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Dung Reveals Dinosaurs Ate Grass
LiveScience/Yahoo ^ | 11/17/05 | Bjorn Carey

Posted on 11/17/2005 4:01:41 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy

Grass existed on Earth at least 10 million years earlier than was known, based on a new discovery in fossilized dinosaur dung.

It's also the first solid evidence that some dinosaurs ate grass.

While dissecting fossilized droppings, known as coprolites, researchers found tiny silica structures called phytoliths. They are short, rigid cells that provide support to a plant. This type is found exclusively in grasses.

The discovery shows that five types of grass related to modern varieties were present in the Gondwana region of the Indian subcontinent during the late Cretaceous period about 71 to 65 million years ago.

Museum redux

Before this discovery, 55 million-year-old grass reproductive structures discovered in Tennessee were the oldest grass fossils on record. 70 million-year-old grass pollen has been discovered in Egypt.

“But pollen are somewhat ambiguous,” study co-author Caroline Stromberg of the Swedish Museum of Natural History told LiveScience. “They could also be from a plant closely related to grasses.”

This discovery could also cause a major shake-up in dinosaur dioramas around the world.

Until now there was no firm evidence that dinosaurs and grasses coexisted, so scientists assumed that herbivorous dinosaurs ate mostly trees, ferns, flowering plants and cycads.

The droppings most likely came from titanosaur sauropods which weighed more than 100 tons and were the heaviest creatures to ever walk the Earth. Although scientists knew from the shape of their teeth that titanosaurs were plant eaters, this is the first proof that dinosaurs snacked on grass.

Other grass eaters?

Not only does this finding call for a reconsideration of dinosaur diets, but for early mammals as well. Many fossilized mammals from the Gondwana region had teeth that could have been used for grazing on grass.

Most grasses grow in dry upland areas where plants seldom fossilize because of degrading chemical processes in the soil. However, based on this new finding, Stromberg believes that grass had spread to the Gondwana region before India became geographically isolated 80 million years ago.

Examinations on the distribution of living grasses around the world point to South American origin, although many scientists believe that grasses may have been widespread before the continents split apart.

The discovery is detailed in the Nov. 18 issue of the journal Science.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: coprolite; coprolites; dinosaur; dinosaurs; godsgravesglyphs; india; paleontology; titanosaur; toomuchinformation
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"Good thing we didn't step in it."
1 posted on 11/17/2005 4:01:41 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Scientists are always learning something new that conflicts with what they thought they knew.


2 posted on 11/17/2005 4:03:25 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Well, at least we got the straight poop from those scientists. Oh, and DUH!


3 posted on 11/17/2005 4:03:48 PM PST by manic4organic (We won. Get over it.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

"...some dinosaurs ate grass."

But, did they smoke it too?


4 posted on 11/17/2005 4:04:40 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA (")
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

In other news...Fossilized dinosaur dung was reported seen seated in the U.S. senate.


5 posted on 11/17/2005 4:04:49 PM PST by afnamvet
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To: Nasty McPhilthy; Felicity Fahrquar

Dinosaurs were potheads ping...


6 posted on 11/17/2005 4:05:27 PM PST by Experiment 6-2-6 (Admn Mods: tiny, malicious things that glare and gibber from dark corners.They have pins and dolls..)
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To: manic4organic

"...solid evidence..."

Yup, pretty much sums it up.


7 posted on 11/17/2005 4:06:26 PM PST by dhs12345 (w)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

They ate it, not inhaled it. Probably put it in some nice brownies for those days when they weren't being chased by ol' T-rex. They needed to mellow out a bit.


8 posted on 11/17/2005 4:07:41 PM PST by WV Mountain Mama (Cut France some slack, this is the first battle they're losing this entire century.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
"...based on a new discovery in fossilized dinosaur dung. it's ... the first solid evidence that some dinosaurs ate grass."

Yep. that would be how you'd know... Some world-class road apples there, that's for sure.

9 posted on 11/17/2005 4:09:57 PM PST by Mugwump
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Fossilized dinosaur dung:


10 posted on 11/17/2005 4:11:06 PM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Scientists are amazing. We now find out global warming is caused by of all things, The SUN, not us and animals eat vegetation!
11 posted on 11/17/2005 4:12:38 PM PST by BallyBill (God Bless the U.S. Armed Forces!)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Your tax dollars at work.


