Saturday, July 25, 2015

Colorful Flying Dinosaurs


jeffrey thurston said...

I know I'm being a dick and I understand that your post was meant to be simply pretty pictures and a possibly ironic title but it feeds my canine origins obsession... The dinosaur/bird theory is pretty much accepted but as with dog/wolf speciation it only takes a few loud objections or some well publicised "scientific" papers to set the world abuzzing. Just as the Freedman paper of January 2014 is the first thing that comes up during an internet search of dog origins and the takeaway is that dogs didn't evolve from the GRAY wolves of TODAY so in the dino world it only takes a few papers to challenge the bird/dino origins theory. The Freedman paper never actually says that dogs and wolves are different species- all it says is that dogs and wolves aren't EXACTLY the same genetically today (it doesn't mention that this variation is still well within intra-species variation and is in fact about the same as human variation). So in dino world a few loud objectors question the dinosaur/bird tree. To quote an sciencey blog about the motivations of the objectors : "A less sympathetic interpretation might be that this is another poor attempt to try and shoot holes in what is actually a tremendously well supported phylogenetic model. What I really object to is the fact that Quick & Ruben (2009) seem to have written their paper with a hidden agenda in mind: in all of the press statements, they’ve been touting the idea that their paper helps falsify the dinosaurian ancestry of birds, ..." I don't think the earnest scientists who did the Freedman Jan. 2014 paper dishonest but I do think that the paper is all noise and thunder but no rain. Since the Freedman paper there have been others (Skoglund May 2015) which push dog origins back many thousands of years to about 30.000 years ago to another WOLF...Anyway- thanks for allowing an outlet for my amateur research- I'm gonna end up getting a degree over this.

jeffrey thurston said...

"... “It’s a sexy field,” says Larson, an archaeogeneticist at the University of Durham, UK. He has won a £950,000 (US$1.5-million) grant to study dog domestication starting in October. “You’ve got a lot of big personalities, a lot of money, and people who want to get their Nature paper first.”..." From an article in Nature online magazine. Also: "... Novembre says that he finds the field more fractious than human genetics, and says that his experience has given him pause about future canine work. “It’s really intense in the dog world,” he says..." Maybe I should rethink getting that degree- seems like a lot of swingin' dicks :)