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Scientist Says Ostrich Study Confirms Bird "Hands" Unlike Those Of Dinosaurs
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill (http://www.unc.edu/) via Science Daily Magazine ^ | Posted 8/15/2002 | Editorial Staff

Posted on 10/24/2002 1:32:37 PM PDT by vannrox

Scientist Says Ostrich Study Confirms Bird "Hands" Unlike Those Of Dinosaurs

CHAPEL HILL -- To make an omelet, you need to break some eggs. Not nearly so well known is that breaking eggs also can lead to new information about the evolution of birds and dinosaurs, a topic of hot debate among leading biologists. Drs. Alan Feduccia and Julie Nowicki of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have done just that. They opened a series of live ostrich eggs at various stages of development and found what they believe is proof that birds could not have descended from dinosaurs. They also discovered the first concrete evidence of a thumb in birds.

"Whatever the ancestor of birds was, it must have had five fingers, not the three-fingered hand of theropod dinosaurs," Feduccia said. "Scientists agree that dinosaurs developed 'hands' with digits one, two and three -- which are the same as the thumb, index and middle fingers of humans -- because digits four and five remain as vestiges or tiny bumps on early dinosaur skeletons. Apparently many dinosaurs developed very specialized, almost unique 'hands' for grasping and raking. "Our studies of ostrich embryos, however, showed conclusively that in birds, only digits two, three and four, which correspond to the human index, middle and ring fingers, develop, and we have pictures to prove it," said Feduccia, professor and former chair of biology at UNC. "This creates a new problem for those who insist that dinosaurs were ancestors of modern birds. How can a bird hand, for example, with digits two, three and four evolve from a dinosaur hand that has only digits one, two and three? That would be almost impossible."

A report on their investigations will appear online in the August issue of Naturwissenschaften, the top German biology journal, and soon afterwards in the print edition.

The new work involved microscopic examination of early skeletal development in ostrich embryos, he said. Nowicki, who received her doctorate in biology at UNC last year, and he found the critical period for major features of the skeletons of primitive birds like ostriches to appear occurred between days 8 and 15 of those birds' 42-day growth inside eggs.

The beginnings of arm bones and "fingers" begin to appear around day 8, Feduccia said. Those that would grow into the animals' thumbs, however, appear around day 14 and later disappear by about day 17.

"Because most such studies in birds have relied on embryos in the second half of development, usually at or near hatching, these studies have therefore used embryos that exhibit the form of fully developed chicks and have generated misleading results," he said. "Questions about development of bird hands were first addressed in 1821 by the famous German physician and anatomist Johann Friedrich Meckel for whom the cartilage of the lower jaw was named. But no one has produced convincing evidence for a thumb before. For us, this is very exciting."

The UNC evolutionary biologist has been a strong critic of the belief that dinosaurs gave rise to birds as some paleontologists have claimed since the 1970s. He also has been a major figure in the debate for 30 years.

"There are insurmountable problems with that theory," he said. "Beyond what we have just reported, there is the time problem in that superficially bird-like dinosaurs occurred some 25 million to 80 million years after the earliest known bird, which is 150 million years old."

Most of the bird-like dinosaurs were "looking at the meteor some 65 million years ago," he said, a reference to the giant meteor believed to have struck the Earth then and killed off all dinosaurs within a short time.

If one views a chicken skeleton and a dinosaur skeleton through binoculars they appear similar, but close and detailed examination reveals many differences, Feduccia said. Theropod dinosaurs, for example, had curved, serrated teeth, but the earliest birds had straight, unserrated peg-like teeth. They also had a different method of tooth implantation and replacement.

Findings from careful examinations of alligator and turtle embryos were consistent with those of birds, the scientist added.

Far more likely is that birds and dinosaurs had a much older common ancestor, he said. Many superficial similarities between birds and dinosaurs arose because both groups developed body designs for walking upright on two hind legs and began to resemble each other over millions of years. "It is now clear that the origin of birds is a much more complicated question than has been previously thought," Feduccia said.

