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Iridescent Dinosaurs
January 22, 2009 3:51 AM   Subscribe

The popular image of dinosaurs is probably wrong. Is the dinosaur related to the chicken?

Many dinosaurs were probably feathered, perhaps with colored or even iridescent plumage.

Maybe they really just tasted like chicken.
posted by twoleftfeet (77 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
From the second link above:
In the Bible, flying creatures and aquatic life were created during the fifth Creative day. The land animals were not created until the sixth Creative day. Birds thus were created before dinosaurs. So the chicken could not have come from the dinosaur.
With the understanding that I've definitely cut the quote down to its loony essence and thereby removed the part where he says he's no creationist, the author still manages to catapult himself directly from La La Land into Transmoronistan with this. [Beware: Associated Content is written for hire by self-appointed subject matter experts. This is the predictable end result.]
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:05 AM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


....Omigod, you know what else? Disease may actually sometimes be caused by tiny things called germs!

...Seriously, wasn't this already a fairly well-established theory?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:11 AM on January 22, 2009


[Beware: Associated Content is written for hire by self-appointed subject matter experts. This is the predictable end result.]

Pish tosh. That article was written by someone with a vested interest in answering the question:

..how does this help us see that the chicken has no connection with the dinosaur?

And the reasoning provided is perfectly adequate to the task.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:20 AM on January 22, 2009


Popping the "Pseudoscience Balloon" with the "Pin of Reality"

I "have a feeiling" this article may not be "entirely serious".

Pin of Reailty by Pseudoscience Baloon is my new favorite imaginary album.
posted by ghost of a past number at 4:23 AM on January 22, 2009


I thought this was pretty much common knowledge by now?
posted by Meatbomb at 4:24 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing about dinosaurs is that the most popular and fantastic ones were the enormous ones. Enormous animals have a relatively low surface area:volume ratio, and tend not to need much insulation. Rather, hair and feathers can cause them to overheat.

Look at examples of enormous mammals (elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses) and you'll see a characteristic lack of hair. Even mammals on the large side such as horses and giraffes have very short hair. It can be inferred that large dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex and brachiosaurs, stegosaurs, etc. had few or no feathers. It's already common knowledge that smaller dinosaurs like velociraptors had feathers, but there's no need to sound the alarm and make people think that the stegosaurus looked like a peacock, or T. Rex looked like a dancer at Carnival.

Meanwhile, from a paleontologist's point of view, chickens aren't related to dinosaurs, chickens are dinosaurs, as the phylum of birds evolved from dinosaurs, and never stopped being dinosaurs.
posted by explosion at 4:41 AM on January 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Why don't we just clone them from their DNA and find out for sure? What could go wrong?
posted by chillmost at 4:41 AM on January 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Oh, and I might as well add:

Yeah, the popular image of dinosaurs is wrong. America especially is anti-science, and generally speaking, the populace takes a long time to get abreast of scientific discoveries and theories. "Upright T. Rex" with dragging tail hasn't been the preferred depiction of the animal in my entire lifetime from a scientific standpoint, but it still persists to this day in fantasy and art. On the other hand, if I'm ever going to believe in Jesus, it's going to be a belief that he rode a Utahraptor (your "r").
posted by explosion at 4:47 AM on January 22, 2009


dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex and brachiosaurs, stegosaurs, etc. had few or no feathers

Maybe so, given your unspecified surface area:volume ratios, but the T-Rex had cousins and anscestors with feathers.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:47 AM on January 22, 2009


Archaeopteryx. This isn't exactly crazy hot-off-the-press headline news.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:49 AM on January 22, 2009


Maybe so, given your unspecified surface area:volume ratios, but the T-Rex had cousins and anscestors with feathers.

Oh definitely, but the "popular image" of dinosaurs is dominated by these enormous ones. If people remember one thing from the museum, it's the T. Rex skeleton, not the dozens of displays of smaller, feathered dinosaurs. When you say "dinosaur" to the common person on the street, they think of 30-foot-tall dinosaurs, not bird-like animals that come up to the chest or knee.
posted by explosion at 4:51 AM on January 22, 2009


Is the dinosaur related to the chicken?

