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What is a Dinosaur?

What is a Dinosaur?

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Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-17-2016 7:15 AM

Hello Scified its me Xenotaris. I wanted to create this forum to help people recognize what is a dinosaur and what is not.

Okay Dinosaur or Dinosauria is a clade of reptilian animals that have their legs tucked underneath them rather than sprawling out. They range from Cold-Blooded to Warm-Blooded, most if not all of them had some feather covering or non-at all like the sauropods.

Dinosauria clade also include the modern clade Avia or Birds as well as the extinct Non-Avian Dinosaurs, but dinosaurs are within a larger clade Ornithrodira which includes the Dinosaurs, their descedents birds, the flying Pterosaurs, the dinosaur's ancestors and ancestral cousins the dinosaurmorphs and Dinosauriformes. Which itself belongs to the larger clade: Archosauria. Archosauria then rests in Archosaurmorph which belongs to the clade Diaspids which includes both the Archosaurmorphs and Ledpidosaurmorphs.

Mosasaurus: Often called a dinosaur in media, but it sadly is not seeing that its far more closely related to Snakes and Lizards which are both under the clade squamata which is under the clade lepidosauria.

Pterosaurs: Often mistaken for dinosaurs but they are far more closer related to Dinosaurs than the Mosasaurus.

Dimetrodon: One of the most erroneous, since Dimetrodon isn't even a member of Diapsid reptiles but rather the Synapsids; a clade of animals that would eventually lead to mammals.

Prehistoric Mammals: Yes some people think that Mammoths, Sabertoothed Cats, and Mastodons were dinosaurs. This is obviously wrong but I had to include it.

Megalodon: Yes people seem to think that Meglodon is a dinosaur since it didn't live with humans but this is obviously wrong since its a shark and not a reptile of any kind, let alone an archosaur.

Birds: This is a dinosaur, since Birds are direct descendants of theropod dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurus: This is a Dinosaur, under the clade of theropod which includes all carnivorious dinosaurs, a few bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs , and of course birds.

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50 Responses to What is a Dinosaur?

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-17-2016 7:07 PM

That's different then but what about the other flightless birds? Like hmmm the Cassowary or the Ostrich?

I mean all birds are still theropods so they should mostly walk similar to each other....flightless birds more so than flying birds.

Convergent Evolution is when two unrelated organism evolve similar features.

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GG

2KStaff3811 XPOct-17-2016 7:24 PM

They don't share as much of the same genetic code as chickens do to T.rex.

Good grief.

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-17-2016 7:34 PM

But that would imply that they are directly related rather than Convergent evolution

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GG

2KStaff3811 XPOct-17-2016 8:24 PM

You don't understand.

Chickens and T.rex are not 100% related, but they share the most DNA out of all the birds. Therefore making chickens the closest living relative of T.rex.

Good grief.

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-17-2016 9:21 PM

But that doesn't make sense to me seeing as Tyrannosaurids are not in the Birds evolution other than being Coelurosaur. How could the Chicken have T. rex DNA if T. rex wasn't even a T. rex at the time Birds, Troodontids, and Dromaeosaurids splitted from each other.

Fast forward in Bird Evolution, you get early modern bird lineages one including the chicken's evolutionary line and then two million years later Tyrannosaurus evolves.

Its not like Tyrannosaurus just walked up and breeded with the early Pheasants to produce a chicken. I think the articles must of made an error or the Chickens just have some tyrannosaurus-like traits but isn't no more closely related to T. rex than the rest of the birds. I mean come on that would be like saying Humans are more closely related to lemurs but they share a common ancestry to Chimps.

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Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-17-2016 11:17 PM

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03051/graphic_3051824c.jpg

Okay here is a visual representation of Bird Evolution, Cladograms can be confusing but as you can see the Tyrannosaurs broke away early in Bird evolution, as that point Non-tyrannosaur Coelurosaurs and Tyrannosaur coelurosaurs were just cousins.

Then the the non-tyrannosaur Coelurosaurs group diversified in to Compsognathids and Maniraptoriformes.

Ornithomimosaurs would remain as a Maniraptoriformes while the others would diverge from their relatives in the form of Maniraptora such as: Therizinosaurs and Alvarezsaurs while other Maniraptora would later diverge and become Pennaraptora which includes Oviraptorosaurs and ParavesParaves would later Diversify into ScansoriopterygidsEosinopteryx, and Eumaniraptora which the latter would diversify into Dromaeosaurids and Averaptora which the later of course gives us the last stop in bird evolution: Troodontids and finally Avialae (Birds both fossil and modern)

I've read on wikipedia about chickens having retain more or less of their dinosaurian dna than other birds but that can easily be explained as Raptor DNA vs T. rex DNA but seeing as only the very most primitive tyrannosaurid had little if any impact on bird evolution, its safe to say that Chickens are more closely related to Raptors than tyrannosaurus.

