Scientists Discover the Oldest Dinosaur Yet

It was the size of a labrador, with a 5-foot tail.

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Natural History Museum, London / Mark Witton

An artist's rendering of 'Nyasasaurus parringtoni,' either the earliest dinosaur or the closest dinosaur relative yet discovered

243 million years ago, our planet was arid, the poles were tropical, and the continents were lumped together in one great mass. Turtles, ants and crocodiles all walked the Earth. But one thing scientists weren’t sure of was whether dinosaurs had yet appeared on the scene.

Now, however, those doubts have been put to rest thanks to the discovery of what may be the world’s oldest dinosaur bones. The remains of the Nyasasaurus parringtoni, a labroador-sized creature with a 5-foot tail, are 10 to 15 million years older than any other dinosaur fossils found thus far.

(MORE: The Robotic Dinosaurs That Could Change Paleontology Forever)

The findings could help resolve 150 years of debate about when dinosaurs arrived on Earth. Until now, the only signs scientists have been able to find of dinosaurs during this period, the Middle Triassic, were fossilized footprints and the occasional ambiguous bone, which might have belonged to a reptile. Thanks to this 135-pound dino (or rather, its upper arm bone and vertebrae), they now know that dinosaurs (or at least animals very much like them) were indeed around at that time.

(MORE: 10 Questions for David Attenborough)

Based on the bones, scientists guess that the creature stood upright, was about three feet tall, seven to 10 feet long, and weighed between 45 and 135 pounds. How do they know it’s part of the same family that gave us the raptor and T-rex? The bone fibers in N. parringtoni‘s humerus show the haphazard fiber development characteristic of dinos, which evolved to grow really, really fast.

The bones were originally pulled from land that now forms part of Tanzania back in the 1930s. But the specimens, which come from two different animals and are housed in London and Cape Town museums, were never studied in detail until now. “80 years later, we’re putting it all together,” says Sterling Nesbit, lead author on the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. The location of the bones suggests that dinosaurs emerged from the south of the great supercontinent Pangaea.

The discovery puts to rest the notion that dinosaurs burst onto the scene during the Late Triassic and then spread at lightning speed. Turns out dinosaurs are just like everybody else, emerging slowly as part of a group of animals called archosaurs, which includes crocodiles. Back in the Triassic, life on earth was recovering from the Permian extinction, or the “Great Dying” which wiped out most of the species on the planet. At the time, the air hardly contained any oxygen and ocean temperatures rose to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. After the great extinction, life slowly recovered, and it was under these conditions that the archosaurs flourished, filling niches left open by vanished creatures.

MORE: Death of the Dinosaur: The Asteroid Didn’t Act Alone

79 comments
olvera_m
olvera_m

what if the creature never existed but only the bones 

ACWheaton
ACWheaton

I don't have the time to waste trying to educate Roccop777.  Anyone else want to?  He seems to think this article is/was written by scientists...at least that's what I think he's confused about...if that's not it then idk what his problem is...

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@ACWheaton I suspect that's the least of his confusion. 

jbesteele
jbesteele

@Ashrakay @ACWheaton To be fair, I think he/she is trying their best to understand something which goes against strongly held beliefs. I think overall science benefits from these pokes and prods and i personally find it infinitely more edifying than a quick dismissal of science. To paraphrase Revelation 3:16 - because you are neither hot nor cold, I'll spit you out. Have some spirit, flex your brain, and learn something!

totalnerd
totalnerd

amazing im going to do my school project on this! im a fan of history (total nerd) most of the subjects i like but bones facinate me the most ^^)

Roccop777
Roccop777

I just re-read the article again and I am amused by the 'scientific' claims being made:'Thanks to this 135-pound dino (or rather, its upper arm bone and vertebrae)' -- so it appears all they have is an upper arm bone andsome vertebrae. Does that justify the following assumptions: 'Based on the bones, scientists guess that the creature stood upright, wasabout three feet tall, seven to 10 feet long, and weighed between 45 and 135 pounds'. Isn't that stretching it a bit?-- Seriously, this reminds me of the 'Nebraska Man' debacle, where paleontologists put forth a primate on the road to becoming ahomo-sapien based on a single tooth from an extinct pig! It appears that many paleontologists are all too ready to repeat past mistakesand make wild assumptions based on their ideology.

