Humans Next Step Hobbits ?
Well can only dream of a 3 breakfast society
Terrifying dino-beasts from the family that spawned Tyrannosaurus rex kept shrinking and shrinking until they evolved into cute little birds, the whole process taking around 50 million years, according to palaeoboffins. Youtube Video Certain members of the theropod family – which counts T rex and Giganotosaurus carolinii …
No *way* something the size of T. Rex could fly just by waving those silly little arms around, no matter how many feathers he had.
Miniaturisation was the only logical course.
And the reason they became extinct? When an egg-laying dinosaur weighing ten tons climbs into her nest to lay her eggs, if she doesn't pick a strong enough tree, the eggs are going to break. They got the chicken and egg problem the wrong way around, poor dears.
>Miniaturisation was the only logical course.
Well, perhaps. Or they just died. Archaeopteryx pretty much had modern feathers (i.e. its a bird) and the link between dinosaurs and birds ("the ancestral paravian (~165 myo)") is, despite its picture and given age, missing. Loathe as I am to quote wikipedia, "The ancestral paravian is a hypothetical animal;" someone made it up.
Try pulling a trick like that in the AGW debate...
"Logically" we'd accept the error in assuming we could correlate the hierarchy of ancestors from observation alone.
Who is the uncle, brother, son or aunt, daughter, mother? We can confirm similarity, but any comment on relationship or family is pure assumption.
Background music is now compulsory for all scientific, cultural and sporting presentations and programs. Preferably in the form of awful cover versions that will ruin your favourite songs for you. If that doesn't work, advertisers will utilise the same tactic (yes John Lewis, I'm thinking of you) and background their ads with lavishly produced, yet strangely appalling, cover versions of songs you once liked. Having said that, watching a Commonwealth Games montage to a background of Motorhead's Ace of Spades was quite surreal :-)
It might be that all those beasties, including the made up ones, were in a direct line relationship. However, it's equally likely that they were all unrelated. Evolution is a blind process, and hence fills the same niches repeatedly. And fossilisation is a rare process. So there's every likelihood that archaeopterix had entirely different ancestors.
Plus there's a very good chance that the earlier beasties had relative that flew and didn't leave a trace in the record. No doubt earlier there were flying ammonites, trilobites etc. If flying fish can do it I don't see why another bunch couldn't.
This time span is sufficient to shrink and grow to these scales several times
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