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Scientists use feathery logic to descibe new dinosaur


Another article, this one from Discovery.com entitled, “New Dinosaur had Chicken-sized Young,” again illustrates the amazing amount of speculation involved in modern evolutionary science, especially when it comes to supposed dinosaur-bird evolution.

The story is about the recent discovery of juvenile bones of a new species of  dinosaur, presumed to have feathers, is highly misleading. The two-legged, three-toed, beaked Yulong mini (Small Henan Dragon) is a member of the oviraptorid (egg thief) family, which may include Gigantoraptor, which may have reached up to 26 feet long. (See previous blog, “Museum’s Feathered Dinosaur Exhibit Not Too Witte.”) However, notice how much pure conjecture is contained in the Discovery article from one of the scientists involved in the project:

“‘Yulong looks like chicken with a tail,’ lead author Junchang Lü told Discovery News. ‘Its behavior was similar to living birds too. Based on the primitive oviraptors such as Caudipteryx, Yulong should be feathered, although we could not find feathers due to the poor preservation condition.’”

In the first place, the young of many theropod dinosaurs–including T.rex–would have been “chicken-sized,” and some could probably even be said to resemble a “chicken with a tail,” albeit with reptilian skin and scales. Lu also states that this dinosaur “should be feathered,” despite admitting that no feathers were found with its fossils, and dogmatically says that Yulong’s behavior would have resembled modern birds. Later in the article he adds,  “they were herbivores,” as if he raised them in his backyard.

In fact, most of Lu’s conclusions about Yulong is mere speculation or just wishful thinking. Along with believing this dinosaur had feathers–despite finding no evidence of feathers with its fossils–it is foolish and non-scientific to make claims about extinct animal behavior based solely on their fossilized bones and without specific proof.

For example, just because an animal has a beak doesn’t mean that it is automatically a plant or seed eater. Many birds, such as Roadrunners and herons, routinely eat things like frogs, lizards and snakes. On the other hand, many animals with “canine teeth,” like fruit bats and panda bears, are vegetarians or herbivores. The truth is, no one alive has witnessed Yulong behavior, so dogmatically stating that “they were herbivores” because some of their limb structure resembles that of some birds is highly non-scientific. One could just as easily conclude that because T.rex had three toes like a bird that it clucked like a chicken. At least the article questions Yulong’s herbivory by reporting that at least one oviraptor fossil contained lizard remains with its bones.

As with most secular science reporting, you have to read all the way to the end to get past the bluster and fluff in order to find a nugget of truth, as exemplified by this third-to-last sentence from the article: “While Yulong mini and other oviraptorid dinosaurs resembled chickens and other modern birds and appear to have behaved somewhat like them, they were definitely non-avian dinosaurs and not birds.” In other words, despite all that has already been stated, what scientist actually know about Yulong it that it as a dinosaur. So much for all the phony-baloney “evidence” presented for its bird-likeness.


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