MichaelGuinn
MichaelGuinn

Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience

MichaelGuinn
MichaelGuinn

Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

Ashrakay
Ashrakay like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Roccop777  Seriously... a little education goes a long way. If you want to remain ignorant, then by all means wallow in it, however there are some great books out there that explain how scientists come to certain understandings based on the evidence presented to them.  Your posting is a lot of regurgitated information that to a scientist makes no sense whatsoever.  It's great to have an opinion, but it's better to have a well-informed opinion.  In the end, the evidence points to the truth—it is NOT "the truth."  I think skepticism is very healthy and can be very useful to you in life so I wholeheartedly encourage this behavior in you.  

In this snippet of text: 'Based on the bones, scientists guess that the creature stood upright, was about three feet tall, seven to 10 feet long, and weighed between 45 and 135 pounds,' it is important to remember that much like investigators 'read' the engineering signs after the crash of a plane to determine the failure, there is a science to reading the bones of fossils.  Things like looking at the joint-wear or density of the bone can point to structure and behavior of the creature the bone belongs to. 

 In this age of convenient, ignorant forum-posting where any uneducated person can spew nonsense, it's easy to assume that everyone must be doing the same thing.  However, I can assure you that these people dedicate their lives to understanding something so mundane as the mechanics of joint movement. 

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Ashrakay @Roccop777  thank you for explaining to me how scientists, using the procedures you described, could build a primate from a single pig tooth as in Nebraska man. However, are you willing to consider that these procedures aren't as definitive as you seem to think? I have have a good friendship with a highly respected biologist/zoologist, now retired, but still one of the overseers of Germany's sole museum totally dedicated to the theory of evolution (the Phyletische Museum in Jena, Germany founded by Ernst Haeckel). He has candidly admitted to me: 'After teaching 3 generations of evolution biologists and researchers I have come to the conclusion that scientists spread a bunch of baseless stories ('Maerchen' = fairy tales) in the disguise of science.'  I must agree with him!

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay It's no cop-out... it's humility.  To claim we know exactly how life began without evidence is both arrogant and a lie.  One day we may know this answer... but I can assure you that we will not find the answer by assuming 'gods' did it.  It will come from looking at the evidence and proven by experimentation.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Ashrakay @Roccop777 That's a cop out! Without abiogenesis (often referred to as 'chemical evolution' proponents) then biological evolution cannot even get started. As I stated, I recently spoke with one of Germany's top biochemists and he confirmed that Pasteur's statement applies to abiogenesis today as well.

jbesteele
jbesteele

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay This line of reasoning lead quickly to its logical extension of asking where the universe itself came from and whether reasoning creatures produced by any natural process can reasonably expect to find truth in the motions of particles in their own brains. In other words, you'll be left throwing up your hands and saying not only can we not know, but that we can't know if our knowing has any meaning. I suggesst finding said meaning elsewhere

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay Abiogenesis has nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution.  It's misleading to connect the 2, though I know you're running out of arguments to present.  And what would a scientist from the 19th century know of abiogenesis?  You are aware that there have been great advancements in the understanding of biology and even microscopes since his day, yes? 

JustRight
JustRight

Roccop777 - Pasteuer was not addressing the orgins of life in the universal sense, he was addressing spontaneous generation - the belief that fully formed life arrose from nonliving material - completely different subject than the orgins of life.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Ashrakay @Roccop777 Will you please provide me with the fact base for Abiogenesis? Louis Pasteuer claimed it is an illusion. Not to long ago I spoke with one of Germany's top biochemists and asked him if new discoveries in biochemistry have disproved Pasteur's observation. He said: 'No, on the contrary, the newest discoveries only bolster his claim.' Why do scientific researchers put their faith in abiogenesis without a shred of empirical evidence to back it up? Faith in their ideology, which blinds them to the fact that life is not the result of  undirected, mindless naturalistic mechanism.