Can I upend a bucket of fried velociraptor, and have my famous bowl laced with million-year eggs?
posted by kid ichorous at 4:51 AM on January 22, 2009


When you say "dinosaur" to the common person on the street, they think of 30-foot-tall dinosaurs, not bird-like animals that come up to the chest or knee.

I'll grant you that we see few feathered elephants, but at what size does feathering become impossible? Why exactly couldn't we have 30-foot tall feathered dinosaurs? Would 10-foot feathered dinosaurs have been possible?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:56 AM on January 22, 2009


I don't see why not, twoleftfeet. Utahraptor, the largest of the dromaeososaurs, may well have been feathered.
posted by Mister_A at 5:12 AM on January 22, 2009


Everybody please read the article to the end!


WARNING SPOILERS!!!

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Now despite being a chemist, I do not wish to discuss the validity of the scientific methodology. I was not there and I am not qualified. Besides, I do not doubt that testing was properly done. It is merely the evaluation attached to whatever data was derived. There is one really direct and conclusive source that dispels the notion of the Chickosaur or Tyrochicken once roaming this earth. That source is the Bible. Well, now, how is it possible to get the information from the Bible, which never truly refers specifically to dinosaurs at all? Well, I whistled for a cab and when it came near the License Plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought now forget it, yo home to bel-air. I pulled up to a house about seven or eight, and I yelled to the cabby yo, homes smell you later. Looked at my kingdom I was finally there to sit on my throne as the prince of bel-air.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:22 AM on January 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Look at examples of enormous mammals (elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses) and you'll see a characteristic lack of hair.

Elephants, Rhinos and Hippos are African or Southeast Asian/Indian animals from tropical climates.

American Bison, Musk Ox, Yak, Grizzly Bears, Caribou and Moose are pretty large animals with thick, warm pelts. Wooly mammoths, wooly rhinos, giant sloths and cave bears were freakin' enormous animals with thick, warm pelts.

Whales have layers of subcutaneous fat which act as insulation, and there are no animals larger.

So, a downy stegosaurus or a feathered T-Rex is well within the realm of possibility.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:26 AM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur ...
posted by Seabird at 5:27 AM on January 22, 2009


It's already common knowledge that smaller dinosaurs like velociraptors had feathers.

It wasn't common in my brain, and I'm more educated than average on dinosaurs. (Probably not MUCH more, but still.) I knew there was a theory that smaller ones had feathers and I knew there was a fact that SOME had feathers. I didn't know it was a fact that ALL (or MOST) had them.

If people remember one thing from the museum, it's the T. Rex skeleton, not the dozens of displays of smaller, feathered dinosaurs.

What museum can I go to to see dinosaur skeletons? Seriously, I mean it. The popular image of museums always has a huge skeleton in the lobby but I've never actually seen a skeleton in person. The Boston Museum of Science has a pretty tiny dinosaur display (jammed in next to a minerology display) that has: one huge, non-skeletal dinosaur and zero feathered anythings.
posted by DU at 5:29 AM on January 22, 2009


What museum can I go to to see dinosaur skeletons? Seriously, I mean it.

The Smithsonian can help.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:39 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Remarkable dinosaur, the Utahraptor. Lovely plumage.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:41 AM on January 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


The real reason dinosaurs went extinct.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:46 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dashboard Raptor

Well, I don't care about no aminos,
When I got me a feathered Dino
Chasing me in the rear-view mirror of my car.
You can't escape Him, He's got our scent,
Glows in the dark, 'cause He iridescent,
Dr. Grant, don't let Dino eat us all.
posted by steef at 5:48 AM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The field museum in Chicago has Sue in the lobby. Beautiful old girl she is.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:49 AM on January 22, 2009


DU: "What museum can I go to to see dinosaur skeletons? Seriously, I mean it."

