Sunday, April 1, 2012

Raptormaniacs Revamp

Well, this is embarrassing. Being a self-proclaimed maniraptor enthusiast I've always considered birds to be maniraptors and insisted on feathering maniraptor depictions, foolishly believing these to be the correct, mainstream view.

Having read the new paper Claw & Troll (2012) "The End of the Debate: Conclusive Evaluation of the Birds are Dinosaurs Hypothesis Theory Using SRC, with Further Comments on 'Feathered Dinosaurs'", published in Nowhere (which you can read if you pay a really, really, really high fee), however, I have realized that the Birds Are Not Dinosaurs (BAND) hypothesis is clearly more parsimonious than its oft-touted alternative. Far from having no good evidence or research on the subject at their disposal, BANDits are in reality the oppressed minority who are brave enough to challenge the oppressive majority view.

To summarize, in their new paper Claw and Troll demonstrate that they haven't read exhaustively review all pertinent literature on bird origins in the past two decades, providing the long-overdue 99999th first objective, unbiased look at the subject. Utilizing the extremely unscientific useful, universally applicable method SRC (Spewing Random Crap), they show that the actual ancestors of birds are thecodonts (monophyletic group™) crocodiles Longisquama pterosaurs anything as long as they're not dinosaurs. It's not like there are no better candidates than dinosaurs for which we can clearly trace the evolution of all avian traits through the fossil record. In any case, there just is absolutely no way in a zillion years that birds descended from dinosaurs, for lots and lots of good reasons Claw and Troll mention, which are all really complicated and make no sense so I won't discuss in depth here. Most of them involve poking massive holes in the fallacious birds are dinosaurs theory by pointing out the glaring lack of certain avian traits in theropod dinosaurs (the group of dinosaurs commonly and erroneously thought to have given rise to birds). The fact that all these traits are indeed known in non-avian dinosaurs is mostly ignored, but that's a mere minor setback. The BANDit view is still stronger by far. They also note that the possibility birds evolved from a tree-gliding ancestor indicates that birds can't have descended from dinosaurs because all dinosaurs lived only on the ground and would die immediately of spontaneous logic combustion if they left it even for a second, as is common knowledge for anyone well acquainted with 1970s children's books. There was also a complicated discussion on finger configuration that greatly supports the BANDit theory, but their reasoning appeared really flimsy sound to me so I'm running with it.

Furthermore, as a followup to their 2011 paper, Claw and Troll conclusively demonstrate that no actual feathered dinosaur fossils are known. Compsognathids only preserve long collagen fibers, which probably formed a basilisk-like ridge on the back, even though other animals found in the same deposits don't preserve "collagen fibers" and it's actually not that hard for professionals to distinguish between fossilized collagen and feathers. Oviraptorosaurs are obviously birds, not dinosaurs. Finally, Claw and Troll intentionally avoid discussing deinonychosaurs because deinonychosaurs are cool, which automatically excludes them from being feathered, fossils be damned. Beipiaosaurus and Dilong aren't mentioned, but whatever, they've already dismissed every taxon that matters anyway.

Given this highly convincing research, I have seen the light. This comic will have to go through a complete revamp.


References
Claw, A. & Troll, I. M. A. (2012) "The End of the Debate: Conclusive Evaluation of the Birds are Dinosaurs Hypothesis Theory Using SRC, with Further Comments on 'Feathered Dinosaurs'". Nowhere 0 (0): 0. DOI: 42.15854/4095922.2012.15588802.

17 comments:

  1. Wow. I thought the Birds Are Dinosaurs hypothesis was so well supported, but this new study has definitely changed my mind. Thanks for bringing my attention to it. In fact, we should make a documentary about this oppression by the majority. It shall be called "Kicked Out: No BAND Allowed." The truth must get out!

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    1. That is an excellent idea. If we can attract the attention of documentary producers it'll certainly be highly beneficial, as they totally dig these underdog stories. Besides, we all know documentaries are excellent at presenting an unbiased, objective view of scientific research and will not screw anything up in the slightest, making them the ultimate medium for scientific outreach.

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  2. Is this in reference to "Riddle of the Feathered Dragons: Hidden Birds of China" in particular or just recent BANDit stuff in general? Also, why wouldn't Tsagaan exist if the BANDits had it their way?

    -JD-man

    P.S. I'd like to see your version of "Kicked Out: No BAND Allowed" in a future blog post.

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    1. More just BANDits in general. As for Skull, he has been remodeled into a (poorly-drawn) Jurassic Park raptor skull, and is therefore non existent (as Claw & Troll are also parodies of those who can't accept feathered dinosaurs in general).

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  3. Has this study also revealed whether dromeosaurs had bendable tails and bunny hands?

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    1. No, but I went with them because they are present in the life restorations in the paper. Perhaps a future study will address these.

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  4. This is a ridiculous embaressment to paleontology.



    Everyone knows big dinosaurs like Ebeff were primarily aquatic.
    http://www.labnews.co.uk/features/prehistoric-revolution-2/

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    1. Right you are. Sadly, that study came out mere days after I decided to revamp the blog. Not a difficult fix though; the two studies aren't mutually exclusive.

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  5. And therizinosaurs had large claws, so they were obviously cold blooded killers twice the length of a T.rex.

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  6. This is total nonsense.

    Dinosaurs appeared 10,000 years ago when God farted all over the Earth. This caused the bacteria to turn into dinosaurs, giant scaly crocodiles and varanids with spikes and horns glued on them. About 5000 years ago, man appeared and killed all the dinosaurs with lazors and chainsawz, causing a Gaia's Lament with the K-T extinction. Some animals survived though, including elephants, bats, deer, sharks, whales, rats and birdies. 200 years ago, man invented cars, which have released CO2 into the air, causing the Eocene Thermal Maximum, causing another Gaia's Lament. Basilosaurus, the last derphin, died in the heat. Today, enjoy your world while it lasts, as we have only until December 21st to live. On that day, giant dragons will kill every other living thing on Earth, and the malicious wyverns will dominate the planet.

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    1. Bwahahaha. You must get that into the technical literature sometime.

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    2. And the wyverns will create androids that do nothing but dream of electric sheep, since Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap.

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  7. I read a similar article in new scientist where someone claimed Sinosauropteryx was covered in frills and spikes and that anything with feathers was a bird. I am glad to see that it is not a widely accepted view and that when you put it into practice it seams quite obviously stupid.

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  8. I am a HUGE fan of your comics, its a fun and novel way to get people interested!

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    1. Thanks! I hope to start drawing them again sometime; it's been a while.

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  9. Does the part about oviraptorosaurs being birds but not deinonychosaurs come from Feduccia (2002)? IIRC, he had oviraptorosaurs and microraptorians as birds, but not eudromaeosaurs or troodontids (he didn't address unenlagiines, possibly because even BADists thought they were birds at the time).

    Spinosegnosaurus77/SpongeBobFossilPants

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    1. It wasn't a reference to anything specific, more of a jab at the fact that feathered deinonychosaurs appear to be more widely maligned due to their pop culture presence.

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