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay One can always find stories and quotes to fit their personal opinion or story.  There's nothing new or scientific about that.  The obvious downside to this is that you must ignore the overwhelming evidence to the contrary in order to accept your personal opinion.  This requires a lot of energy to maintain and will demand new, creative ways to explain away anything that doesn't agree with your opinion.  

This mentality is great for religion, which claims to be the final truth.  It doesn't however jive with reality which science seeks to understand and explain.  You could ask yourself, does my story fit the facts, or am I fitting the facts to my story?

While I cannot speak to your friend directly, he exposes a flaw in his logic which makes his overall statement suspect.  A baseless claim is one that has no "base."  Obviously, if there were NO base, there could be no foundation on which to make a claim in the first place.  An example of a baseless claim would be, "Fish from outer space are kidnapping my chickens."  There's really no evidence, i.e., 'base' on which that claim is made—therefore this claim is baseless.

No scientist would be taken seriously if there were no foundation behind their claim and rightfully so.  Scientist are wrong often.  That's the point of science.  It is just as much about proving true as it is about proving false.   They make claims based on the evidence in front of them, then spend years validating or proving false those claims.  The point is to be more right today then we were yesterday.

JustRight
JustRight like.author.displayName 1 Like

YOu know it wasnt the paleontologists who claimed it was a new species right? It was the media. You gotta read up on stuff before you comment on it (please)

TimeTraveler
TimeTraveler like.author.displayName 1 Like

Jesus loved hunting, especially dinosaurs. That's why he had a shotgun rack in his pickup truck. He probably had one of these babies stuffed and mounted. 

johncatao1
johncatao1

These bones have been buried by god to fool us. The world is only 6000 years old. Wake up people! LONG LIVE JESUS!

TimeTraveler
TimeTraveler

@johncatao1 Why does your god enjoy crapping on you instead of helping the sick and the needy among you? Is he just a sick sadistic ba$tard?

Scientist_Sarah
Scientist_Sarah

This is AMAZING! Great find. Though can't say I'm surprised that dinosaurs didn't explode onto the scene and in fact slowly evolved like everything else. It's just more difficult to find specimens from that long ago. This is truly awesome.

texasghost01
texasghost01

And probably one of the first species of Dinosaurs to die off due to the much bigger cousins that probably ate up most of the food.

ScottFergason
ScottFergason

Didn't take long for the resident religion haters to show up. Pathetic.

Regardless of the religion haters ... GREAT FIND!

Gromby:  The high temperatures during the Middle Triassic are <i>obviously</i> due to those Earth hating Nyasasaurus parringtoni driving their SUVs ;)

Scott

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@ScottFergason It's not religion that we hate, it's ignorance—religion just happens to be a magnet for it.

jasonmartin99
jasonmartin99

@ScottFergason What's wrong with hating religion? Religions are just collections of ideas, and last time I checked, I'm under no obligation to like or respect ideas that are unsupported by evidence. I respect people, not ideas. It's not my fault that some people get so attached to certain ideas that they feel threatened when those ideas get criticized.

Gromby
Gromby like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

So the planet was much warmer way back , you mean this whole global warming thing may be cyclical. My , my...and humans had nothing to do with it? Will wonders never cease.

texasghost01
texasghost01

@Gromby 

There is a small hypothesis during the 300 million year stage that the earth back then was spinning in a different axis mode.  The poles were more leaning which would account for the north and south poles to be more in a tropical environment.

