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Do dinosaurs still exist ?


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#1    UM-Bot

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:44 AM


From Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" to "Jurassic Park" the concept of dinosaurs being alive today has been a subject for films and books for centuries, but how likely is it that any could have survived for so long ?

"The idea of still-living dinosaurs has captured the public imagination for well over a century.  Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, published a 1912 novel called "The Lost World," set in the remote Venezuelan jungle where dinosaurs still survive in modern times. Films such as "Jurassic Park" and "Land of the Lost," which opens Friday, were inspired by Conan Doyle's vision in fact the sequel to "Jurassic Park" was titled "The Lost World." "

View: Full Article | Source: Live Science

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#2    DieChecker

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 06:35 PM

Quote

By Benjamin Radford, LiveScience's Bad Science Columnist

Bad Science columnist. What a great job that must be.

Quote

Lake monsters

There are hundreds of lakes harboring reputed monsters around the world, from Scotland's Loch Ness to Canada's Lake Okanagan, America's Lake Champlain to Argentina's Lake Nahuel.

The explanations for such monsters include dinosaurs and dinosaur-like animals. Believers and researchers ask what else could be so big, and account for the sightings.

Many believe that lake and sea monster reports can be "explained" as animals like the plesiosaur (a long-necked aquatic reptile that reached 40 feet in length) or the ichthyosaur (shonisaurus sikanniensis), which were as big as a submarine.

I don't think most lake monsters are possible, as the enviroment they are supposed to live in is too small to remain undetected.

Quote

Mokele-Mbembe

In the remote jungles of central Africa, native stories tell of a dinosaur-like creature said to be up to 35 feet long, with brownish-gray skin and a long, flexible neck. Many believe that it lives in caves it digs in riverbanks, and feeds on elephants, hippos, and crocodiles.

Roy Mackal, a retired University of Chicago biologist who conducted two expeditions in search of the Mokele-Mbembe, believes that the descriptions of the creature suggest "a small sauropod dinosaur."

Despite more than two dozen searches for the "living dinosaur" as recently as last year, evidence is elusive. There are no photographs or films of the creature, no bones or teeth, no evidence beyond stories and anecdote.

Last Year! I never heard about a search last year. Maybe if I google this guy Mackal.

Quote

Yet scientifically speaking, not all dinosaurs died out. Most of us see dinosaurs every day, and some people even have them in their homes. Birds are the modern version of dinosaurs, though seeing Will Ferrell or Jeff Goldblum running terrified from an approaching pigeon just isn't very dramatic.

One of my favorite things to point out. The dinosaurs are still alive today, we just call them birds.

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#3    DieChecker

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 06:39 PM

DieChecker on Jun 7 2009, 11:35 AM, said:

Last Year! I never heard about a search last year. Maybe if I google this guy Mackal.

Oh Blah! Just Destination Truth and MonsterQuest. I was hoping for some real investigation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokele-mbembe

Quote

2008: Destination Truth
In March 2008 an episode of the SciFi Channel series Destination Truth involved investigator Josh Gates and crew searching for the elusive dinosaur. However, it must be noted that they did not visit the Likouala Region, which includes Lake Tele, but they visited Lake Bangweulu in Zambia instead, which had reports of a similar creature in the early 20th century, called the "'nsanga". The crew of Destination Truth kept calling the animal "Mokele-Mbembe" to the locals, when that name is only used in the Republic of the Congo. Their episode featured a videotaped close encounter, but filmed from a great distance. On applying digital video enhancement techniques, the encounter proved to be nothing more than two submerged hippopotami.

2009: MonsterQuest
In March 2009 an episode of the History Channel series MonsterQuest involved Bill Gibbons, Ron Mullin, local guide Pierre Sima and a two-man film crew from White Wolf Productions. It took place in Cameroon, in the region of Dja, Boumba and Nkogo Rivers, near the border with the Republic of the Congo. The episode is set to air on History Channel in the summer of 2009, and will also feature an interview with Dr. Roy P. Mackal and Peter Beach of the Milt Marcy Expedition, 2006


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#4    MysteryMike

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:21 PM

I actually do think Dinosaurs are still alive, but only small ones. Anything small has more chances of living. I believe ones like Eoraptor or a modern relative or descendant could be alive.

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#5    shadowsot

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:28 PM

MysteryMike on Jun 7 2009, 03:21 PM, said:

I actually do think Dinosaurs are still alive, but only small ones. Anything small has more chances of living. I believe ones like Eoraptor or a modern relative or descendant could be alive.


Like... well, birds? Maniraptora
Birds belong to the same genus as raptors.

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#6    MysteryMike

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:32 PM

ShadowSot on Jun 7 2009, 05:28 PM, said:

Like... well, birds? Maniraptora
Birds belong to the same genus as raptors.


No I don't mean birds. I mean ones like Eoraptor and if it is alive today it would be a modern day one or descendant. Not a bird. Not all Raptors would become birds.

It is also possible big dinosaurs are still alive but those chances are slim.

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#7    Mattshark

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:04 PM

MysteryMike on Jun 7 2009, 09:32 PM, said:

No I don't mean birds. I mean ones like Eoraptor and if it is alive today it would be a modern day one or descendant. Not a bird. Not all Raptors would become birds.

It is also possible big dinosaurs are still alive but those chances are slim.