As much as I love Boston, the canonical dinosaur skeleton is the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The whole 4th floor is fossils, almost entirely dinosaurs and other megafauna.

(If you're in Boston and want to stay local, the Harvard Museum of Natural History has more skeletons than the MOS, and it's free on Sundays before noon to Massachusetts residents.)
posted by Plutor at 6:00 AM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


"...canonical dinosaur skeleton museum is..." When is the editable feature rolling out?
posted by Plutor at 6:01 AM on January 22, 2009


What on Earth is that second link? Some guy links youtube videos, then says "No. It's just too ridiculous to believe anyone can fall for this stuff." and starts spouting biblical nonsense to support his opinion that dinosaurs can't "look like chickens". Either this garbage was written 10 minutes before his deadline after a late night, or he is a certified loony.

Now, I think its been generally accepted that dinosaurs and birds are related. Their skeletons apparently look very similar (I am no expert), so I suppose they could have looked a lot more like birds than generally depicted.

But I usually imagine that later, smaller dinosaurs (raptors, those bird-like things like Archeopteryx) were the ones with (early) feathers. Is there any idea about the actual evolution of feathers? Is there any evidence of "proto-feathers" or things halfway between scales and feathers?
posted by Harry at 6:01 AM on January 22, 2009


Wait, you mean that despite its aim of complete scientific validity some parts of Jurassic Park might have been inaccurate? Heretic! Not only did dinosaurs never have feathers but they have also striven to eat us at every turn!
posted by Kiablokirk at 6:04 AM on January 22, 2009


Maybe Spielberg will go back and add feathers to the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park Movies. And Walkie Talkies too.
posted by filmgeek at 6:08 AM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's ridiculous. As human artifacts, walkie talkies would never have had feathers.
posted by DU at 6:12 AM on January 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


we've definitely had this discussion before. last spring, maybe?
posted by es_de_bah at 6:20 AM on January 22, 2009


Actually, the raptors in Jurassic Park III do have plumes of feathers (though not any trailing from their forelimbs).
posted by steef at 6:20 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


What museum can I go to to see dinosaur skeletons...The Boston Museum of Science has a pretty tiny dinosaur display


Right now they also have a triceratops skeleton as well.
posted by mikepop at 6:21 AM on January 22, 2009


Elephants, Rhinos and Hippos are African or Southeast Asian/Indian animals from tropical climates.

American Bison, Musk Ox, Yak, Grizzly Bears, Caribou and Moose are pretty large animals with thick, warm pelts. Wooly mammoths, wooly rhinos, giant sloths and cave bears were freakin' enormous animals with thick, warm pelts.


Pangaea was primarily equatorial. So, uh, there's your tropical climate.

For size comparison, the record elephant weighed 26,000 pounds. The largest white rhinoceros weighs about 10,000 pounds. Apatosaurus is estimated to have weighed at least 50,000 pounds, and Tyrannosaurus up to 15,000 pounds.

I couldn't find weight estimates, but the woolly rhinoceros was about 12 feet long, same as modern rhinoceroses. The largest ground sloths, about 12,000 pounds, but they may not have been heavily furred; the smaller ones were the size of large cats. Bison and moose just don't even compare, weighing up to a ton.

So yeah, it doesn't need to be a big debate, but my point was simply that the most popular (largest, most fantastic) didn't have feathers, or had very few. The archeological evidence backs it up, and the fact that they were enormous animals, larger than any land animals humans have ever seen, in tropical climates, also backs it up.
posted by explosion at 6:26 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to think we're just a few genetic experiments away from ending the Buffalo wing shortage.
posted by tommasz at 6:34 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


DU writes "What museum can I go to to see dinosaur skeletons? Seriously, I mean it. The popular image of museums always has a huge skeleton in the lobby but I've never actually seen a skeleton in person. The Boston Museum of Science has a pretty tiny dinosaur display (jammed in next to a minerology display) that has: one huge, non-skeletal dinosaur and zero feathered anythings."