Editor's Note: The original news release can be found at http://www.unc.edu/ news/newsserv/research/feduccia081402.htm



Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill as the original source. You may also wish to include the following link in any citation:



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020815072053.htm



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: bird; claws; crevolist; dinosaur; feather; godsgravesglyphs; hands; history; past; revision; thumbs; unexplained; unusual
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Ancestor of birds had five fingers and a thumb?
1 posted on 10/24/2002 1:32:37 PM PDT by vannrox
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To: vannrox
"Whatever the ancestor of birds was, it must have had five fingers, not the three-fingered hand of theropod dinosaurs,"

Five fingers, including the thumb. The bird people of Brontator?
2 posted on 10/24/2002 1:38:26 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan; vannrox; *crevo_list

3 posted on 10/24/2002 1:46:42 PM PDT by general_re
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To: vannrox
That explains the Eastern Painted flying turtle...
4 posted on 10/24/2002 1:56:56 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: vannrox
Yet another set back for the improbable theory of creative causation... that's evolution for lay persons.
5 posted on 10/24/2002 2:00:10 PM PDT by That Subliminal Kid
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To: vannrox
Yes, but can they play the piano?
6 posted on 10/24/2002 2:02:16 PM PDT by Consort
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To: That Subliminal Kid
Morphing brains/consciousness spontaneous intelligence/life/matter....ssssssssuuuuuuUUUUUURRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrre!
7 posted on 10/24/2002 2:03:57 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: vannrox
And the guessing game goes on and on and on and on and on...

But if you don't believe in the game, you must, as was contended by a PhD in chemistry on this forum last week, be denied access to post-graduate work in the sciences, including medical school.

8 posted on 10/24/2002 2:06:27 PM PDT by beckett
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To: vannrox
A "two thumbs up" placemarker.
9 posted on 10/24/2002 2:08:35 PM PDT by Junior
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To: beckett
But if you don't believe in the game, you must, as was contended by a PhD in chemistry on this forum last week, be denied access to post-graduate work in the sciences, including medical school.

Who said that?

10 posted on 10/24/2002 2:08:48 PM PDT by general_re
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To: That Subliminal Kid
Junk/HACK/whack 'science'!

Trying to orbit science around darwin...

is like trying to put the sun in orbit around the moon---

HACKWARDS!

Darwin is an assteroid----klunker/HOAX....

no fuel/TRUTH---lotta assh/slag/lies!

Halebopps---cargo cults...govt work/well-fare!

Ape ancestry 'science'/intellectual rejectionist---me!
11 posted on 10/24/2002 2:09:45 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
I'm sorry, I only speak English.
12 posted on 10/24/2002 2:16:44 PM PDT by That Subliminal Kid
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To: f.Christian
The possibility(theory/bias)...

and the probability(reality/facts/evidence)---

is what distinguishes science(creation/God/Truth)---

from fantasy(evolution/lies/mush...religion/atheism +
politics/social engineering)!


13 posted on 10/24/2002 2:18:10 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: That Subliminal Kid
Evo whack english...mantras/rhetoric---LIES!
14 posted on 10/24/2002 2:19:21 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: That Subliminal Kid
Welcome!

Free Republic is an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!

15 posted on 10/24/2002 2:21:03 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: That Subliminal Kid
Trying to orbit science around darwin...

is like trying to put the sun in orbit around the moon---

HACK/whack-WARDS!

16 posted on 10/24/2002 2:22:49 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: All
To: f.Christian

Have you heard the story going around about the bio prof in a well-known NorthEast university who is speaking about evolution and notices three guys snickering in the back of the room? "You guys must be fundamentalist Christians" snorts the professor. One of the three replies "No, we're math majors; like, we understand the laws(science)* of probability(reality/evidence)*..."



17 posted on 9/27/02 11:07 AM Pacific by piltdownpig

*...my additions!


17 posted on 10/24/2002 2:35:20 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: vannrox
The article says that previous studies of ostrich embryos didn't show the five digits because the embryos were too far along in development and the other two digits had disappeared.

How do we know that the same thing didn't happened with the dinosaurs? I know we have some fossilized embryos and eggs, but if it took them this long to find the differences in ostrich embryo stages, how can they say that dinosaurs also didn't do this?
18 posted on 10/24/2002 2:39:06 PM PDT by chaosagent
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To: general_re
Right here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/772109/posts
19 posted on 10/24/2002 2:40:57 PM PDT by Gil4
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To: chaosagent
"When we look closely at the universe, we see the hand of God. Likewise, when we view the complex underlying structure and chemistry of life, indications of... God's work---are unmistakable. Scientists, only a few decades ago, were confident that they would soon crack the mystery of life, and would very likely be able to "create" life in test tubes, using only raw chemicals. But the mechanics of life soon proved beyond the most clever of scientists. Sir Francis Crick has noted that the "origin of life seems almost to be a miracle, so many are the difficulties in its occurring." Another scholar, Klaus Dose, says that the solutions to the difficulties in origin-of-life research are "beyond our imagination."
20 posted on 10/24/2002 2:41:37 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: vannrox
Not a problem for the Evol-Doer Clergy. Evidence?...they dont need no stinkin' evidence!

