neck is highly variable. Standard mammal skeletal structure gives seven bones in the neck, whether for dogs, humans, or even giraffes. Swans, by contrast, have over twenty bones in their necks.

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Trollface

Re: A bit of a stretch..

Or it could have been a genetic abnormality which killed it early, as gigantism in humans can do. Or from two or more animals. Perhaps it was a skink-like thing, but with 12 legs. It could have looked more like a kangaroo or it could have been a water's edge dweller with tiny legs which didn't need to support its weight.

Perhaps I'm cynical, but the whole "artist's impression" thing appears to be designed to give more credence to discovery than is actually warranted. There should be a law which states that for all discoveries, there must also be an outline diagram showing the whole animal (as imagined) and a coloured bit showing what was actually found. That diagram should be shown next to any artist's impression.

Why is it that all "early human" discoveries are drawn/modeled to look a lot like an ape and all "ancient (non-human) primates" look like people? All the "unknown features" (hair, facial expressions etc) are the done to look like the opposite of the evidence we have for those features.

Back to the discovery:

Sarah Werning says: “It’s a very good example of a transitional fossil; the bone tissue shows that Nyasasaurus grew about as fast as other primitive dinosaurs, but not as fast as later ones.” (http://www.washington.edu/news/2012/12/04/scientists-find-oldest-dinosaur-or-closest-relative-yet/)

So a good transitional fossil is just like one thing and not like another? This isn't science, its hype.

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The Flintstones weren't real?

Another childhood illusion shattered.

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Er, what?

Fred Flintstone may not have been real

Excuuuse me ?!?

And that artist must have been colour blind :)

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Thumb Up

Re: Er, what?

No problem Fred...we all know you're real.

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what a stupid article title

What on earth has Fred Flinstone got to do with anything? That headline suggests that (somehow) evidence for dinosaurs and humans not only living together, but of humans domesticating them! Jeez. I'd expect that sort of tripe from some nutjob religious sect--not the Register.

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Re: what a stupid article title

Dear FB - it appears your humo(u)r chip is malfunctioning and may require a reset. Have you tried turning yourself off and then back on again?

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Thumb Down

Re: what a stupid article title

So a cheap attempt to shoehorn a humorous cultural reference trumps scientific and historical accuracy? Monty Python's Galaxy Song shows that it's possible to be (truly) funny and (mostly) accurate at the same time. This? This wasn't even funny enough to gloss over the inaccuracy, especially considering that there are nutjobs out there who literally believe that we did live alongside dinosaurs at one point. That definitely moves it into "unfunny" territory for me. It's supposed to be a bloody science article, for god's sake, and that headline just turns it into a puff piece.

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Pint

Re: what a stupid article title

Have one or two. Relax.

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Alien

Ahhh...we didn't?

"...especially considering that there are nutjobs out there who literally believe that we did live alongside dinosaurs at one point."

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Vic
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Re: what a stupid article title

> a cheap attempt to shoehorn a humorous cultural reference trumps scientific and historical accuracy?

Every time.

Vic.

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Go

Yes, but have they found...

Fred Flinstone's old rock quarry dinosaur? They should be looking for a big brontosaurus-sized thing with a little cab harnessed to its back.

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Forget Fred

Give me Alley Oop any day. And the cave women in AO were far cooler.

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IT Angle

Re: Forget Fred

I don't know. Betty Rubble was kind of hot!

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Re: Forget Fred

> "I don't know. Betty Rubble was kind of hot!"

Well, I would go with Betty... But I'd be thinking of Wilma!

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Headmaster

SI units!

What's all this nonsense about "ten-foot-long" and "3ft high"? Hmm? How about 3 metres long and one metre high. Go sit on the naughty step and think very carefully about what you've done.

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Re: SI units!

They should actually be in El Reg units, but I think we need a perma link for them (can't find them at the moment)..

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Happy

My 3 metre-long labrador

just won best in show at the local dog show. Helluva time stuffing her in the car, however....

Henri

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Coat

Age < 6KY?

What dinosaur would Jesus have kept as a pet?

Let the flames roar!

Mine's the one with the Kevlar lining.

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