Secular Paleontologists Addresses Most Tyrannosaurs

Dubbed as the children’s favorite pet monster, secular paleontologists write about what they know about these creatures…

In Science

“Tyrannosaurs, the group of dinosaurian carnivores that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and its closest relatives, are icons of prehistory.  They are also the most intensively studied extinct dinosaurs, and thanks to large sample sizes and an influx of new discoveries, have become ancient exemplar organisms used to study many themes in vertebrate paleontology.”

“A phylogeny that includes recently described species shows that tyrannosaurs originated by the Middle Jurassic but remained mostly small and ecologically marginal until the latest Cretaceous.  Anatomical, biomechanical, and histological studies of T. rex and other derived tyrannosaurs show that large tyrannosaurs could not run rapidly, were capable of crushing bite forces, had accelerated growth rates and keen senses, and underwent pronounced changes during ontogeny.  The biology and evolutionary history of tyrannosaurs provide a foundation for comparison with other dinosaurs and living organisms.”

Indeed, what do that have to say about one of the biggest shockers in discovering dinosaur fossils for proponents in evolution?

Referring to the T-Rex discovery which went public back in 2005…

“Schweitzer announced she had discovered blood vessels and structures that looked like whole cells inside that T. rex bone—the first observation of its kind. The finding amazed colleagues, who had never imagined that even a trace of still-soft dinosaur tissue could survive.”

Interesting enough, they didn’t do much bragging about this particular discovery other than the usual line of  increasing understanding in their particular framework. But back in 2008, they tried to undermine her research. Thomas Kaye from the Burke Museum of Natural History in Seattle with two colleagues concluded what they observed in the dinosaur bone was nothing more than a bacterial biofilm that grew in the hollow spaces inside the fossils!

New Scientist reported…

“We cracked open a lot of bones and spent hundreds of hours on an electron microscope examining them,” said Kaye. He concluded the soft material was not from dinosaurs, but from bacterial films which grew on cavities inside the bone long after the animal had died.”“More familiar biofilms are thin, sticky layers like dental plaque, but Kaye says the biofilms he found produced branching hollow filaments when they coated the inside of blood vessel cavities in the bone.”

Mary Schweitzer stood by her claims of the discovery and most likely was thrown back a bit by the opposition she was getting.  But this challenge to her study was highly questionable, why was biofilm inside fossilized bone discovered now after centuries of collecting fossils? How could these biofilms conform to original tissues and then persist after they decay away or fossilize and remain unaltered for 68 million years? Even Kaye’s team conclusion would suggest that these bones are not that old. In 2009, it was official, the soft tissue discovered was indeed, blood vessel proteins and structures resembling cells and it wasn’t the only animal!

“A controversial finding that protein fragments can be recovered from dinosaur  fossils has been replicated for the first time.  Two years ago, Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and colleagues stunned the paleontology community when they reported discovering intact protein fragments in a fossil from a Tyrannosaurus rex that died 68 million years ago.

The claim has remained contentious, because proteins in tissue normally degrade quickly after an animal dies. On page 626, however, Schweitzer and colleagues report finding an even larger number of protein fragments from an 80-million-year-old fossil from a duck-billed dinosaur, or hadrosaur, known as Brachylophosaurus canadensis.”

“This will either be nothing or the biggest revolution in paleontology ever,” says Tom Kaye, a paleontologist at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, and a critic of the original T. rex study.”

Does it really increase understanding concerning the story of evolution? Supposedly 68 million years old with soft tissue and finding more with a supposed age of 80 million years old. Soft tissue degrades quickly, it’s not logical to conclude otherwise for any theory. So there is no increase in understanding evolution but a lot of back peddling which is why secular paleontologists danced around this discovery. Christians however, rejoice in findings because these soft tissues found in the fossil of T-Rex and another animal are not reformulating what the Bible says but rather confirms it!

Does Foot Feathers Prove The Controversy Over Bird Evolution?

Fossil hunters are very competitive, a new discovery could mean fame, money, and other sorts of media like movies and tv-shows.  A fossil was discovered in China back in 2005. The discoverer has claim it puts to rest the controversy over bird evolution. Nature recently writes about those claims as science daily does as well…

The transition from dinosaurs to birds is poorly understood because of the lack of well-preserved fossils, and many scientists argue that bird-like dinosaurs appear too late in the fossil record to be the true ancestors of birds.

In the journal Nature this week, Xing Xu and colleagues describe an exceptionally well-preserved fossil of Anchiornis huxleyi from the province of Liaoning, China. Long feathers cover the arms and tail, but also the feet, suggesting that a four-winged stage may have existed in the transition to birds.

“Extensive feathering of the pes [foot] is also seen in some modern birds, and serves an insulating or protective function.  In most cases the feathers are not organized into a coherent planar surface as in Microraptor, Pedopenna and Anchiornis, which indicates that the pedal feathers of these fossil taxa may have differed from those of extant birds in having an aerodynamic function.

This would imply that a four-winged condition played a role in the origin of avian flight, as suggested by previous studies, although this conclusion is not universally accepted.  However, the significant differences noted above between the large pedal feathers of Anchiornis and those of Microraptor suggest that these feathers might have been less aerodynamically effective in Anchiornis than in Microraptor.”

The argument of this fossil actually makes evolution more cloudy than ever on this issue because going from four wings to two wings is devolution rather than progressing evolution. There is no clear picture of evolutionary powered flight. It’s uncertain if this animal could actually fly or even the feathers were nothing more than used for insulation.

It is certain that this represents another species that went extinct among a majority of past species that did likewise.  Birds as we continue to study them, have designed bones with wings and respiratory systems for powered flight.  The specified complexities of birds coming from dinosaurs holds no real water. An odd ball such as Anchiornis  doesn’t necessarily mean bird evolution.