When you have made it you life's work to invent postulations out of whole cloth, covering up this little road bump is a piece of cake.

'Let us prey.....on the gullible'

21 posted on 10/24/2002 2:42:36 PM PDT by keithtoo
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To: keithtoo
Whale wise---fish/schools...on the 'gullible'
22 posted on 10/24/2002 2:44:54 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: Gil4; The Shootist
Ah, there was a much longer thread on that, that I was thinking of - I couldn't recall where in the 1200+ posts that someone had said that. On that thread you refer to, I suppose one could reasonably infer that "The Shootist" is suggesting that those who refuse to accept the theory of evolution ought to be denied entrance to med school.

OTOH, I don't know if he/she has a Ph.D in chemistry...

23 posted on 10/24/2002 2:56:04 PM PDT by general_re
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To: vannrox
Bump for later
24 posted on 10/24/2002 2:56:45 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: scripter
Ping for later.
25 posted on 10/24/2002 3:01:04 PM PDT by scripter
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
Darwin Central calling all sons of pond scum.
26 posted on 10/24/2002 5:49:43 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: general_re
I like "Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law"
27 posted on 10/24/2002 5:51:38 PM PDT by Dimensio
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To: That Subliminal Kid
Yet another set back for the improbable theory of creative causation... that's evolution for lay persons.

Well, I think that the creationist scientist who made the discovery put it better when he said...

Wait, the scientist who made the discovery isn't a creationist. He just think that the evolution of birds did not result from them splintering from dinosarus but from a much older common ancestor.

Guess this isn't a point for creationists after all. Whoops.
28 posted on 10/24/2002 5:54:48 PM PDT by Dimensio
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To: PatrickHenry
A report on their investigations will appear online in the August issue of Naturwissenschaften ...

Old story. I was in threads on FR and jennyp's site at the time.

Apparent conflict. More data needed. Not much else to say.

29 posted on 10/24/2002 5:57:18 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; AnnaZ
To: Dimensio

As I see it, evolution is an ideological doctrine. If it were only a "scientific theory", it would have died a natural death 50 - 70 years ago; the evidence against it is too overwhelming and has been all along. The people defending it are doing so because they do not like the alternatives to an atheistic basis for science and do not like the logical implications of abandoning their atheistic paradigm and, in conducting themselves that way, they have achieved a degree of immunity to what most people call logic.

488 posted on 7/29/02 5:18 AM Pacific by medved

Great quote. Thanks for posting it.


294 posted on 10/18/02 11:59 AM Pacific by AnnaZ

30 posted on 10/24/2002 6:04:07 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: vannrox
Oh great. Now every morning I have to inspect my ostrich omlette for thumbs.
31 posted on 10/24/2002 6:04:38 PM PDT by PoorMuttly
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To: chaosagent
How do we know that the same thing didn't happened with the dinosaurs? I know we have some fossilized embryos and eggs, but if it took them this long to find the differences in ostrich embryo stages, how can they say that dinosaurs also didn't do this?

You are too logical. Of course, that is what one would think. The problem is, I believe, that the opposite was asserted prior to this. IOW what was assumed about dinosaur fingers cannot be true.

Bird metacarpal homology

Hinchliffe attempts to demonstrate, using two different lines of embryological evidence, that the digits of the avain carpometacarpus are II-III-IV, then proceeds to use this as evidence that birds are not derived dinosaurs.

The latter point strikes me as weak, since he is using embryological evidence to dispell the homologies posited by workers who are looking only at osteological evidence, while a priori accepting the homolgies these workers postulate for another group. On the other hand, part of the point of the paper is that homologies established on osteological evidence may be weaker than is often thought. In any case, if one were to accept Dr. Henchliffe's findings at face value, most parsimoniously it would simply cause us to reconsider the homologies of the theropod manus (translation: if birds' digits are II-III-IV, given the evidence, isn't it just a simpler conclusion that dinosaurs' digits were II-III-IV?).

The same would happen if, for instance, it was discovered that the little toe of the horse became the single hoof.

You should also understand that Dr. Alan Feduccia is a severe critic of the now orthodox bird-dino connection.

