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Dinosaur research backs link to birds
AP on Yahoo ^ | 4/14/07 | Randolph E. Schmid - ap

Posted on 04/14/2007 10:18:48 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - Researchers have decoded proteins from a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex, the oldest such material ever found. The unprecedented step, once thought impossible, adds new weight to the idea that today's birds are descendants of the mighty dinosaurs.

"The door just opens up to a whole avenue of research that involves anything extinct," said Matthew T. Carrano, curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

While dinosaur bones have long been studied, "it's always been assumed that preservation does not extend to the cellular or molecular level," said Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University.

It had been thought that some proteins could last a million years or more, but not to the age of the dinosaurs, she said.

So, when she was able to recover soft tissue from a T. rex bone found in Montana in 2003 she was surprised, Schweitzer said.

And now, researchers led by John M. Asara of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have been able to analyze proteins from that bone.

The genetic code that directs the development of living things is the DNA, but that is more fragile and they didn't find that.

"But proteins are coded from the DNA, they're kind of like first cousins," Schweitzer said

What Asara's team found was collagen, a type of fibrous connective tissue that is a major component of bone. And the closest match in creatures alive today was collagen from chicken bones.

Schweitzer and Asara report their findings in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"Most people believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that's all based on the architecture of the bones," said Asara. "This allows you to get the chance to say, 'Wait, they really are related because their sequences are related.' We didn't get enough sequences to definitively say that, but what sequences we got support that idea."

"The fact that we are getting proteins is very, very exciting," said John Horner of Montana State University and the Museum of the Rockies.

And, he added, it "changes the idea that birds and dinosaurs are related from a hypothesis to a theory."

To scientists that's a big deal.

In science, a hypothesis is an idea about something that seems probable, while a theory has been tested and is supported by evidence. Previously, the bird-dinosaur relationship was based on similarities in the shape of bones, now there is solid evidence of a relationship at the molecular level.

Horner, who found the bones studied by Schweitzer and Asara, said this is going to change the way paleontologists go about collecting specimens — they will now be looking for the best preserved items, often buried in sand or sandstone sediments.

This summer, he said, his museum is organizing nine different field crews involving more than 100 people to search for fossils in Montana and Mongolia.

Asara explained that he was working on a very refined form of mass spectrometry to help detect peptides — fragments of proteins — in tumors as part of cancer research.

In refining the technique, he had previously studied proteins from a mastodon, and when he heard of Schweitzer's finding soft tissues in a T. rex bone he decided to see if he could detect proteins there also.

He was able to identify seven different dinosaur proteins from the bone and compared them with proteins from living species. Three matched chickens, two matched several species including chickens, one matched a protein from a newt and the other from a frog.

Co-author Lewis Cantley of Harvard Medical School noted that this work is in its infancy, and when it is improved he expects to be able to isolate more proteins and seek more matches.

"Knowing how evolution occurred and how species evolved is a central question," Cantley said.

The Smithsonian's Carrano, who was not part of the research teams, said the report is an important confirmation of Schweitzer's techniques and shows that "the possibility of preservation is more than we had expected, and we can expect to see more in the future."

Matt Lamanna, a curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, called the finding "another piece in the puzzle that shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that dinosaurs are related to birds." Lamanna was not part of the research team.

So, does all this mean that a T. rex would have tasted like chicken? The researchers admit, they don't know.

Both research teams were supported by the National Science Foundation and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Schweitzer had additional support from NASA and Asara had added support from the Paul F. Glenn Foundation.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: birds; dinosaur; dinosaurs; hollowbone; link; maryschweitzer; research; trex
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1 posted on 04/14/2007 10:18:52 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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On the Net:

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org


2 posted on 04/14/2007 10:19:26 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... BumP'n'Run 'Right-Wing Extremist' since 2001)
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An man makes final touches on the skull of the world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex, Sue at the National Science Museum in Tokyo in 2005. US researchers have identified microscopic traces of soft tissue taken from a 68 million-year-old T-rex fossil in a startling discovery that is yielding clues to evolutionary links between dinosaurs and birds, a study released Thursday said.(AFP/File/Toshifumi Kitamura)


3 posted on 04/14/2007 10:21:38 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... BumP'n'Run 'Right-Wing Extremist' since 2001)
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To: NormsRevenge

Mmmmm! Tastes like chicken.