But also during that time...there were about 90% of the earth volcanos erupting almost round the clock...which just one volcano can produce over 100 tons of CO2.  Can you imagine almost every volcano that's erupting constantly producing way more?  And by the way...humans have added 1 in 10,000 particles of CO2 in the last 100 years....just one volcano can do that in one day.

jbesteele
jbesteele

@texasghost01 @Gromby 2nd try at this - login didn't work so I apologize if it double posts. Humans outpace volcanoes right now. 1 part in 10,000 sounds like a lot to me. I can't speak to past rates of C02 output but modern rate is much lower than from fossil fuel combustion. 

Remember also that the sun was probably less bright then, so it's a good thing those volcanoes were belching out some extra blankets. 

jasonmartin99
jasonmartin99 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@Gromby Clearly you're an idiot.  We know that warming and cooling of the earth is cyclical and will continue to be cyclical.  We also know that climate change is caused by different factors. For example, past ice ages and warming periods were initiated by changes in insolation, changes in earth's orbit and alignment, etc. However, we know that our current warming is NOT being caused by these things because they have been stable and will continue to be stable for the next several thousand years. The one factor that has changed is CO2 in the atmosphere. That's what's driving the current climate change, and we are responsible for it.

TiTo0925
TiTo0925

@Gromby So then does that mean we should do nothing to prepare for the inevitable. 

CH
CH like.author.displayName 1 Like

silly ol scientist your gonna muck up the whole xtian creation theory.....

ScottFergason
ScottFergason

By the way CH.  Using the letter 'x' in place of spelling out Christ is NOT and insult to Christians.  You see the letter Arabic letter X is a substitute for the Greek letter Chi (looks like X) which is the first letter in the Greek spelling Christ.

Scott

rmhall9
rmhall9

I wonder if they found Fred Flintstone's bones along side.

Roccop777
Roccop777

In this article there are assumptions made about  'The bone fibers in N. parringtoni‘s humerus' -- are you telling me they have find bone fibers which survived molecular degradation for 243 million years? In empirical labratory tests, it has been shown conclusively that bone fibers degrade to virtually nothing in a mere fraction of that time.  In addition soft tissue, collagens, keratin, even components of blood and blood vessels have been documented by Dr. Mary Schweitzer and a host of others, embedded in dino fossils supposedly 65 million years old -- also a molecular impossibility. One should therefore consider that the dates given are based on fundamentally flawed assumptions.

Scientist_Sarah
Scientist_Sarah

@Roccop777 Actually, fossilization does a very good job at preserving the structure. The actual organic bone content might not be the same but the same structures can be observed.

jbesteele
jbesteele

@Scientist_Sarah @Roccop777 Your are stating a circular argument. Fossilization is not supported by it's good job of preserving structure - otherwise I could pull a bone out of the fridge and say it's a very very well preserved fossil. :) The true proof of the process comes from multiple disciplines. Every child knows what fossilized trees look like BTW - it takes a real willful ignorance to claim that fossils don't exist - I'm just saying it's no good arguing with nuts in this way. 

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay 

A) Are you suggesting that applied sciences, theoretical sciences and forensic sciences all use different methods?  i.e., not the scientific method.

B) You do understand that dating of fossils is based in chemistry and physics right?  Also as I mentioned above, judging the density of a femur bone for example can give clues to the overall weight and structure of a creature, or that their joint wear can point to how they moved.  For example, you wouldn't find an elephant femur on a mouse.

C) 'Evolution is largley unpredictable.'  I'm not even sure where you're getting this. Maybe you have a confusion in terms.  It seems you're equating Abiogenesis with Natural Selection which is the Theory of Evolution.  We are actually quite skilled at predicting the behavior of organism in a particular environment.  In fact, we exercise our skill and knowledge all of the time.  We shape dogs into new breeds which have the traits we want, cabbages into broccoli and other vegetables like kale, domesticate bees, etc.  Maybe you're talking about something else.