12 posted on 11/17/2005 4:14:43 PM PST by My2Cents (Dead people voting is the closest the Democrats come to believing in eternal life.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

"Grass existed on Earth at least 10 million years earlier than was known"

Or.....

Dinosaurs existed on the planet LATER than previously thought.


(reverse the spin)


13 posted on 11/17/2005 4:16:54 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

To bad the creatures aren't around anymore, I know a few polticans that they could eat......


14 posted on 11/17/2005 4:17:48 PM PST by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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To: PetroniusMaximus

"There's solid evidence that scientists believe there might have been grass earlier than they thought."


15 posted on 11/17/2005 4:19:41 PM PST by mothball
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

I guess you could say that these scientists really know their shit.


16 posted on 11/17/2005 4:20:07 PM PST by 76834 (There's nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation.)
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To: mlc9852; Nasty McPhilthy
Scientists are always learning something new that conflicts with what they thought they knew.

That is why science is different from theology, where no one ever learns anything.

So9

17 posted on 11/17/2005 4:20:20 PM PST by Servant of the 9 (Trust Me)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Meat Eaters eat grass eaters. It's the proper order.

I prefer carnivory.
18 posted on 11/17/2005 4:21:36 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (Conservatives are from earth. Liberals are from Uranus.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

I hear they drove cars too.


19 posted on 11/17/2005 4:22:36 PM PST by Fintan (One of these days I'll tell you what I really think.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

"Dung Reveals Dinosaurs Ate Grass"

Who's Dung?


20 posted on 11/17/2005 4:24:05 PM PST by toddlintown (Lennon takes six bullets to the chest, Yoko is standing right next to him and not one f'ing bullet?)
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To: Servant of the 9

Oh, another anti-Christian. Ho hum.


21 posted on 11/17/2005 4:24:12 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: toddlintown

Who's Dung?

Jimma Carter of course.
Damm sure a dinosaur thats totally full of it.
Reason his eyes are brown.


22 posted on 11/17/2005 4:25:58 PM PST by 76834 (There's nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation.)
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To: afnamvet


23 posted on 11/17/2005 4:26:45 PM PST by verity (Don't let your children grow up to be mainstream media maggots.)
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To: HarleyLady27
Fossils of vegetation are infinitely more common than fossils of animals. If they were in fact 10 million years off in documenting the existence of at least 10 species of simple plants like grasses, it does, to some degree, call interpretation of the entire fossil record into question.

I believe in the fossil record, but this result does force some major, major questions on those responsible for interpreting plant development in the Cretaceous, and to some degree on what the record can really tell us over all about paleo-environments, the food chain and plant evolution.

The implications of this are major, assuming, of course, the reporter is getting this right...
24 posted on 11/17/2005 4:27:51 PM PST by Wiseghy (Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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To: mlc9852

But he's right, "anti-Christian" or not. Science is self correcting, religions are not.

big difference. Not necessarily anti-Christian (or anti religion), just true.


25 posted on 11/17/2005 4:31:07 PM PST by whattajoke (I'm back... kinda.)
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To: mlc9852

That is exactly what science is. Theories/hypothesis/estimates are constantly proven or disproven through the introduction of new data and findings through the scientific process.


26 posted on 11/17/2005 4:31:34 PM PST by boulderite20
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

and I thought that digging up and finding worthless sh!t was something that only Democraps did!


27 posted on 11/17/2005 4:40:01 PM PST by Bommer (To Ted Kennedy - "Fat Drunk and Stupid is no way to go through life son!" - Dean Wormer)
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To: toddlintown
Who's Dung?

Former leader of Red China.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

28 posted on 11/17/2005 4:40:15 PM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Creationists have advocated this for years.


29 posted on 11/17/2005 4:43:14 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
And almost immediately other dinosaurs started eating the grass cuisine dinosaurs, such is life.
30 posted on 11/17/2005 4:43:17 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: boulderite20

I know that. That's what makes it so undependable.


31 posted on 11/17/2005 4:43:57 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: whattajoke

"different from theology, where no one ever learns anything."