4 posted on 04/14/2007 10:23:34 PM PDT by Thickman (Term limits are the answer.)
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A Tyrannosaurus rex femur bone is shown in this undated photograph. Tiny bits of protein extracted from a 68-million-year-old dinosaur bone have given scientists the first genetic proof that the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex is a distant cousin to the modern chicken. The study results were published in the April 13, 2007 edition of the journal 'Science.' (- c Science/Handout/Reuters)


5 posted on 04/14/2007 10:23:37 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... BumP'n'Run 'Right-Wing Extremist' since 2001)
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To: Thickman

Eggs-acktly


6 posted on 04/14/2007 10:24:36 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... BumP'n'Run 'Right-Wing Extremist' since 2001)
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To: NormsRevenge
OK, all evolution/creation debating aside...these “scientists” used their unlimited resources of brain power and technology and determined the T-Rex is related to either a chicken, a newt or a frog?!!? Or maybe a dung beetle...or perhaps a bison...or maybe a leach. Please tell me my tax dollars had no part in this.
7 posted on 04/14/2007 10:25:40 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: Rokke
Why are you afraid of scientific research?

Does human exploration of space bother you too?

Do you watch the Trinity Broadcasting Network?

Are you a mouth breather?

You're scary.

8 posted on 04/14/2007 10:34:20 PM PDT by zarf (Her hair was of a dank yellow, and fell over her temples like sauerkraut......)
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To: NormsRevenge

68 million-year-old huh? How can that be when their process of telling the age of something is so acurate that tested on a live elephant to be 3000 years old?


9 posted on 04/14/2007 10:36:22 PM PDT by garylmoore (Faith is the assurance of things unseen.)
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To: zarf
You think a conclusion that something is either a chicken a frog or a newt is good science and call me scary? Based on your goofy list of questions, I guess I can understand why you might see a close relationship between chickens and newts. Like I said, I just hope my tax dollars had nothing to do with this "science".
10 posted on 04/14/2007 10:38:34 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: NormsRevenge
"Previously, the bird-dinosaur relationship was based on similarities in the shape of bones"

...and the fact some fossils have feathers.

11 posted on 04/14/2007 10:40:58 PM PDT by endthematrix (Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.)
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To: NormsRevenge

12 posted on 04/14/2007 10:46:31 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: I see my hands

Cool looking frog. ; )


13 posted on 04/14/2007 10:48:17 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: Rokke

Ever think this experiment (growth, survival and transformation of mammalian cells) is about curing cancer?


14 posted on 04/14/2007 10:48:44 PM PDT by endthematrix (Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.)
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To: Rokke
"You think a conclusion that something is either a chicken a frog or a newt is good science and call me scary? Based on your goofy list of questions, I guess I can understand why you might see a close relationship between chickens and newts. Like I said, I just hope my tax dollars had nothing to do with this "science"."

If this quote is representative of your overall ability to understand scientific text, I thank God you'll never be piloting any plane I'm gonna be in....

15 posted on 04/14/2007 10:49:10 PM PDT by Al Simmons (Rudy will beat Hitlary. The Toon's smear machine is working overtime. Are you helping them?)
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To: endthematrix
"Ever think this experiment (growth, survival and transformation of mammalian cells) is about curing cancer?"

Might as well be. It seems to encompass just about everything else.

16 posted on 04/14/2007 10:51:00 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: NormsRevenge
Related to is one thing, but evolutionary links? Maybe I'm not up on my science lingo, but, a dinosaur turning into a bird doesn't sound like much evolving to me.
17 posted on 04/14/2007 10:52:01 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe (Ah don't feeeeel no ways taihrd.)
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To: Al Simmons
"If this quote is representative of your overall ability to understand scientific text, I thank God you'll never be piloting any plane I'm gonna be in...."

Scientific text? Looks like an AP article to me. But if you're happy with these tight scientific conclusions, you probably don't need an airplane to enjoy the flight your on.