32 posted on 10/24/2002 6:48:31 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: f.Christian
Thanks for the heads up!
33 posted on 10/24/2002 7:39:40 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: PatrickHenry
So this new finding runs counter to the current theory of bird evolution. Hmph! Some egghead (Ha!) will just propose a modification to fit the theory around these new observations.

And they call this science!?! A real scientist would just give up already.

[/Head-in-sand creationist mode]

34 posted on 10/24/2002 7:43:09 PM PDT by Condorman
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To: PatrickHenry
Is medved back from the grave??

Proof of Incompetent Design!!

35 posted on 10/24/2002 7:59:04 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Condorman
It would seem that the ostritch joins the platypus in the creationists' quiver of arguments. Funny, why special creation for those two critters? Everything else seems to fit. There must be a Noah's Ark angle in here somewhere ...
36 posted on 10/24/2002 8:04:49 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
As I see it, evolution is an evangelical doctrine!
37 posted on 10/24/2002 8:55:31 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: vannrox
Does an ostriches embryonic pattern of development mirror its evolutionary cycle?

This was asserted for many years about humans, but has been proven false.

38 posted on 10/24/2002 9:15:27 PM PDT by Lester Moore
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To: Dimensio
Wait, the scientist who made the discovery isn't a creationist. He just think that the evolution of birds did not result from them splintering from dinosarus but from a much older common ancestor.

Guess this isn't a point for creationists after all. Whoops.

Funny way evos have of dismissing evidence. So long as someone does not accept it, it does not count. The point is that evolutionist assumptions keep being discredited. The missing links keep getting pushed back further and further because they keep getting disproved. In short, the links are never found, the evidence is not there, but anyone who does not believe in evolution is a fool! Seems evolutionists are just ideologues who refuse to face the facts.

39 posted on 10/25/2002 5:17:43 AM PDT by gore3000
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To: VadeRetro
Apparent conflict. More data needed. Not much else to say.

To the ideologues of evolution it is always a matter of 'more data needed'. They have been saying that since Darwin. Actually the Evidence Disproving Evolution is already overwhelming and irrefutable.

40 posted on 10/25/2002 5:25:27 AM PDT by gore3000
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To: Dimensio
I like "Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law"

LOL - I think the Apache Chief episode was my favorite...

41 posted on 10/25/2002 5:37:41 AM PDT by general_re
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To: PatrickHenry
Darwin Central calling all sons of pond scum.

Hahahahahahahahaha! You funny, PH!

42 posted on 10/25/2002 6:25:30 AM PDT by betty boop
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To: PatrickHenry
Darwin Central calling all sons of pond scum.

Theistic Evolutionist #38DD-10B5 (son of pond scum and of the Most High) reporting in, Sir!

43 posted on 10/25/2002 6:39:12 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian
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To: betty boop
Ah, BB ... my ancestral memories carry me back to that primeval pond, when life was new and you and I were just little wiggly things ... I think I longed for you even then.
44 posted on 10/25/2002 6:57:11 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
...I were just little wiggly things

You haven't left that stage.

.

.

.

The devil made me do it!! :^)

45 posted on 10/25/2002 7:14:14 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: f.Christian
Care to try again, this time writing intelligibly?
46 posted on 10/25/2002 7:19:34 AM PDT by jejones
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To: PatrickHenry
Darwin Central calling all sons of pond scum.

Amoebas are very small

Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
I don't need a wife
living the timeless life
If I need a friend I just give a wriggle
Split right down the middle
And when I look there's two of me
Both as handsome as can be
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and
squelching on
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and
squelching on
Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life

A Very Cellular Song
By Mike Heron

47 posted on 10/25/2002 7:35:33 AM PDT by js1138
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To: chaosagent
The article says that previous studies of ostrich embryos didn't show the five digits because the embryos were too far along in development and the other two digits had disappeared.

How do we know that the same thing didn't happened with the dinosaurs?

Good point. Evidence from late-stage dinosaur embryos will have to be added to the equation. Right now, this doesn't "confirm" anything.

48 posted on 10/25/2002 8:00:47 AM PDT by stanz
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To: PatrickHenry
and daughters.
49 posted on 10/25/2002 8:01:58 AM PDT by stanz
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To: gore3000
Dismissing evidence? Who's doing that? All I see here is science working the way it should, with errors being found out and corrected. If science worked like religion, whoever turned up the evidence would be threatened with torture or burned at the stake, and nobody would have to change their point of view just because of some pesky facts.
50 posted on 10/25/2002 8:07:56 AM PDT by jejones
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