Heres a bonus creature that is a very basal bird, meet Balaur bondoc

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Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 3:37 AM

As Xenotaris all birds are distant relatives of our favourite little armed dinosaur. But Dr Steve Brussate from the university of Edinsburgh school of GeoScientists said: "There was no moment in time when a dinosaur became a bird, and there is no single missing link between them. What we think of as the classic bird skeleton was pieced together gradually over tens of millions of years. Once it came together fully, it unlocked great evolutionary potential that allowed birds to evolve at a super-charged rate." 

The scientists analysed the anatomical make-up of more than 850 body features in 150 extinct species and combined the findings with statistical techniques to build up the family tree.

The results, published in the journal Current Biology, confirmed that the emergence of birds 150 million years ago was a gradual process, as some dinosaurs became more bird-like over time.

They support a theory first proposed in the 1940s that said the emergence of new body shapes in groups of species could trigger an evolutionary surge.

Co-author Dr Graeme Lloyd, from Oxford University, said: "Our study adds to a growing number of works that approach this problem from different angles, but all seem to confirm that the origin of birds was a truly special event in Earth history.

"It is particularly cool that it is evidence from the fossil record that shows how an oddball offshoot of the dinosaurs paved the way for the spectacular variety of bird species we see today."

{Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/financial-services/currency-exchange/international-money-transfers/?WT.mc_id=tmg_plr_product-page_international_&utm_source=tmg&utm_medium=plr&utm_content=product-page_international&utm_campaign=tmg_plr_product-page_international_}

 

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 3:42 AM

Also here's something from The Guardian:

Scientists have at last uncovered the closest living relative of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, the most feared and famous of all the dinosaurs. For the first time, researchers have managed to sequence proteins from the long-extinct creature, leading them to the discovery that many of the molecules show a remarkable similarity to those of the humble chicken.

The research provides the first molecular evidence for the notion that birds are the modern-day descendants of dinosaurs, as well as overturning the long-held palaeontological assumption that delicate organic molecules such as DNA and proteins are completely destroyed during the process of fossilisation over hundreds of thousands of years. It also hints at the tantalising prospect that scientists may one day be able to emulate Jurassic Park by cloning a dinosaur.

Mary Schweitzer, a palaeontologist at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, led a team of researchers in analysing the 68m-year-old leg bone of a T-rex, recovered in 2003 in Montana. To her surprise, she found that it still contained a matrix of collagen fibres, a protein that gives bone its structure and flexibility. Working with colleagues at Harvard University Medical Centre and with the help of equipment normally used to identify and sequence tiny amounts of protein in human cancers, Prof Schweitzer managed to extract and sequence seven different T-rex proteins.

The results are published today in a series of papers in the journal Science.

"The analysis shows that T-rex collagen makeup is almost identical to that of a modern chicken - this corroborates a huge body of evidence from the fossil record that demonstrates birds are descended from meat-eating dinosaurs," said Angela Milner, the associate keeper of palaeontology at the Natural History Museum in London. "So, it is very satisfying that the molecules have provided a positive test for the morphology."

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Prof Schweitzer had already sequenced protein from a woolly mammoth in 2002, but that material was from fossils that were merely 300,000 years old.

When the 68m-year-old T-rex's proteins had been isolated from the surrounding dust and rock, Prof Schweitzer's team compared them with the known proteins in living animals.

"Out of seven sequences, we had three that matched chicken uniquely and we had another that matched frogs uniquely and another that also matched newt uniquely and a couple of others that matched multiple organisms that include chickens and newts," said John Asara of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, one of the authors of the study.

Dr Asara said the results supported the view that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but added: "If we had more species in the database to compare it to, such as alligator or crocodile, which have not been sequenced yet, we may also find matches to those species. Based on this study, it looks like chickens might be the closest amongst all species that are present in today's genome databases."

Molecular information like this can help to build better evolutionary family trees between extinct and living organisms. "The fact that identifiable proteins and amino acids can be recovered from at least some fossil vertebrates has opened up an exciting new field of investigation that may tell us more about the patterns and rates of evolution from the past to the present. And we can now do it from molecules as well as bones," said Dr Milner.

