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TheBicyclingGuitarist
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02 Aug 2014, 12:12 pm

Birds almost certainly evolved from dinosaurs, but technically dinosaurs do not fly by the definition of what a dinosaur is. So the birds of today are not dinosaurs though they are their descendants. Even pterodactyls are not dinosaurs but are flying reptiles. Similarly ichthyosaurs are not dinosaurs but are marine reptiles. I know when I got bags of toy plastic dinosaurs they often included flying reptiles and marine reptiles that were contemporaries of dinosaurs, but they aren't correctly called dinosaurs even though the label on the toy bag implied that. What's in a name, huh Bill (Shakespeare)?


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Kraichgauer
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02 Aug 2014, 12:23 pm

TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
Birds almost certainly evolved from dinosaurs, but technically dinosaurs do not fly by the definition of what a dinosaur is. So the birds of today are not dinosaurs though they are their descendants. Even pterodactyls are not dinosaurs but are flying reptiles. Similarly ichthyosaurs are not dinosaurs but are marine reptiles. I know when I got bags of toy plastic dinosaurs they often included flying reptiles and marine reptiles that were contemporaries of dinosaurs, but they aren't correctly called dinosaurs even though the label on the toy bag implied that. What's in a name, huh Bill (Shakespeare)?


Back when I was a kid and played with those plastic toy dinosaurs, they were still telling us dinosaurs were reptiles. At least today, I'm going out of my way to tell my daughter that they were closer to birds.


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Misslizard
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02 Aug 2014, 12:35 pm

A boy in second grade brought the most amazing plastic dinosaurs to school,I was fascinated by them,to the point where I stole his T-Rex :oops:


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TheBicyclingGuitarist
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02 Aug 2014, 12:51 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
Birds almost certainly evolved from dinosaurs, but technically dinosaurs do not fly by the definition of what a dinosaur is. So the birds of today are not dinosaurs though they are their descendants. Even pterodactyls are not dinosaurs but are flying reptiles. Similarly ichthyosaurs are not dinosaurs but are marine reptiles. I know when I got bags of toy plastic dinosaurs they often included flying reptiles and marine reptiles that were contemporaries of dinosaurs, but they aren't correctly called dinosaurs even though the label on the toy bag implied that. What's in a name, huh Bill (Shakespeare)?


Back when I was a kid and played with those plastic toy dinosaurs, they were still telling us dinosaurs were reptiles. At least today, I'm going out of my way to tell my daughter that they were closer to birds.


they ARE reptiles Bill, although some may have been warm-blooded. The thing to tell your daughter is that not all types of dinosaurs became extinct, some evolved to become the birds of today.


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02 Aug 2014, 12:58 pm

This is interesting.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 120708.htm


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Kraichgauer
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02 Aug 2014, 1:12 pm

Misslizard wrote:
A boy in second grade brought the most amazing plastic dinosaurs to school,I was fascinated by them,to the point where I stole his T-Rex :oops:


Do you still have it? :lol:


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Misslizard
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02 Aug 2014, 1:19 pm

:lol: no,but I have the embarrassing memory of boosting a classmates toy.


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naturalplastic
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02 Aug 2014, 7:22 pm

Worked for a company that was hired by KB Toys to stock their stores during Xmas season one year.

One time I paused to watch a little boy on the floor of one of the aisles with a 12 inch tall plastic T Rex on one hand facing off with a 12 inch tall plastic firebreathing dragon on the other.Both creatures obviously spoiling for a fight!

It always amazing how the real dinosaurs and the dragons of myth superficially resemble each other, and its curious how both seem to tie into some primal thing in the human psyche.



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02 Aug 2014, 10:23 pm

TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
Birds almost certainly evolved from dinosaurs, but technically dinosaurs do not fly by the definition of what a dinosaur is. So the birds of today are not dinosaurs though they are their descendants. Even pterodactyls are not dinosaurs but are flying reptiles. Similarly ichthyosaurs are not dinosaurs but are marine reptiles. I know when I got bags of toy plastic dinosaurs they often included flying reptiles and marine reptiles that were contemporaries of dinosaurs, but they aren't correctly called dinosaurs even though the label on the toy bag implied that. What's in a name, huh Bill (Shakespeare)?


I'm not sure you are correct. I looked on the wikipedia articles on both dinosaurs and birds, and in both articles they say birds are dinosaurs. They call dinosaurs a clade, which means that that grouping cannot exclude any descendants. In the infobox on the right they have Theropoda as a surviving subgroup of dinosaurs (there are only birds in that group). Throughout the article they refer to dinosaurs as including birds. The same goes for the wiki article on birds.
It seems the fairly new cladistics thing is changing how people view the relation between birds and dinosaurs. But, as you said these are just naming conventions created by humans, whatever we call them does not change the evolutionary relationship between birds and the extinct dinosaurs.