JustRight
JustRight

Holy wow Roccop you really do not understand evolution at all because your analogy with chemistry is full of nonsense even a high schooler would recognize. Its very hard to have an intelligent discussion with someone who is so uninformed on the subject

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

I'll add 2 points to this:

1) Re: modern sciences versus the sciences used by the creationists you've cited and to continue the thread on C14.... Radioactive isotope decay as an age calculator was not even discovered until 1949.  We have no idea what those scientist who died prior to that would have felt had they seen the most recent science. 

2) Newton, whom you mention and probably one of the smartest men to have ever lived, when confounded by the complexity of planetary motion, claimed that it must be a god that ordered it.  

"The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. […] But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. […] This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."

We now know that Newton was wrong. Laplace saw what he could not. This common error is known as "god-of-the-gaps." When people reach, "I don't know," it is a dangerous human tendency to assume, "therefore god."  The reason most scientist do not jump to these conclusions is that we have learned from our past that what we didn't know then, reveals itself over time.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Ashrakay @Roccop777  The scientific method was formulated by Sir Francis Bacon and is directly applicable to the operational sciences, such as physics, chemistry, etc., because they can be replicated and observed in experiments. However the theory of evolution is in the realm of historical/forensic science -- stories must be deduced after the fact, they can not be replicated in experiments due to time constraints. I have a lot of friends who do research in the field of operational sciences and they generally look down on many of the methods used in evolution biology. 

I'll give you an example: I have heard a number of leading evolution biologists say: 'If one were to take the exact same organism, put it through the same outer conditions/environment and do it a 100 times it is conceivable that 100 different things could result.' Can you imagine a chemist saying: ' it is conceivable that I can take the exact same chemicals, in the same quantities, same temperature and environment. Mix them together, it is conceivable that 100 different products result.' They would not tolerate that. Evolution is largley unpredictable, explanations are made up after the fact. Much different than the operational sciences, for which the scientific method was formulated.

jbesteele
jbesteele like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Ashrakay Yeah - it's the way this forum works that everyone gets copied and emailed on a comment unless you delete all the @ . I'm just figuring this out now :)

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay No, I'm not.  For clarification since it looks like you just glanced at what I wrote and apparently just skipped to the end, I'm saying the scientific method is why we have evolutionary biology as well as the other things.  You are aware that a) some people you mentioned were not even alive when the Theory of Evolution was presented, and b) many people rejected Einstein's Theory of Special and General Relativity in that time frame?  The more time passes though, the more evidence we have found to support those theories.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Ashrakay You wrote: ' This method is why you have a computer, medicine, wireless internet, cars...  It's the same method'

Are you seriously giving evolutionary biology credit for computers, medicine, wireless internet, cars, etc? You think we would not have these things without accepting these assumptions? The father of computing is Charles Babbage -- a Creationist. Elektro-theory, that was Michael Faraday -- also a Creationist. Modern medicine and antibiotics: give credit to Louis Pasteur, Ernst Chain -- again Creationists, who rejected the theory of evolution. I could continue on with Newton, Pascal, Kepler, Bucky Balls Nobel laureate Richard Smalley -- and a host of others, who seemed to be very adept at science, while at the same time rejecting the idea of unguided, mindless naturalistic processes as an explanation for life. My friend, to reject the fatally flawed theory of evolution is not to reject science!

Ashrakay
Ashrakay

@Roccop777 @jbesteele @Scientist_Sarah  

2 points here: 

1) C-14 isotope decay is not used for the measuring of dinosaur fossil bones.  I'm not saying that you said it, but I just want to clarify it because there seems to be a lot of c14 statements being thrown around.  c14 is only accurate to about 45k years ago.  