But Jack Horner of Montana State University said that sequencing the T-rex protein would also lead to a new era in palaeontology, which has so far relied on looking at the shapes and sizes of fossil bones to infer the relationships between extinct animals. The important thing was to find well-preserved material that had been protected from water and air. "To get specimens like that requires enormous amounts of material, getting specimens that are covered in tens of feet of rock."

Lewis Cantley, a biologist at Harvard University who took part in the analysis of the T-rex's proteins, said the techniques used had pushed medical technology to its limits. "The exciting thing is that this technology is still in its infancy, we're going to see it get a lot better. The machines are improving, the software is improving and there will be a lot of excitement in the palaeontology community of applying this technology to other bones that are preserved."

However, Dr Milner counselled against indulging in Jurassic Park fantasies just yet. "The fact that protein sequences from collagen of a T-rex have been recovered does not mean that we will be able to clone dinosaurs, despite what the makers of Jurassic Park suggest. Cloning any organism needs its DNA which carries the instructions to make a copy. DNA is not a protein, it is not a very stable molecule and it has never been recovered from any organism more than 30,000 years old."

{Source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/apr/13/uknews.taxonomy }

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 4:15 AM

MMM chicken is so good to eat yum.

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-18-2016 4:25 AM

Wait but Modern Birds are not part of T. rex evolution!

Please tell me how T. rex DNA appears in chicken when Birds are closely related to Raptors, in your own words? Did a T. rex mate with a pre-modern bird to give its DNA or something or is the DNA protein of a sequence of Pre-Tyrannosaur coelurosaurus?

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Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 4:36 AM

Dinosaurs are related to Archosaurs. (are my words purple?) So they share the same parent and are related to each other (If you're going to say that a Raptor is related to a Brachiosaurs well...a bit). Their protein are different but have the archosaurus part. Well pre-modern birds rose and then came the modern one. Also how come a fish could of have evolved into and amphibian? Well evolution is a strange slow process.

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-18-2016 4:37 AM

all these journalist are freaking dumb, they overly simpfly dinosaurian evolution. There is no transitional fossil of a T. rex becoming a bird let alone a chicken. So all the birds in the same clade as the chickens are not T. rexes? T. rex's was at the end of its own evolution, due to falling meteors.

Updated: But Tyrannosaurus diverged early from the rest of coelurosaurus, I'm just saying Birds evolved from the common ancestors of Raptors and Troodons rather than some how getting its DNA from T. rex.

 

It would be like saying that Humans are closely related to Pigs, due to having the same protein but Pigs are not part of our evolution at all. Since we are primates!

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Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 4:40 AM

64 million years ago...ouch didn't think of that. Xenotaris your a smart guy i admire your determination and tactics!

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-18-2016 4:43 AM

I take in the account of the millions of years but the fossils show that birds came from raptor-like dinosaurs not Tyrannosauruses

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Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 4:48 AM

Guanlong is raptor like but is still considered as a Tyranosaurus... The first dinosaur ever was Eoraptor who well evolved into different branches strange... Xenotaris you should make a "Dinosaur Evolution Theory" discussion so we could keep everything in order.

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Xenotaris

2KMember2776 XPOct-18-2016 4:52 AM

Okay I will do that, but on Guanlong: Yes its raptor-like but it is a primitive Tyrannosauroid. Eoraptor is actually a primitive sauropod. What i mean by raptors I mean Dromaeosaurids, Raptor is just faster to spell and for convenience sake but I will post the Evolution post.

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Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 4:54 AM

EORAPTOR WAS A SAUROPOD!!?!??! (Also it's me Shiro Goji A.K.A Shiro)

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

Darth Shiro

ContributorMember883 XPOct-18-2016 4:57 AM

One last thing. We should gather all Dinosaur experts for the discussion you will be posting!

Dinosaurs incredible creatures who roamed the Earth 65 million years ago. Never had nature been filled with so much terror and beauty...

I Meme Everything

2KMember4115 XPOct-18-2016 12:13 PM

Dinosaurs are related to Archosaurs. (are my words purple?) So they share the same parent and are related to each other (If you're going to say that a Raptor is related to a Brachiosaurs well...a bit). Their protein are different but have the archosaurus part. Well pre-modern birds rose and then came the modern one. Also how come a fish could of have evolved into and amphibian? Well evolution is a strange slow process.

 

Shiro that text appears purple on my computer lol

"Part of the journey is the end..."

GG

2KStaff3811 XPOct-18-2016 12:21 PM

^Same.

Good grief.

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