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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old September 21 2013, 10:37 AM   #16
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

EmoBorg wrote: View Post
YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
We figured out giant bones were of lizard-like creatures and not giant humans around the same time we invented the telegraph, made the first trains and were working on the first general purpose computer.

And dinosaurs were huge. Imagine if the human civilization dies, and another one emerges in a million years, they'll probably be oblivious of our existence by the time they start their space program, and would figure out we had a civilization of our own right about... now.
I remember watching the VOY episode, Distant Origins, which had in it a background story that said that a dinosaurs species achieved sentience and became intelligent enough to travel in space.

I know it is just fiction, but is there any chance that a species that lived millions of years before us could have achieved sentience. I am not only talking about dinosaurs but other ancient species as well. Animals have been around for 600 millions years at least.
Why not? We will never knw of course, but sentience is not a magical thing that "BOOM" appears suddenly after x numbers of evolutonary steps.
It's all gradual and some degree of sentience is very possible I think.
Most animals would score somewhere on the sentience scale.

I would put dolphins pretty high on that scale... how long have they been around?
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Old September 21 2013, 11:52 AM   #17
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

The bigger problem is that a civilization requires more than sentience and intelligence. Things like hands, fingers, ability to vocalize, body posture, environment, incentives such as physical disadvantages against predators, curiosity and so on. Great apes are the only ones who seems to possess all that right now, and we were the ones to make a civilization, everyone else with some kind of disadvantage didn't. Maybe other species had a tendency to evolve a greater intelligence, but without all the rest, had not enough use for it and didn't.

Even if there's a very intelligent group of dolphins somewhere to speak a complex language worthy of a prehistoric human tribe, they are unlikely to develop a writing system, to use anything beyond the simplest tools, or to ever process materials and objects in any significant way. Anything short of an interaction with humans would leave them primitive in the short term (millions of years). Same thing for, say, the cleverest of dogs. Elephants seem to have some remarkable skills for manipulating things with their trunks, so they could be onto something one day. Bears as dog's cousins are not exactly the stupidest of creatures, and also seem to be in the middle of discovering how to use their evolving front paws to grab things. Too bad squirrels are not good in the brain department – those creatures are dexterous. And worse, none of those creatures come close to apes and dolphins (or do they? selective breeding done by humans might come to the rescue)

Speaking of dinosaurs, they didn't do bad either. Parrots and crows are little geniuses. Although they are handicapped physically and aren't going anywhere, they seem to be an indication that the civilization could have sprung from the dinosaur lineage, not our own. Distant Origin is not that crazy. We just got lucky. But assuming a tendency of growing complexity and intelligence, it is unlikely (but not impossible) for there to have been dinosaur Einsteins, even the wisest birds of today aren't wiser than many mammals, I am assuming their ancestors were only dumber.

...

But as unlikely as it is, thinking of an undiscovered dinosaur species that used and built tools, built houses, cooked food, etc., is truly fascinating and gets me dreamy. Not knowing how easy intelligence evolves makes it worth pondering at least. I adore the image of velociraptors opening doors.
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Old September 21 2013, 02:06 PM   #18
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

Psion wrote: View Post
Now just imagine him chirping. "Chirp! Chirp! CHOMP!"
Cheetah's chirp. I know they're not giant lizards or raptors, but the sound seems incongruous just the same.

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
More knowledge is a good thing, regardless of whether or not it changes someone's childhood perceptions.
So, I gather you're not one of those people who throws a tantrum because Pluto is no longer considered a planet, just because that's the way you learned it as a kid. "Planet 10, real soon."
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Old September 21 2013, 06:30 PM   #19
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

Thank you for posting this article. I thought it was really cool and so did my two very sweet little pet dinosaurs. (I have a Diamond Dove and Budgerigar Parakeet.)

Warmest Wishes,
Whoa Nellie
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Old September 21 2013, 06:50 PM   #20
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
More knowledge is a good thing, regardless of whether or not it changes someone's childhood perceptions.
I still lament the non-existence of the Brontosaurus.
I'm not sad that we figured out Apatosaurus was the same creature and how it actually looked. However, Brontosaurus was the better name of the too, so I'm sad they didn't choose that (regardless of who was first).