2) From Wiki: Most man-made chemicals are made of fossil fuels, such as petroleum or coal, in which the carbon-14 should have long since decayed. However, such deposits often contain trace amounts of carbon-14 (varyingsignificantly, but ranging up to 1% the ratio found in living organisms, a concentration comparable to an apparent age of 40,000).[18] This may indicate possible contamination by small amounts of bacteria, underground sources of radiation causing the 14N(n,p) 14C reaction, direct uranium decay (although reported measured ratios of 14C/U in uranium-bearing ores[19] would imply roughly 1 uranium atom for every two carbon atoms in order to cause the 14C/12C ratio, measured to be on the order of 10−15), or other unknown secondary sources of carbon-14 production. Presence of carbon-14 in the isotopic signature of a sample of carbonaceous material possibly indicates itscontamination by biogenic sources or the decay of radioactive materialin surrounding geologic strata. In connection with building the Borexino solar neutrino observatory, petroleum feedstock (for synthesizing the primary scintillant) was obtained with low 14C content. In the Borexino Counting Test Facility, a 14C/12C ratio of 1.94x10−18 was determined;[20] probable reactions responsible for varied levels of 14C in different petroleum reservoirs, and the lower 14C levels in methane, have been discussed by Bonvicini et al.[21]

If this answer isn't satisfying to you, I direct you to my comments above.  Science doesn't claim to be the final answer.  That arrogant position is what religion is for.  It knows all, sees all, understands all.  There is much about our world that we do not understand, and so we try not to leap to conclusions because they make us feel better about ourselves.  We look at the evidence and present ideas.  This method is why you have a computer, medicine, wireless internet, cars...  It's the same method.  It's amazing that you can have so much faith in it in other areas, but this is somehow unreliable to you. 

Roccop777
Roccop777

@jbesteele @Roccop777 @Scientist_Sarah Why does C-14 degrade into C-12? Does a vacuum or low temepratures or low humidity prevent this? Of course not. If you think collagens should not break down at all, then why did researchers initially ridicule Dr. Mary Schweitzer for presenting her findings? Because laboratory experiments have conclsuively demonstrateded how quickly collagens degrade.

jbesteele
jbesteele

@Roccop777 @jbesteele @Scientist_Sarah  interesting point re:c14 in coal. ive read that radioactive decay produces c14 in coal but im no expert. the thing about decay of organics is that its not so clear cut. why should collagen break down at all? low temp, low humidity, no oxygen.Some proteins are pretty tough molecules.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@jbesteele @Scientist_Sarah @Roccop777 Will you please show me where I denied that fossils exist? The straw man you have created does not exist. I dispute the basic assumptions concerning the mechanisms by which fossils are formed and the assumptions concerning dating them. If coal deposits are supposedly millions of years old, there shouldn't be a trace of C-14 left, but there is. If a certain dinosaur or shrimp is supposedly millions of years old, then there should not be a trace of chitin, cartilage, collagen -- but they are there, even though they degrade in a fraction of that time. Maybe it's time you open up your mind to other explanations.

MarcusA
MarcusA like.author.displayName 1 Like

You speak utter nonsense. First, you haven't read Mary Schweitzer's papers. Only a MICROSCOPIC sample of collagen and amino acids was found, and that were DEEPLY EMBEDDED in a T. rex thighbone, the thickest bone in the body. No DNA was found. In comparison, DNA has been extracted from a 30,000-year-old Neanderthal. So by your logic, of a young Earth, we should have countless examples of dino DNA. We don't. And dinosaurs weren't the only ancient life; what about all the other countless fossilized animals and plants that show no indication of preserved organic chemicals. It's the creationist modus operandi to argue about isolated examples and to ignore the totality of the evidence. Second, the age of the Earth isn't based on bones. It's based on physics, geology, and astronomy. The moon for example is covered in billions of craters and giant plains of cooled lava, things that could have only occurred over millions of years.