18 posted on 04/14/2007 10:53:27 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: garylmoore
The tests are coarse-grained. Depending on the quality and amount of the sample and how much time is spent on testing, the results are accurate to within anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years. Perhaps not meaningful for evaluating recent history, but invaluable for reconstructing time lines and lineages spanning eons.
19 posted on 04/14/2007 10:57:19 PM PDT by CountryBumpkin (Wanted: Belly busting good laughs. Seeking liberals with opinions.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Is it then mammalian revenge then driving my satisfaction with a spicy-chicken sandwich? Well, pile on the jalapenos for my relatives!


20 posted on 04/14/2007 10:58:05 PM PDT by Hoosier-Daddy
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To: garylmoore
How can that be when their process of telling the age of something is so acurate that tested on a live elephant to be 3000 years old?

You have a source?

21 posted on 04/14/2007 10:58:22 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (btw..Rudy can untie the COUNTRY, not just our precious party... --- ChiTownBearFan 04/10/2007)
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To: Rokke

Sunday the Conure or Nancy Pelosi in Syria?


22 posted on 04/14/2007 10:59:02 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: I see my hands

LOL! I needed that!!!!!


23 posted on 04/14/2007 10:59:39 PM PDT by A knight without armor
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To: Rokke
"Scientific text? Looks like an AP article to me. "

Friday's issue of the journal Science

Protein Sequences from Mastodon and Tyrannosaurus Rex Revealed by Mass Spectrometry

(You'll have to pay to read it)

24 posted on 04/14/2007 11:01:59 PM PDT by endthematrix (Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.)
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To: I see my hands

It’s a newt from Pakistan.


25 posted on 04/14/2007 11:03:26 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: I see my hands
It is obviously a premonition of Pelosi in Iran. :)
26 posted on 04/14/2007 11:10:11 PM PDT by CountryBumpkin (Wanted: Belly busting good laughs. Seeking liberals with opinions.)
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To: NormsRevenge
T. Rexes and other raptors were the forerunners of birds. That means two things: they were warm-blooded, displayed bird-like behavior and certainly wouldn't make the mistake of assuming their ancestors had anything in common with reptibles which are NOT dinosaurs. So you can still see dinosaurs on earth today. They fly.

27 posted on 04/14/2007 11:17:46 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
"a dinosaur turning into a bird doesn't sound like much evolving"

Birds, the greatest things of all things that can be classified, have mastered the air. That's evolving.


28 posted on 04/14/2007 11:28:40 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: NormsRevenge
Matt Lamanna, a curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, called the finding "another piece in the puzzle that shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that dinosaurs are related to birds." Lamanna was not part of the research team.

Well, they did have the same Creator...

29 posted on 04/14/2007 11:40:56 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: endthematrix
"...and the fact some fossils have feathers.

Ah yes, Areopterix, the Piltdown Bird, or better-than-Piltdown Bird. Discovered by enthusiasts in the back yard as soon as the ink was dry on Origin of the Species and then ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

30 posted on 04/14/2007 11:47:15 PM PDT by cookcounty (No journalist ever won a prize for reporting the facts. --Telling big stories? Now that's a hit.)
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To: cookcounty

The pieces were of other unknown bird-like feathered dinosaurs. The tail turned out to be from a Microraptor.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1248079.stm


31 posted on 04/15/2007 12:01:09 AM PDT by endthematrix (Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.)
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To: Oztrich Boy

You have a source?

A book by Hal Linsay.


32 posted on 04/15/2007 12:27:28 AM PDT by garylmoore (Faith is the assurance of things unseen.)
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To: CountryBumpkin

the results are accurate to within anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years.

That’s what I’m talking about.


33 posted on 04/15/2007 12:30:29 AM PDT by garylmoore (Faith is the assurance of things unseen.)
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To: I see my hands

[Birds,...have mastered the air. That’s evolving.]

Tell it to a mosquito.