You can see numerous mounted dinosaurs (including a T-Rex) at the Royal Tyrell Museum.
posted by Mitheral at 6:34 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


tml; dr
posted by Afroblanco at 7:05 AM on January 22, 2009


at the Royal Tyrell Museum

More dinosaurian than dinosaur, that's our motto.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


A chicken ain't nothing but a bird, man.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:35 AM on January 22, 2009


Is there any evidence of "proto-feathers" or things halfway between scales and feathers?

Yes.

To quote the bit that matters from it:

"Downy fibres covered its head and tail, and tufts of filaments that resemble primitive feathers sprouted from other parts of the body. Branched structures like modern feathers grew on the backs of the animal's arms."
posted by opsin at 7:35 AM on January 22, 2009


(*cough!*cough!* also previously...)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:01 AM on January 22, 2009


Look at examples of enormous mammals (elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses) and you'll see a characteristic lack of hair. Even mammals on the large side such as horses and giraffes have very short hair. It can be inferred that large dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex and brachiosaurs, stegosaurs, etc. had few or no feathers.

I'm afraid to argue with you here, but I've got to say - I've worked with a lot of large - some would even say enormous - hairy mammals in the past... Most IT deparments are filled with them... beards, long hair, and long BACK hair...

*shudder*

the horror... the horror....
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:04 AM on January 22, 2009


explosion : Meanwhile, from a paleontologist's point of view, chickens aren't related to dinosaurs, chickens are dinosaurs, as the phylum of birds evolved from dinosaurs, and never stopped being dinosaurs.

Which of course inspires me to want to re-edit the entire T-rex scene from Jurassic Park with an ordinary sized chicken. It would make the people in the cars terror much more surreal.

Hell, I could slap a KFC logo on the end and try to convince viewers that the viral ad movement had finally lost it's collective mind.
posted by quin at 8:51 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"its collective mind". That isn't an apostrophe, it's an "I'm not-thinkin' dot".
posted by quin at 8:53 AM on January 22, 2009


He had me up until the bible.
posted by GratefulDean at 9:11 AM on January 22, 2009


Wow, what an amazingly terrible FPP. It's remarkably similar to the linked opinion piece (OPED makes no sense in this context), where it's obvious that some work and thought was put into it, and yet it's still fucking stupid. LOLXTIANS plus a bunch of science we've already seen, padded out with a google image search for dinosaurs?

You've been reading the wrong FPPs if you thought this is what MetaFilter is about.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 AM on January 22, 2009


Wikipedia has a simple portrait of Jesus and his Utahraptor. You know, for reference.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:32 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ!
Dinosaur!
[something something something something something] ROAR!

posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on January 22, 2009


I remember reading about the dinosaurs -> birds theories in Jurassic park, when I was in sixth grade, but I guess "More confirmation of commonly held theory" just doesn't bring the page views.
posted by delmoi at 9:56 AM on January 22, 2009


This is my theory, and what it is, too.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:06 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This leads me to the question...why did the velociraptor cross the road?
posted by scarello at 10:09 AM on January 22, 2009


No matter how much these so-called "scientists" with their fancy "educations" and "credentials" and "actual working knowledge of what the fuck they're talking about" say dinosaurs are proto-birds, I still contend that Tyrannosaurus Rex is obviously a proto-kangaroo.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:33 AM on January 22, 2009


A velociraptor, an emu and the Pope walk into a bar...
posted by explosion at 10:33 AM on January 22, 2009


quin: If you have the ability to do that, then please, please do.
posted by cmoj at 10:35 AM on January 22, 2009


That's so weird. I was eating some of these just last night.
posted by queensissy at 10:37 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


generally speaking, the populace takes a long time to get abreast of scientific discoveries

I haven't got one of those yet.