Actually it is beyond reasonable doubt they are all gone. Nothing, not a single little trace for 65 million years. Saying there is any chance at all is an unrealistic statement.

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#8    KRS-One

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:40 PM

Mattshark on Jun 7 2009, 05:04 PM, said:

Actually it is beyond reasonable doubt they are all gone. Nothing, not a single little trace for 65 million years. Saying there is any chance at all is an unrealistic statement.


While I agree that it seems incredibly doubtful that any dinosaurs could possibly have remained living.  It strikes me as odd that you of all people would choose to make such sweeping statements.  Consider the case of the coelacanth.  Considered extinct from the cretaceous up until the late 1930's, when it was rediscovered.



#9    Mattshark

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:20 PM

KRS-One on Jun 7 2009, 11:40 PM, said:

While I agree that it seems incredibly doubtful that any dinosaurs could possibly have remained living.  It strikes me as odd that you of all people would choose to make such sweeping statements.  Consider the case of the coelacanth.  Considered extinct from the cretaceous up until the late 1930's, when it was rediscovered.

You can't compare marine to terrestrial environment, the two are very far removed and remember real marine exploration is a very recent thing. The coelacanth now is quite different from the ones who where known in the Cretaceous.

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#10    KRS-One

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:55 PM

I do not disagree that the two environments are substantially different, or that ocean exploration is still in it's relative infancy.  My point was that there are many creatures (both terrestrial and aquatic) that have long been thought to be extinct that have been found quite alive and well.  Dinosaurs, however, are not and most probably will not be another example of this.

Regarding the coelacanth itself, perhaps I should do more reading.  Most sources that I've read while discussing this topic and in the past for my own amusement make note that it remains relatively unchanged from its ancient ancestor, with no major evolutionary steps taken.  Certainly its very appearance remains that of a stereotypical "old school" fish...no pun intended.


#11    Professor Buzzkill

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:57 PM

"The tuatara, Sphendon punctatus, is found only in New Zealand and is the only surviving member of a distinct reptilian order Sphehodontia that lived alongside early dinosaurs and separated from other reptiles 200 million years ago in the Upper Triassic period."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/...80320120708.htm

Why do we not count tiny lizards which are directly related to dinosaurs? It is the last in the line of the "horned" dinosaurs.


#12    Mattshark

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:08 AM

KRS-One on Jun 8 2009, 12:55 AM, said:

I do not disagree that the two environments are substantially different, or that ocean exploration is still in it's relative infancy.  My point was that there are many creatures (both terrestrial and aquatic) that have long been thought to be extinct that have been found quite alive and well.  Dinosaurs, however, are not and most probably will not be another example of this.

Regarding the coelacanth itself, perhaps I should do more reading.  Most sources that I've read while discussing this topic and in the past for my own amusement make note that it remains relatively unchanged from its ancient ancestor, with no major evolutionary steps taken.  Certainly its very appearance remains that of a stereotypical "old school" fish...no pun intended.

Yes, but generally it would take a very isolated environment (not just unexplored forest, real isolation on an island) which is why I think it is beyond reasonable doubt, not only that, there is a lack of ecological niche, most species we discover are extremely similar to known animals unless they are on an island and they tend to be unusually adapted. But I see no where on the planet that offers that isolation that could hold a dinosaur.

GlenBoy22 on Jun 8 2009, 12:57 AM, said:

"The tuatara, Sphendon punctatus, is found only in New Zealand and is the only surviving member of a distinct reptilian order Sphehodontia that lived alongside early dinosaurs and separated from other reptiles 200 million years ago in the Upper Triassic period."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/...80320120708.htm

Why do we not count tiny lizards which are directly related to dinosaurs? It is the last in the line of the "horned" dinosaurs.

Tuatara are neither lizards or dinosaurs, they are different to both.

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#13    shadowsot

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:27 AM

If any member of the dinosaur species survived, ti would have to inhabit a specific niche in it's environment.
The tuatara and crocodiles, for example, have occupied the same niche since their arrival in the fossil record, which is why they have changed so little.

For a species of dinosaur to have survived so long, and for it to still be recognizable as a dinosaur, it'd have to be in a environment little changed and experience little competition in it's niche.  
Finding a area like that is rare, while there are many (in comparison) examples of islands that have developed their own unique ecology, there are very few places on Earth that have not changed in the last 65 or so million years.

Coelocanth disappeared from the fossil record, but still survived. It's a deep water fish, so it'd be difficult to find fossils for it, while the Tuatara has a recognizable ancestor in the fossil record.

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#14    Cookes453

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:38 AM

There are probably "Dinosaur" type sea creatures living in our oceans. The Earth's oceans are vast and a large percentage of it remain unexplored. There could very well indeed be ancient Dinosaur type creatures living and thriving peacefully within it's depths. Many new forms of ocean life are discovered each year, so it's possible.

Edited by Cookes453, 08 June 2009 - 04:39 AM.

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#15    Mattshark

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:04 PM

Cookes453 on Jun 8 2009, 05:38 AM, said:

There are probably "Dinosaur" type sea creatures living in our oceans. The Earth's oceans are vast and a large percentage of it remain unexplored. There could very well indeed be ancient Dinosaur type creatures living and thriving peacefully within it's depths. Many new forms of ocean life are discovered each year, so it's possible.

Erm you think large air breathing animals could be hiding in deep water? It is beyond unlikely.

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