Thursday 5 April 2012

old theories re hashed...did dinosaurs live in water? new discoveries may have found that difficult.

Dinosaurs lived underwater, British scientist claims
LONDON –  Dinosaurs were too big to have roamed the earth and must have lived in water, a British scientist controversially claimed Tuesday. Professor Brian J. Ford, an independent research biologist, told scientific magazine Laboratory News that the prehistoric creatures could not have supported their own huge frame and cumbersome tails on two legs alone. Ford believes that the prehistoric creatures evolved in shallow water and lived in an aquatic environment to support their weight."Every time you see these images, they are always the same," Ford wrote at Laboratory News. "These huge dinosaurs crunching across arid deserts holding these huge tails erect as they are looking around for prey. It makes no sense." "Just imagine that the landscape was water -- it suddenly makes sense," he added. "This huge tail is buoyant, floating in the water. It becomes a swimming aid. Suddenly his environment is sympathetic to him." Ford said the fact that archaeologists rarely find tail marks along with dinosaur footprints supports his theory, because the creatures' muscular tails were aiding their movement through water, rather than being dragged along the ground.
I thought this theory went out in the 50’s? He has some opposition:

Paleontologists Sink Aquatic Dinosaur Nonsense
Posted By: Brian Switek
Earlier this week, the rotting corpse of a discarded dinosaur idea rose from the depths. Brian J. Ford, a television personality and self-styled independent researcher, decided that Apatosaurus, Allosaurus and kin just looked wrong ambling about on land. Unfettered by the accumulation of scientific evidence about how dinosaurs moved and the environments they lived in, Ford decided to set scientists straight by floating an idea that had been sunk decades ago—that all large dinosaurs spent their lives in water. And, like the bad science it is, the idea strained to explain everything about dinosaur biology. Not only did the idea supposedly explain why non-avian dinosaurs went extinct—their watery homes dried up, of course—but the aquatic setting also explained the small arms of the tyrannosaurs. The great tyrants, Ford said, would catch fish and hold them close for visual inspection before downing the sashimi. Ford’s speculation is a buffet of nonsense. There is so much wrong with it, it’s hard to know where to start.

T. rex relative is biggest ever feathered animal
A newly described relative of Tyrannosaurus rex is the largest known feathered animal - living or extinct.The feathered meat-eating dinosaur lived about 125 million years ago and is estimated to have weighed a whopping 1,400kg as an adult. The new species, known as Yutyrannus, has been identified from three fossils found in north-eastern China. The finds, detailed in Nature journal, challenge current theories about the evolution of T.rex and its relations. This group of dinosaurs is known as the Tyrannosauroids. Tyrannosaurus rex and its gigantic cousins lived until around 65 million years ago - when a huge asteroids wiped out the dinosaurs - but most of their earlier relatives are thought to have been much smaller.
However, Xing Xu and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have now described three specimens of Yutyrannus, which represents an early example of the Tyrannosauroid form.The fossils include the one-and-a-half-tonne adult and also two juvenile specimens that would have tipped the scales at about half a tonne. The dinosaur, whose name translates as "beautiful feathered tyrant", shares some features with later tyrannosaurs like T.rex, but has three functional fingers (where T. rex had two) and a foot typical of other early tyrannosaur relatives.Perhaps the most notable discovery, however, is the creature's extensive plumage, which provides direct evidence for the existence of giant feathered dinosaurs.
Feathers might have been a problem in water.........

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