Maybe because I didn't know scientific discoveries had them.


posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:38 AM on January 22, 2009


To jump on the LOLXTIANS band wagon, one of my favorite blips from TV this past year was from 17 Kids and Counting, the U.S. reality show about a conservative Christian family who live in Arkansas. The family was on a road trip and stopped by the "Creation Museum" in Kentucky where not only do they have exhibits showing animatronic dinosaurs walking around in the Garden of Eden, but the museum tour guide is shown explaining that because sin did not enter into the world until the Fall of Adam, before that point the dinosaurs in Eden were vegetarian.
posted by XMLicious at 10:45 AM on January 22, 2009


I couldn't find weight estimates, but the woolly rhinoceros was about 12 feet long, same as modern rhinoceroses....

Umm. Your original point was that since the largest modern animals were hairless, the largest ancient animals were hairless, both due to some theory about volume-to-surface area. It wasn't a very good theory.

(And T-Rex was in the Cretaceous, which was post-Pangea. Pangea was more of a Jurassic thing.)

...my point was simply that the most popular (largest, most fantastic) didn't have feathers, or had very few

My point was that some enormous dinosaurs may have had feathers, and the archaeology backs that up.

Which point is more relevant to the discussion, I will leave to the forum-follower.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:03 AM on January 22, 2009


generally speaking, the populace takes a long time to get abreast of scientific discoveries

Things are a miss, the door is a jar, the picture's a skew, something's a foot, but fortunately, scientists are a breast of things.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:05 AM on January 22, 2009


quin and cmoj: Jurassic Park with chickens replacing dinosaurs is explored oh-so-artfully in Chicken Park. The chickens are dinosaur-sized, though, which is a good, thing, really: if they were regular sized, we wouldn't have been treated to such amazing special effects.
posted by bunyip at 11:40 AM on January 22, 2009


Oops, didn't watch the clip long enough before posting to see that it's a touch on the NSFW side, what with the giant chicken pleasuring a woman. Yeah...
posted by bunyip at 11:44 AM on January 22, 2009


Is the dinosaur related to the chicken?

Aren't we all related to the chicken, if we only go back far enough in time?
posted by sour cream at 12:05 PM on January 22, 2009


The protein "evidence" for ostrich-like collagen in the T. Rex bones is complete and absolute bunk. It's really ticking off the proteomics community, because their complete lack of rigor (or worse) throws a bad light on all of us.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a young-earth creationist. So there's this big silly battle going on on the interwebs over how to interpret the "fact" that they found these proteins, when the real issue is over the lack of rigor with which they went over their results in the first place.
posted by gurple at 12:16 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"What museum can I go to to see dinosaur skeletons? Seriously, I mean it."

You could try the Australian Museum, Sydney.

Or maybe the National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra might have a skeleton or two.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:33 PM on January 22, 2009


obligatory Dinosaur Comics link.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:39 PM on January 22, 2009


The ancient surviving materials they commonly refer to are fragments of hemoglobin and osteocalcin (a bone protein) extracted from dinosaur bone. There are many problems with their position, but ultimately it reduces to nothing other than they just don't think that organic molecules can last a long while. The "Creation Science" approach is to deny the independent results of geology, chemistry and astronomy because these molecules exist.

gurple: based on this passage from your first link, isn't it just their own ignorance that the strong creationists are latching on to in the "protein" find you mentioned up-thread, not some lack of rigor in the results?

it is the case, according to this article at least, that the specific kinds of bone proteins extracted for the analysis do survive and can in some cases successfully be extracted much longer than the young-earthers are willing to admit. so where's the lack of rigor in it? whether the reported results were valid or invalid, couldn't the creationists use them to support their crazy logic either way, since its the survival of the proteins used in the analysis--not what the analysis specifically suggests about any genetic links between birds and dinosaurs--that are the basis for the young earther claims?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:13 PM on January 22, 2009


What on Earth is that second link? Some guy links youtube videos, then says "No. It's just too ridiculous to believe anyone can fall for this stuff." and starts spouting biblical nonsense to support his opinion that dinosaurs can't "look like chickens". Either this garbage was written 10 minutes before his deadline after a late night, or he is a certified loony.