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02 Aug 2014, 10:41 pm

Birds and Dinosaurs


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02 Aug 2014, 10:54 pm

Dinosaurs are technically in their own Animal group situated between reptiles and bird also descendants of thecodonts which were reptiles who also gave rise to the alligators, crocodiles, caimens, and gharials.


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TheBicyclingGuitarist
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03 Aug 2014, 12:46 am

well, if you're gonna talk about clades where you include all descendants of a group as members of that group, one could describe humans as being highly derived fish. Go back 400 million years and our ancestors (and those of the dinos, and the birds) were fish.

As I understand the classic definition of dinosaur, they are land animals but with their legs more underneath them not sprawled out like crocodiles or lizards. So the flying reptiles were not dinosaurs, and even though descended from dinosaurs birds are not dinos unless you're talking cladistically, and if you're gonna do that you could call all land tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) fish too!

Of course I could be wrong! I haven't kept up with any debates over classification schemes. I understand in some cases genetic studies have changed ideas about certain relationships. A rose by any other name comes to mind. What matters is not what we call it but how much we know about it. A horse is a horse of course of course (and is also evolved from a fish if you go back far enough in time).


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03 Aug 2014, 1:02 am

TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
well, if you're gonna talk about clades where you include all descendants of a group as members of that group, one could describe humans as being highly derived fish. Go back 400 million years and our ancestors (and those of the dinos, and the birds) were fish.

As I understand the classic definition of dinosaur, they are land animals but with their legs more underneath them not sprawled out like crocodiles or lizards. So the flying reptiles were not dinosaurs, and even though descended from dinosaurs birds are not dinos unless you're talking cladistically, and if you're gonna do that you could call all land tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) fish too!

Of course I could be wrong! I haven't kept up with any debates over classification schemes. I understand in some cases genetic studies have changed ideas about certain relationships. A rose by any other name comes to mind. What matters is not what we call it but how much we know about it. A horse is a horse of course of course (and is also evolved from a fish if you go back far enough in time).


As I understand it, dinosaurs were closer to modern birds than they were to reptiles, though reptiles had been ancestors of the dinosaurs, thus the similarities. As well, modern birds are descendants of small raptor type dinosaurs.


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03 Aug 2014, 5:07 am

TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
well, if you're gonna talk about clades where you include all descendants of a group as members of that group, one could describe humans as being highly derived fish. Go back 400 million years and our ancestors (and those of the dinos, and the birds) were fish.

As I understand the classic definition of dinosaur, they are land animals but with their legs more underneath them not sprawled out like crocodiles or lizards. So the flying reptiles were not dinosaurs, and even though descended from dinosaurs birds are not dinos unless you're talking cladistically, and if you're gonna do that you could call all land tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) fish too!

Of course I could be wrong! I haven't kept up with any debates over classification schemes. I understand in some cases genetic studies have changed ideas about certain relationships. A rose by any other name comes to mind. What matters is not what we call it but how much we know about it. A horse is a horse of course of course (and is also evolved from a fish if you go back far enough in time).


From what I understand, some group names are clades (monophyletic) like dinosaur or great ape. Other names (reptile, fish) are paraphylitic, meaning they exclude some of their descendant groups. Reptiles excludes birds and mammals for example, so reptiles are not a clade. Neither are fish, because they specifically exclude tetrapods. If any groups are excluded, it is not a clade.
I think in modern times dinosaurs are considered a monophyletic group (clade), so by that definition birds are dinosaurs. Of course how humans classify them does not concern the birds at all. Still, it's a funny thing that because of us redefining them suddenly dinosaurs are no longer extinct!



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03 Aug 2014, 7:59 am

naturalplastic wrote:
It always amazing how the real dinosaurs and the dragons of myth superficially resemble each other, and its curious how both seem to tie into some primal thing in the human psyche.


I wonder if this superficial resemblance is based on actual dinosaur bones. Perhaps some were found by ancient peoples and they did a best guess on what the creature would like like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_paleontology

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In ancient times Xenophanes (570-480 BC), Herodotus (484-425 BC), Eratosthenes (276-194 BC), and Strabo (64 BC-24 AD), wrote about fossils of marine organisms indicating that land was once under water. During the Middle Ages, fossils were discussed by the Persian naturalist, Ibn Sina (known as Avicenna in Europe), in The Book of Healing (1027), which proposed a theory of petrifying fluids that Albert of Saxony would elaborate on in the 14th century. The Chinese naturalist Shen Kuo (1031?1095) would propose a theory of climate change based on evidence from petrified bamboo.


It looks like fossil evidence was discovered quite a while ago and people did best guess on what it meant. It's not such a stretch to tie the dragon myths to discovery of fossils/bones. I am pretty impressed by what scientists* of the past were able to deduce from the scanty evidence and not a lot of tools available.

*I know they didn't call themselves scientists but the point of view looks the same.