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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  01:35:33  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Why not? Pygmies are well known in modern, isolated populations of various species; certainly it would happen in ancient ones as well.
quote:
A pygmy dinosaur many times smaller than its giant relatives has been found by a fossil hunter searching a stone quarry in Germany. It is the first time scientists have found evidence of dwarfism in dinosaurs, which could have evolved in response to a shortage of food on the island where they lived 150 million years ago.

When the bones were first unearthed in 1998 it was thought they belonged to juvenile sauropods - the biggest animals to walk on land - but a new analysis shows they were, in fact, fully grown adults.

Sauropod dinosaurs such as brachiosaurus grew up to 45 metres (150ft) long and weighed 80 tons. Their diminutive relatives, which were found in a quarry in Lower Saxony, stopped growing at 6mand weighed less than a ton, which is more than 50 times smaller than their larger cousins.

Martin Sander of the University of Bonn and Octavio Mateus of Museo da Lourinha in Lisbon said that a microscopic analysis of the small dinosaur's bones, published in the journal Nature, has confirmed that they were adults rather than juveniles.


And this, of course, led to specization. They were still sauropods descended from much larger ancestors, but had become entirely different sauropods altogether -- take that, Dr. Dino!

An interesting, modern example of this sort of thing are the rock rattlesnakes (Crotalus lepidus). These tiny serpents -- 20" is a pretty good sized one -- live in pocket populations in rock outcrops and slides where food is not plentiful. It's some pretty hostile terrain and these snakes have developed a catholic diet, which includes such items as centipedes and tarantulas. They are among the world's few, front-fanged snakes to regularly feed on arthropods. They are descended from much larger species that gradually migrated north from Mexico.

This dinosaur find simply demonstrates further what we already know: that evolution never rests. Indeed, it might be considered an anomaly if such pigmies were not found somewhere.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!


Edited by - filthy on 06/09/2006 01:37:08

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  09:16:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Why not? Pygmies are well known in modern, isolated populations of various species; certainly it would happen in ancient ones as well.
quote:
A pygmy dinosaur many times smaller than its giant relatives has been found by a fossil hunter searching a stone quarry in Germany. It is the first time scientists have found evidence of dwarfism in dinosaurs, which could have evolved in response to a shortage of food on the island where they lived 150 million years ago.

When the bones were first unearthed in 1998 it was thought they belonged to juvenile sauropods - the biggest animals to walk on land - but a new analysis shows they were, in fact, fully grown adults.

Sauropod dinosaurs such as brachiosaurus grew up to 45 metres (150ft) long and weighed 80 tons. Their diminutive relatives, which were found in a quarry in Lower Saxony, stopped growing at 6mand weighed less than a ton, which is more than 50 times smaller than their larger cousins.

Martin Sander of the University of Bonn and Octavio Mateus of Museo da Lourinha in Lisbon said that a microscopic analysis of the small dinosaur's bones, published in the journal Nature, has confirmed that they were adults rather than juveniles.


And this, of course, led to specization. They were still sauropods descended from much larger ancestors, but had become entirely different sauropods altogether -- take that, Dr. Dino!

An interesting, modern example of this sort of thing are the rock rattlesnakes (Crotalus lepidus). These tiny serpents -- 20" is a pretty good sized one -- live in pocket populations in rock outcrops and slides where food is not plentiful. It's some pretty hostile terrain and these snakes have developed a catholic diet, which includes such items as centipedes and tarantulas. They are among the world's few, front-fanged snakes to regularly feed on arthropods. They are descended from much larger species that gradually migrated north from Mexico.

This dinosaur find simply demonstrates further what we already know: that evolution never rests. Indeed, it might be considered an anomaly if such pigmies were not found somewhere.





And of course there are pigmy populations of humans. Most notably, The Mbuti of Zaire, who live in the Ituri Forest.

The Forest People by Colin Turnbull was my introduction to these people, back in a cultural anthropology class all those years ago. It was fairly easy to see by his exploits with the Bmuti how being small of stature was a distinct advantage living in a thick forest. Turnbull hit his head on low branches with some regularity…

It is clear that they were sexually isolated for a long enough time to adapt to their environment though they are not another human species. In the case of the “pigmy” dino's, it may have been that the isolation was for so long that sexual reproduction with their larger counterparts simply became impossible from a logistical standpoint. But reproduction might have been successful if they had the ability to mate. Could be that after a given period of time and adaptation they simply wouldn't have recognized that they were basically the same animals. So speciation occurred.

If they had run into each other, and had thought like humans, my guess is they would have tried. Humans will, ummmmmmm, you know?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  13:45:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
Well, I think it's evidence against evolution, and for creation!
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  14:47:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
I'm of the unverified opinion that my toy dog, Missy the Chihuahua, has some toy tyrannosaurus genes in her.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  15:13:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

Well, I think it's evidence against evolution, and for creation!

Creation by whom and for what reason?

You'd think that the big ones would be sufficent; it's harder to keep track of little ones and they don't produce nearly as much milk. Adam would have had to pull fifty times as many teats just to cream up his coffee.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  15:26:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
quote:
If they had run into each other, and had thought like humans, my guess is they would have tried. Humans will, ummmmmmm, you know?

Except that these beasts had an 80-fold difference in weight. It would be like a human trying to shag a barbie-doll.

Are there any known cases of barbiophilia?

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2006 :  17:19:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hawks

quote:
If they had run into each other, and had thought like humans, my guess is they would have tried. Humans will, ummmmmmm, you know?

Except that these beasts had an 80-fold difference in weight. It would be like a human trying to shag a barbie-doll.

Are there any known cases of barbiophilia?


Actually, I know of one.

About a year ago, I read of this *ahem* individual who was admitted to a hospital with a badly impacted bowel. The blockage turned out to be some 1/2 dozen or so Barbi heads in not very good condition.

He regularly swallowed them because they felt so good coming out.

Takes all kinds , I suppose.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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