Step one: Grossly misinterpret findings
Step two: Dumb down misinterpreted findings to a pre-school level
Step three: Broadcast your ignorance by parading your new straw-man friend around the web

Isn't this pretty standard fare for American pop science reporting?

I still contend that Tyrannosaurus Rex is obviously a proto-kangaroo.
Damn you! Now images of hopping T-Rex are going to be with me all day.
posted by Avelwood at 3:04 PM on January 22, 2009


a kangaroo-style t-rex would be no laughing matter, but nor would be a 3m, 500 pound kangaroo. the thing would eviscerate you with the tiniest swipe of its rear paw.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:27 PM on January 22, 2009


a kangaroo-style t-rex would be no laughing matter, but nor would be a 3m, 500 pound kangaroo. the thing would eviscerate you with the tiniest swipe of its rear paw.

Pish! It would be cute the same way Cthulhu is cute.
posted by Avelwood at 3:40 PM on January 22, 2009


A twenty-foot-tall starling, crow, or Canada goose would not be very nice either.

I'm not crazy about birds. I'm convinced that they retain much dinosaur behavior and that we just think birds are cute and harmless because they're so small and delicate and have pretty feathers.
posted by bad grammar at 5:03 PM on January 22, 2009


Jurassic Park with chickens replacing dinosaurs is explored oh-so-artfully in Chicken Park .

Was that giant chicken scopin' on that dude's bone????
As weird as that was, I was imagining the exact scene in Jurassic Park where the T-rex escapes its paddock, except with a regular chicken. Specifically, when the kids are in the car screaming under the broken glass of the sunroof with a chicken scratching around on top of it.
posted by cmoj at 6:51 PM on January 22, 2009


I think that the next question that paleontologists must answer is, were dinosaurs tasty?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:57 PM on January 22, 2009


A twenty-foot-tall starling, crow, or Canada goose would not be very nice either.

A 2-foot tall Canada goose is already not a very nice thing. Feathers, wings, and a core of pure evil.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:16 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


were dinosaurs tasty?

I'm pretty sure T-Rex thought so.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:21 PM on January 22, 2009


I don't know about dinosaur, but apparently Siberian permafrost mammoth isn't all it has been made out to be.
posted by ghost of a past number at 11:48 PM on January 22, 2009


because sin did not enter into the world until the Fall of Adam, before that point the dinosaurs in Eden were vegetarian.

So... Eating meat is a sin? So it's all vegetarians in heaven?

or

Killing living creatures is a sin, but eating meat is ok, so farmers(accessories to meat killing) and slaughterhouse workers don't get in to heaven?

or

There are herbivore dinosaurs in heaven? Everyone in heaven gets a pet Triceratops and angels ride around on Brachiosaurs?
posted by minifigs at 2:29 AM on January 23, 2009


My point was that some enormous dinosaurs may have had feathers, and the archaeology backs that up.


Well, no, it doesn't. The paleontology might, though.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:02 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman: gurple: based on this passage from your first link, isn't it just their own ignorance that the strong creationists are latching on to in the "protein" find you mentioned up-thread, not some lack of rigor in the results?

Sorry I forgot to look back at this thread yesterday, but anyway, the lack of rigor I was mentioning wasn't anything that's mentioned in the articles I linked. What I was getting at is that I've seen some of the data that these guys were reporting on, and it's crap. They've made some really crazy claims based on crap data, and they haven't even made the quality metrics that they used available.

There's this whole biofilm-vs-blood-vessel debate going on that's alluded to in the article; that's a separate but related issue: if the structures that they're seeing are biofilms (which they almost certainly are) rather than actual dino stuff, then the fact that they're seeing hemoglobin, far from showing that dinosaurs are recent or are super-closely related to chickens, shows that they've got contamination in their samples.
posted by gurple at 2:25 PM on January 23, 2009


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