ILikeScience
ILikeScience

@Roccop777 A cursory search on fossilization yielded at least six different mechanisms that can account for preservation of the record of ancient bones, etc.  Are you suggesting that none of the accepted mechanisms can yield remains of any kind that are as old as the article suggests?  It sounds like you're disputing the validity of any fossilization mechanism - a position that would require significant supporting data, I think.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@ILikeScience @Roccop777 -- I did read Dr. Schweitzer's papers and followed the way she was intitially blasted  because there is no known mechanism which can stop molecular degradation for millions of years. But she stuck to her guns and eventually her detractors retreated as her findings caused many other researchers to publish similar findings. Chitin from scorpions and crabs supposedly millions of years old, soft tissue and soft muscle from shrimp supposedly 350 million years old (dug up in Oklahoma) and even dinosaur cartilage. These are not the 'microscopic amounts' as MarcusA seems to think. There is no known mechanism which explains these materials which degrade very quickly, overcoming molecular decay for millions of years. Even the detractors admit this and are presently on the search for a mechanism to explain this.

I don't dispute mechanisms which lead to fossilisation -- where soft tissue is calcified, replaced by more durable rock. But I do dispute the claim that the above soft structures (collagen, catilage, chitin etc.) can avoid molecular decay for millions of years. I also dispute the painfully slow scenario presented to us biology textbooks where a dinosaur or whale slowly sinks to the bottom of a lake, or ocean bed and gradually becomes a fossil. That's nonsense -- microbes devour the carcass much faster than they can fossilize. Also fossilized fish in the midst of devouring its prey or turtles fossilized in the process of mating speaks for a very quick process. The most convincing mechanism for fossilization is a catastrophic event which quickly sealed off the carcass under a mass of mud.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Scientist_Sarah --as I wrote you before, when Dr. Schweitzer initially announced her findings, she was blasted and ridiculed, because finding collagens in 65 million year old dinsoaur fossils is known to be impossible. One of the arguments used to dispute her findings were the 'bacterial contamanents' claim. This was however made before her detractors even examined her findings (pretty unscientific). If you will follow these discussions thread to the end however ( I have taken the time to do that), you will find that Dr. Schweitzer stuck to her guns (as well as many other similar documented cases) and her detractors have since sucumbed to the facts. Now they are saying: 'it's not impossible for soft tissue to survive for such long time periods' and now desperately seeking a mechanism which explains this.

It was ideology which fueled the 'bacterial contaminants' claim, not the verifiable facts.

Scientist_Sarah
Scientist_Sarah

@Roccop777 @jbesteele @Scientist_Sarah You realize the "collagen" that was found in the T-Rex, which is what I'm assuming you are referencing in your argument... I looked up the research and when the sample was reanalyzed with mass spec, the collagen was found to be contaminants and not of prehistoric origin. Look it up on NCBI, it's open access.

JustRight
JustRight

No you dont. You base it on your interpretation of cherry picked facts, completely ignoring everything else. And my position is based on years of eduction, though i am mocking you for your silly views

Roccop777
Roccop777

@JustRight I base it on credible facts -- you seem to base your position on mockery, not very scientific.

JustRight
JustRight

Roccop777 - man youre just hilarious...a cover up? Of facts? ha ha yeah that makes sense. Oh wait do you think youve discovered some new info to prove its all a cover up? Ha ha genius. And what do you base this all on?

Roccop777
Roccop777

@jbesteele @Roccop777 @Scientist_Sarah You have to ask yourself, why do biology textbooks often use such incorrect depictions? Is it to cover up an impossible scenario? The fact that we don't see fossils forming continually, points to a unique cataclysmic event, rather than a normal, everyday process.

No matter how organic material is buried, it does not negate molecular decay. Soft tissue, bones, according to observations in laboratories should degrade collagens to dust in much less than a million years. Is your ideology blinding you to these natural facts?

jbesteele
jbesteele

@Roccop777 @Scientist_Sarah The ocean floor is usually a terrible place to make a fossil and yes textbooks sometimes have very silly pictures. Fossils are unusual by definition otherwise we'd be buried in them. Imagine if every year all the leaves piled up and never broke down. But fossilizing bones can be very good time capsules and it should not be a surprise that occasionally organic material is partially preserved indefinitely. 

