The bones and eggs of a new 70-million-year-old dinosaur that resembled a flightless bird have been found in Patagonia, scientists say.

Palaeontologists said they expected the eggs, which were fertilised and well-developed, to help explain how birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Some of the eggs were probably still inside the mother dinosaur when she died - other eggs were nearby.

The new species, Bonapartenykus ultimus, is a member of the small, long-legged, fast-moving Alvarezsaurid dinosaur family, they report in Cretaceous Research.

Although the link to modern-day birds has been disputed in the past, palaeontologist Fernando Novas said the current batch of bones resembled the skeleton of the Nandu, a modern flightless bird of the Rhea genus, native to Patagonia.

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                                         Baby Barn Owl (1 week old)

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for all the great links and the post. This is a very interesting topic. I've actually studied speciation in class.

My formal science education was school level only. I left the last link for educated folk like you and Stuart Oxley.

Thank you for your contributions.


I studied Bsc Palaebology & Evolution at Portsmouth University, and I can tell you, the amount of evidence coming out of china alone, due to carbonized feathers and prints, very strongly supports the dino to bird theory and those suggesting otherwise are just having trouble letting go of the idea of big scaley monsters. Saying that though, theories should of course always be tested until they become fact, but they need to accept that, until evidence proves otherwise, it is the most likely theory to be right.

I like this fossil of Archaeopteryx with its feathers, teeth and claws, which was found in Germany. The fossil also supports the theory that birds evolved from Dinasours. I'm not aware of any other plausible explanation.

Archaeopteryx fossil

Forgive me if I'm about to say something totally ignorant. My understanding is that fossils generally form where the ground is muddy. So, if we guess that this is a mother, maybe with a nest, can we guess that she spent a great deal of time in or around water? Was she a water dino the way we have cranes or geese now?

I'm not a scientist.

The  Archaeopteryx is known in German as Urvogal meaning 'first bird'. It's fossils are found in solnhoffen limestone in Bavaria Germany.

The habitat at the time is described as lagoons and islands and Archaeopteryx probably could fly and glide.

Whether or not the bird also swam might be determined by any evidence of webbed feet or similar attributes. 

If you like archaeopteryx, google Microraptor gui and the Xing Yang province. I think I've got the latter right.
I don't class people who ask intelligent questions as ignorant. Normal mud has a tendancy to be infested with putrifying bacteria, however if you have an anoxic environment you can get excellent fossilization and sometimes soft tissue preservation. Normal mud, when dried, can produce cast fossils or trace fossils (foot prints, burrows etc). Deserts can produce fossils by covering corpses and if the heat has dried them out first like a mummy, you can get skin prints and possibly even soft tissue preservation. Other processes include volcanic eruptions via ash coverage, landslides (underwater and terrestrial) and whole forests can be carbonized into coal. I won't even get started on oil and gas. Oh an limestone is made of trillions of microscopic planktonic organisms.

Many terrestrial creatures find their way into rivers and lakes for fossilisation through floods and drowning while crossing rivers or tsunamis.
You might be interested to know that the first specimen of archaeopteryx found was just bones and thought to be a dinosaur.
It's worth noting that all animals need to be within walking/flying/slithering distance of a water
source, even if it is just moisture off of plants.
Fossilisation is still a relatively rare occurance though, otherwise we would be swimming in corpses, only the more common species are likely to be found so transitional creatures or missing links are rare, something creationists refuse to acknowledge as it puts another nail in the coffin for their stupid beliefs.
Google the burgess shale if you want an amazing example of these processes and like nature at its weirdest.

Cool! Thank you!


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