Metryq wrote: View Post
So, I gather you're not one of those people who throws a tantrum because Pluto is no longer considered a planet, just because that's the way you learned it as a kid. "Planet 10, real soon."
I am not. I never expected it to change because people were used to it, but it was hard to defend Pluto being a planet and not all the other similarly-sized bodies in our solar system. I think it's a good change. Pluto will be taught, just as an example of a Dwarf Planet instead.
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Old September 22 2013, 09:08 PM   #21
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

B.J. wrote: View Post
Even the asteroid impact that wiped most of them out wasn't even a theory until 1980, when I was in Kindergarten.
With Shoemaker joining Walter and Luis Alvarez in the grave, the gradualists--uniformitarianists have started to come out of the woodwork again. The Channeled Scablands sounded like something a Young Earther would concoct, so all Catastrophists got painted with the Velikovsky brush--and it took a long time for impact theory to make its mark.

I remember when Meteor Crator was called crypto-volcanic.

Well, now, Discovery Channel had a special that aired not long ago questioning the dino killer impact.

Talk about denialism--something damn near blows a hole through a continent, and that folks question.

This is why I really wish I could believe in creationism.

God:
" Hey, Ray Harryhausen! Have I got a job for you! It will take some time traveling, but I want you to help me shape the laws of physics so we can make the Rhedosaurus real.
Bonestell is in charge of the Moon now by the way. The blind forces of evolution and physics just led to dinos with feathers and humdrum lunar landscapes. It's time to kick things up a notch..now to make anti-gravity real and liquid hydrogen a dense, room temperature liquid."
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Old September 23 2013, 07:29 AM   #22
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

Tiberius wrote: View Post
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Good thing that I watched Jurassic Park when it was still cool and not inaccurate. These scientists ruin everything.
At least Jurassic Park was the first dinosaur movie to depict T. rex as a fast, agile predator that carried the weight of its body balanced on its pelvic girdle like a seesaw, unlike previous depictions that showed the creature walking more or less upright and dragging its tail.
The Kangasaurus posture.
HA! Can you imagine a 6 ton theropod rearing back on its tail and kicking like a kangaroo? Ouch!
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Old September 23 2013, 12:40 PM   #23
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

The thing is, there are other mass extinctions that involve no cataclysmic events and other meteor impacts with no impact on species survival, so it is a bit odd that this one time, there is a meteor to explain it. However, not only has the impact site been found, but the evidence elsewhere of its effects are pretty strong. I certainly agree its a bit odd to deny that it was at least part of the equation these days.
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Old September 23 2013, 12:55 PM   #24
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

A new theory is that the ground-dwelling dinosaurs went extinct because the mammals hunted them all to extinction to get soft down for stuffing mattresses and pillows. I know this is a new theory because I just proposed it here.
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Old September 23 2013, 02:30 PM   #25
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

Off topic, the Messenger probe orbiting Mercury just made an AMAZING discovery. I never saw that one coming.
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Old September 23 2013, 05:21 PM   #26
B.J.
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

gturner wrote: View Post
Off topic, the Messenger probe orbiting Mercury just made an AMAZING discovery. I never saw that one coming.
Nice! "He will not be permanently damaged."
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Old September 25 2013, 02:19 AM   #27
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

gturner wrote: View Post
A new theory is that the ground-dwelling dinosaurs went extinct because the mammals hunted them all to extinction to get soft down for stuffing mattresses and pillows. I know this is a new theory because I just proposed it here.
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Old October 11 2013, 06:45 PM   #28
Argus Skyhawk
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
More knowledge is a good thing, regardless of whether or not it changes someone's childhood perceptions.
I still lament the non-existence of the Brontosaurus.
Don't worry. The fact that he is now called Apatosaurus, and that we now know his head was shaped a little differently, doesn't mean he didn't exist.
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Old October 11 2013, 07:37 PM   #29
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The title of this thread has evolved!

By the way, the feathers in that article date to the late cretaceous period, when birds already existed. I would be interested in knowing how they determined the feathers were not from birds.
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Old October 11 2013, 08:05 PM   #30
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Re: Images of dinosaur feathers in amber

Argus Skyhawk wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
More knowledge is a good thing, regardless of whether or not it changes someone's childhood perceptions.
I still lament the non-existence of the Brontosaurus.
Don't worry. The fact that he is now called Apatosaurus, and that we now know his head was shaped a little differently, doesn't mean he didn't exist.
BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME!
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