silent bombshell

Posted June 12th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

For quite some time now the learned folks in the dusty halls of paleotology have been telling us birds are direct descendents of dinosaurs. I have little or no opinion either way but it’s somewhat interesting listening to the debates.

Not so fast, says an article in the London UK Mail. It cites a study published in the Journal of Morphology done by some folks at Oregon State (my cousin’s alma mater).

Birds did not descend from dinosaurs, scientists claim after studying how our feathered friends move and breathe.

It has been known for decades that the femur, or thigh bone in birds is largely fixed making birds ‘knee runners.’

But researchers from Oregon State University found the bone also stops their lung from collapsing, allowing the breathing capacity for flight.

Every other animal that has walked on land, including humans, elephants, lizards and theropod dinosaurs – a family that includes the T Rex, had a moveable thigh bone.

The find may force paleontologists to reconsider their long-held belief that modern birds are direct descendants of ancient, meat-eating dinosaurs.

‘It’s amazing we didn’t understand a basic aspect of bird biology,’ said US researcher Professor John Ruben.

‘A velociraptor did not just spout feathers at some point and fly off into the sunset. 

What’s more ‘amazing,’ in my opinion, is how science can behave like a herd of sheep. It seems once a theory gains a foothold it’s pretty tough to dislodge from its lofty perch.

‘It just seems pretty clear now that birds were evolving all along on their own and did not descend directly from the theropod dinosaurs,’ he concluded.

The bigger question is, why haven’t I heard about this in the mainstream press? It’s as if a bomb went off and no one heard it.

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