Friday, April 07, 2006
JURASSIC FUNNIES. So now the scientists are announcing new dinosaurs at a pretty rapid rate again. Most recently, we got this:
What's 7 feet tall, 13 feet long, armed with sickle-like claws and covered with feathers? Hagryphus giganteus, the new raptor dinosaur discovered in southern Utah.
The dinosaur was unveiled this week in a pair of press conferences held by the Utah Museum of Natural History, one on Monday in Escalante, near its discovery site, and the other on Tuesday in the museum on the University of Utah campus...
The name means "giant four-footed, bird-like god of the western desert," said Lindsay Zanno, a graduate student at the U. who named it and is the lead author of a paper describing the animal. The paper was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Only about 7 percent of the fossil was recovered, said Scott Sampson, the museum's chief curator. That consisted of hand and feet bones, including the impression of the sharp keratin sheath that was curved like a huge cat's claw.
All they have of it is hand and leg bones, but they know it had feathers. They know it had feathers?
Does anybody else suspect that the scientists are just playing with us now? For some reason they got tired of the reptile dinosaurs and decided they were really birds instead. So they start giving us pictures like the one above, all nicely colored in and adorned with poultry-like cartilage crowns, which, of course, they have recovered exactly none of.
I think they're laughing. I think they're going to see just how far they can go with this made up crap until somebody notices that the whole thing is a Confidencegameius Giganticus, which is paleontology for 'Gotcha.'
In the meantime I expect we'll see additional exciting announcements of new 'dinosaurs' like the two below.
It's just not working for me. I miss the old romping, stomping 'terrible lizards.' I don't want them to be just chickens the size of airliners. What does anybody else think?