34 posted on 04/15/2007 12:50:03 AM PDT by jim35 ("...when the lion and the lamb lie down together, ...we'd better damn sure be the lion")
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To: goldstategop

[T. Rexes and other raptors were the forerunners of birds. That means two things:]

Only two? Shouldn’t it also mean they had hollow bones? Or, if that doesn’t have to follow, then why should the other assumptions?


35 posted on 04/15/2007 12:52:24 AM PDT by jim35 ("...when the lion and the lamb lie down together, ...we'd better damn sure be the lion")
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To: Al Simmons; Rokke

[If this quote is representative of your overall ability to understand scientific text, I thank God you’ll never be piloting any plane I’m gonna be in....]

If you find that skepticism involving the science of 68 million year old connective tissue proteins means the skeptic must be a drooling idiot, then you have some pretty unusual standards for measuring intelligence. Maybe you’re just offended by someone insulting your faith?


36 posted on 04/15/2007 12:56:34 AM PDT by jim35 ("...when the lion and the lamb lie down together, ...we'd better damn sure be the lion")
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To: NormsRevenge
Dr. Alan Feduccia, of Chapel Hill, NC, must be foaming at the mouth at this news.

He's done some very elegant embryology to show that birds didn't evolve from dinosaurs. Although I think he's wrong, I like to think I saw a tiny dinosaur at my birdbath yesterday afternoon!

:^)

37 posted on 04/15/2007 1:08:15 AM PDT by Eclectica (It only took one TV commercial to torpedo "Mr. Conservative" in 1964 Go-o-o-o RUDY!)
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To: garylmoore
You have a source?

A book by Hal Linsay.

LOL! Good one. I missed the sarcasm in your original post

38 posted on 04/15/2007 1:19:26 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (btw..Rudy can untie the COUNTRY, not just our precious party... --- ChiTownBearFan 04/10/2007)
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To: NormsRevenge
The article quoted a scientist very careful to point out that the finding supported a theory.

"Most people believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that's all based on the architecture of the bones," said Asara. "This allows you to get the chance to say, 'Wait, they really are related because their sequences are related.' We didn't get enough sequences to definitively say that, but what sequences we got support that idea."

However, what was most notable, was the way Reuters kicked it up a notch:

"A Tyrannosaurus rex femur bone is shown in this undated photograph. Tiny bits of protein extracted from a 68-million-year-old dinosaur bone have given scientists the first genetic proof that the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex is a distant cousin to the modern chicken. The study results were published in the April 13, 2007 edition of the journal 'Science.' (- c Science/Handout/Reuters)

PROOF!

The newt and frog stuff probably should have given them pause, until they could get a little more 'proof'. It sort of scrambles things. Suppose the next set of samples yield.....mammalian sequences? Tuna! They'll look kinda foolish. [oh...no they won't: no one will ever know....'flush'.]

39 posted on 04/15/2007 1:47:42 AM PDT by dasboot
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To: dasboot
"Most people believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that's all based on the architecture of the bones," said Asara."This allows you to get the chance to say, 'Wait, they really are related because their sequences are related.' We didn't get enough sequences to definitively say that, but what sequences we got support that idea."

This "scientist" statement is the kind of statenment I expect from an honest scientist wanting this research to prove a certain theory. (Non-scientific theory.)

So when you couple this with the Reuters statement no wonder laymen get these crazy ideas that scientist no longer rely on proof, but conjecture.

40 posted on 04/15/2007 4:07:38 AM PDT by sirchtruth (No one has the RIGHT not to be offended...)
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To: Oztrich Boy

I can’t speak for the first poster but I believe he/she may be thinking of carbon testing which is very innaccurate on samples of recent age but it’s accuracy increases dramatically when applied to samples of great antiquity.


41 posted on 04/15/2007 6:24:02 AM PDT by XRdsRev (New Jersey - Crossroads of the American Revolution)
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To: garylmoore
68 million-year-old huh? How can that be when their process of telling the age of something is so acurate that tested on a live elephant to be 3000 years old?

Dinosaur bones and other fossils are dated by several methods of radiometric dating.

Living things, and once living things, up to an age of about 50,000 years, are dated by radiocarbon dating.

Do you have a citation for the radiocarbon date of 3,000 years for a living elephant?