So you don't think anyone ever learns anything from theology?


32 posted on 11/17/2005 4:45:17 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: LonePalm

Was Dung related to Hu Plung Poo, author of "Brown Spots On The Wall?"


33 posted on 11/17/2005 4:46:27 PM PST by toddlintown (Lennon takes six bullets to the chest, Yoko is standing right next to him and not one f'ing bullet?)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
You know what they say........

The grass is always greener...at least 10 million years earlier.

LVM

34 posted on 11/17/2005 4:47:29 PM PST by LasVegasMac (HoOked on Fonics. Dun goOd For me?)
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To: mlc9852
I know that. That's what makes it so undependable.

No, it is just generational. If you went to high school in the 70s, grass was 40 million years old. In the 80s it was 50 million years old. Now it is 70 million years old. Graphing that trend, as all good scientists would, puts it at grass at 100 million years old about 2050.
35 posted on 11/17/2005 4:56:07 PM PST by microgood
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To: Servant of the 9

God loves you, too.


36 posted on 11/17/2005 4:57:38 PM PST by Thumper1960 ("There is no 'tolerance', there are only changing fashions in intolerance." - 'The Western Standard')
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To: Wiseghy
The implications of this are major, assuming, of course, the reporter is getting this right...

It won't effect my life, but I can see you're excited.

;-)

37 posted on 11/17/2005 4:58:28 PM PST by fanfan (" The liberal party is not corrupt " Prime Minister Paul Martin)
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To: mlc9852

I learned never to follow any "ministers" named Jim Jones, or move to Guyana.


38 posted on 11/17/2005 4:59:33 PM PST by Thumper1960 ("There is no 'tolerance', there are only changing fashions in intolerance." - 'The Western Standard')
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To: mlc9852

You say it like it's a bad thing.


39 posted on 11/17/2005 5:04:35 PM PST by Quick1
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To: mlc9852; boulderite20
I know that. That's what makes it so undependable.

So one is more "dependable" to the extent that they refrain from revising their knowledge and understanding in light of the results of criticism and crucial tests?

I was going to say that this suggests a rather eccentric definition of "dependable," but from a creationist maybe not.

40 posted on 11/17/2005 5:05:16 PM PST by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
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To: Thumper1960

You think Jim Jones was a Christian?


41 posted on 11/17/2005 5:05:23 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: Stultis

I am saying what scientists are so excited about today will likely be tossed aside because it was wrong tomorrow. But that's science, isn't it?


42 posted on 11/17/2005 5:07:18 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: mlc9852

Yes.


43 posted on 11/17/2005 5:09:02 PM PST by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
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To: toddlintown

Dung, is the sound bells make...ding-dong.....except when bell
is flat. then it goes dung-dong.


44 posted on 11/17/2005 5:11:06 PM PST by Duffboy
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To: mlc9852

It's not like scientists have completely re-written everything about how they understand the world with this finding. We simply now know that grass probably existed 10 million years before we thought it did.

Also, what's wrong with revising your ideas in light of new evidence? Would you rather we still held the view that the sun revolves around the earth?


45 posted on 11/17/2005 5:14:06 PM PST by Quick1
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To: toddlintown
Who's Dung?

Korean guy, really sharp.

46 posted on 11/17/2005 5:16:20 PM PST by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: mlc9852
Oh, another anti-Christian. Ho hum.

Nonsense.
Christianity is not in any way singular, I deal with it as I do with all Near Eastern mystery religions, from Mithraism to Islam. They are for the credulous and the insecure.

So9

47 posted on 11/17/2005 5:21:04 PM PST by Servant of the 9 (Trust Me)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
They smoked it too...


48 posted on 11/17/2005 5:23:54 PM PST by HairOfTheDog (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/ 1,000 knives and counting!)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Yes! See my above :~D


49 posted on 11/17/2005 5:25:37 PM PST by HairOfTheDog (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/ 1,000 knives and counting!)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Harry Reid is a pile of dung from a grass smoker.
50 posted on 11/17/2005 5:25:53 PM PST by msnimje (Bob Woodward is the Grinch who stole Fitzmas.....................................................)
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