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Date:11/26/2014 3:33:34 PM
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Hi Jolie
Today the first pic in my gallery is a fossil from Liaoning province in China, part of the Jehol group. It's one of the main proofs of the dino/bird connection. In the Cretaceous, this was a swampy area, so fossils are extremely well preserved. Sinornithosaurus is a 2 legged meat eater, about 2 to 3 feet tall. You can see on the fossil the clear imprints of feathers in the rocks, but if you look closely, you'll see no primaries on the wings or tail. He had down and contour feathers, and long claws on his arms. So, this guy had feathers, but did not fly. Feathers evolved way before flight, probably to keep the animal warm. The second pic shows a model of him, based on the fossil. He is a member of the raptor family, has that raptor toe that sticks up. These guys were brainy, vicious, and hunted in packs. They attacked an animal and slashed it, eating it as a pack. They were also warm blooded.
Many of us grew up thinking that dinos were slow, stupid, cold blooded, and deserved to go extinct. The fact is that dinos have been on earth for 226 million years, and are still around, making them (us) one of the most successful animals of all time. You are a dinosaur, and so am I. There are over 9,000 species of us still alive and kicking, flying, walking, swimming, etc. Their body temps spanned ectotherms (those cold blooded sauropods with long necks and tails) to endotherms, these raptors, and of course, US! More to come! Hugs and a vote from me, Gizmo
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