42 posted on 04/15/2007 8:17:01 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: garylmoore
Do you have a citation for the radiocarbon date of 3,000 years for a living elephant?

I see you answered my question in another post.

Could you check the Hal Linsey book and see if he cites a source for this information?

I do a lot of radiocarbon dating, and would like to look up the original article.

43 posted on 04/15/2007 8:28:15 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: NormsRevenge

They have found the missing link between the ape and civilized man.

It’s us.


44 posted on 04/15/2007 8:30:18 AM PDT by RightWhale (3 May '07 3:14 PM)
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To: jim35
"Tell it to a mosquito."

Apparently I already have.


45 posted on 04/15/2007 9:23:28 AM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: jim35
The very quick leap to anger demonstrated in several posts on this thread (by some posters that normally exhibit more rationality) indicates a desperate lack of faith in anything...that really matters.
46 posted on 04/15/2007 9:28:14 AM PDT by Rokke
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To: jim35; Rokke
"Jim35 wrote: Maybe you’re just offended by someone insulting your faith?"

Do I detect a hint of sarcasm there Jim?

I have basically dropped out of these threads because trying to discuss the science of evolution with a 'The-Bible-is-100%-literally-true-young-earth-creationist" is an excercise in futility.

So read my tagline - its my ' message' to you.

Oh, and if you want to learn about my faith, do take the time to read my homepage.

Rokke, I believe you and I had an entirely pleasant exchange of emails some years ago wherein you educated me about the fact that TWA 800 was in fact not shot down, which I respected immensely and which changed my view of the incident. That is something that you clearly had both the background and the logical reasoning in to demonstrate to my satisfaction.

OTOH, your comment earlier lacked that same kind of logical analysis. I will only second the suggestion of another poster that you read the actual Scientific American (see earlier post) article if you'd like to discuss it. This article has had some very interesting commentary on it on the Dinosaur Mailing List to which I belong (though I am there mostly to learn from the paleontologists who discuss the latest developments in the filed). The link to the Archives of the mailing list is below - you can read the posts without having to join the list - but be forewarned if you do join - discussion of 'Creation Science' is off-limits. Its a serious scientific list, not a forum for verbal donnybrooks like FR. ;>).

Here is the link to the archives of the DML (the past week has seen a LOT of discussion of this article.)

http://dml.cmnh.org/

47 posted on 04/15/2007 10:42:39 AM PDT by Al Simmons (Personal Relationship w/God=Mind-Control Technique partly designed to inhibit critical thinking.)
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To: dasboot
Well, since you and the earthworm share about 80% of the same genetic material (verified by DNA study as opposed to just looking at old proteins), I guess that might say something.

I do agree with you about the MSM spinning things for its ideological purposes. But the fact that the large majority of the TRex proteins identified so far match up to those of a probable 'living dinosaur' ie; a bird, IS significant. The fact that a couple match up to other critters is unremarkable (see my initial sentence above).

48 posted on 04/15/2007 10:47:04 AM PDT by Al Simmons (Personal Relationship w/God=Mind-Control Technique partly designed to inhibit critical thinking.)
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To: jim35
"jim35 wrote: [T. Rexes and other raptors were the forerunners of birds. That means two things:] Only two? Shouldn’t it also mean they had hollow bones? Or, if that doesn’t have to follow, then why should the other assumptions?"

Surprise Jim! TRex, Raptors,and other carnivorous theropods DID HAVE HOLLOW BONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

49 posted on 04/15/2007 10:49:12 AM PDT by Al Simmons (Personal Relationship w/God=Mind-Control Technique partly designed to inhibit critical thinking.)
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To: jim35
A couple of scientific article links on the TRex and birds bone connection:

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/dinosaurs/dn7459-bird-bones-offer-insights-to-dinosaur-sexing.html

http://www.dinosaur-world.com/tyrannosaurs/tarbosaurus_bataar.htm

50 posted on 04/15/2007 10:54:31 AM PDT by Al Simmons (Personal Relationship w/God=Mind-Control Technique partly designed to inhibit critical thinking.)
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