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View Diary: A Perspective on Life on Earth (74 comments)

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  •  Small correction to a very nice diary (1+ / 0-)
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    cantelow

    Dinosaurs were not wiped out 65 million years ago. A lot were but now we call the survivors birds and they are, probably the most numerous and diverse vertebrates on the Earth. Birds are very different from mammals. Their brains are organized differently and rather more efficiently in some ways. Their red blood cells have nuclei, unlike ours; so they don't need to weigh themselves down with bone marrow. They have feathers. Their lineage is very old, but they seem to have abandoned size by and large in favor of flight. We still have some large birds, the emu, ostrich, and rhea (and until 1000 years ago, the moa). But birds are the descendants of the supposedly extinct dinosaurs, just as we are the descendants of a little rat-like creature that scurried around in ancient forests.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:34:34 PM PST

    •  I thought birds were already diverging by then (0+ / 0-)

      could be wrong though :)

      •  Significant evidence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattakar

        of profoundly linked biology. A number of paleontologists think now that most dinosaurs had some kind of feathery appendages, and were warm-blooded (chickens have a body temp of 102). It is true that the shapes and sizes of dinosaurs are tremendously diverse. But just look at our pre-hominid ancestors.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 04:55:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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