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Sunday, October 11, 2009

1/3rd of dinosaur species... may have never existed to begin with

Call it "genus-cide".  Over a thousand species of Dinosauria have been identified since Sir Richard Owen first came up with the term in 1842.  And now perhaps a third of the dinosaurs known to date stand to get wiped out of the taxonomy, according to National Geographic News.

The problem, according to paleontologists Mark Goodwin and Jack Horner, is that many of the dinosaurs marked as unique species were actually pre-pubescent juveniles of other species! In one example cited, a variant of tyrannosaur that was previously considered to be a relative of Tyrannosaurus Rex was probably nothing but a young T-Rex before his "hormones kicked in".

It's funny: I'm old enough to remember when dinosaurs were regarded as slow-moving cold-blooded beasts that dragged their tails on the ground. Which as we know, isn't anything like how the latest research and pop culture currently depicts them as. And now maybe one-third of known dinosaurs never existed at all.

'Course, all of this is entirely within the realm of speculation since nobody has reported observing a real dinosaur before... right? :-)


Matt vanLieshout said...

i've loved dinosaurs ever since i was little, but i totally agree that scientists seem to jump to conclusions too much when it comes to fossil discoveries. i mean, this one dinoasur they've only found their forearms too-- and right away they think that they can assume what the rest of it looks like? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/05/photogalleries/utah_dino/photo6.html
its kinda silly. i'll be heart broken if they ever dispprove an entire dinosaur.