Scientist_Sarah
Scientist_Sarah

@Roccop777 Well, I don't know anything about the Titanic and what has been found and what has not. As for ocean floor, if something is quickly covered by sediment, it holds a better chance of surviving. The number of fossils we have found are minute, a fraction of the number of dinosaurs or organisms that ever existed because they simply didn't survive the elements. There has never been (to my knowledge) actual DNA obtained from dinosaurs nor any soft tissue. Imprints left behind from degraded soft tissue, yes. What is left behind is essentially a shadow of the organism that once was. No one here is claiming that there is any actual dinosaur tissue to be had, just essentially a rock "shadow" of what once was. Microbes degrade soft tissues so this then leaves behind bone that can be preserved. We have no record of skin color, muscle content or any soft tissue from fossilized organisms. Additionally, I don't claim to be an expert on the content of coal but I'd be happy to read up on it if you provide the credible citation for your coal comment and I'd be interested in reading about the Titanic as well. Credible citations only, please.

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Scientist_Sarah You have an advanced degree in biology -- then can you please explain to me why only 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic no bodies or bones of the victims have been found? Their possesions, yes, bones, no. Marine-biologists know that a whale carcass doesn't last very long on the ocean floor, because microbes and many other organisms devour them very quickly. The pictures in biology textbooks typically have a dinosaur falling into a warm swamp -- so not arid, nor freezing cold. Will you admit these depictions are scientific nonsense?

Extreme cold or dry conditions has very little if any effect on molecular degradation.

Do you have an explanation for the discovery of C-14 (half-life under 50,000 years) in coal deposits supposedly millions of years old?

Scientist_Sarah
Scientist_Sarah like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Robocop777 microbes don't degrade bone. If an organism dies in an arid or very, very cold environment the specimen can be very well preserved due to the slowing of many biological processes and a decrease presence of things that might otherwise make the carcass into a yummy meal. Additionally, many specimens have been preserved in things like tar or mud which have the same effects as a more extreme environment. I hold an advanced degree in biology. I know what I'm talking about.

ACWheaton
ACWheaton

hey roccop777...look up how fossilization occurs and what fossils actually are and you will see that it's not the actual tissues that they are talking about but in fact just the structures...

Roccop777
Roccop777

@ACWheaton -- you need to do some research yourself -- soft tissue has indeed been found, not just their calcified imprints. Sof tissue does not survive molecular degradation after millions of years!

Ashrakay
Ashrakay like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Roccop777 @Ashrakay No Surprise.  People see what they want or expect to see.  Of course I saw the fossils.  As I stated multiple times, you need to understand the science of how these depictions are made before you criticize the findings.  I'm astonished that people that feel so comfortable in trusting forensic anthropology for assisting in solving crimes everyday, but they can't trust the same science when applied to animals. 

Roccop777
Roccop777

@Ashrakay I was commenting on the Time article, because that is what I read (as you did as well) Thank you for sending me the link to the original paper they were referring to. My comments are only confirmed. Did you see the collection of fossils they have from this creature in Fig. 1 -- extremely meager for the sweeping assumptions they made. In that article they also wrote:<i> 'highly woven bone tissue'</i> exactly like in the Time article. It writes tissue, not calcified imprints, or fossils. Actually the Time article, although brief, accurately describes the assumptions made in this paper. So what is your objection?

Roccop777
Roccop777

@ACWheaton I can only go on what the article says, rather than what I supposed they meant. I have strong reason to think they actually did find bone fibers. If believers in evolution can't write accurately, why don't you correct them, since you are on the same team?

ACWheaton
ACWheaton

@ Steven Patz  Why are you asking?  I have multiple degrees.  Two of them deal with the physical sciences.  Without your reason that is all the info I will share.

ACWheaton
ACWheaton

the article says they looked at bone fibers.  easier than saying they looked at fossilized remains of bone fibers.  doesn't say it was soft tissue that survived millions of years.  idk what you're other discussions are referring to but this article says nothing about soft tissue surviving.  So, what am I supposed to be researching?