Little Tyrannosaur with “Proto-Feathers” Found

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Little Tyrannosaur with “Proto-Feathers” Found

first_imgNational Geographic News wasted no time; a day before a report of another Chinese dinosaur with feathery-like structures was published in Nature,1 they already had color artwork on their news page, trumpeting the title, “T. Rex Cousin Had Feathers.”  Yet Nature itself seemed ho-hum about the announcement.  It was neither the cover story, nor mentioned in any news briefs in the journal.  Though Nature Science Update was proud of the find, it hastened to add that the proto-feathers, as some are calling them, “are not what we would recognise as feathers today, but are their evolutionary precursors.  Rather than having a central shaft and barbs, they are single flexible filaments that would have covered the dinosaur’s body like hair.”  Next day, Science2 was more interested in its advanced cranium than its fuzz, and mentioned nothing about it being an ancestor of feathers or flight.    A look at the illustrations in the scientific paper confirms the impression that calling these “proto-feathers” is a stretch.   Any suggestion that these “integumentary structures” even had branches at all is unclear; they look like narrow, overlapping stripes on the rock, and there is no way to tell how they were attached to the skin.  The filaments are only about 2 cm long and were found related to the tail and jaw bones.  The team that discovered Sinornithosaurus, another “feathered” dinosaur, admitted in 2001 that “Despite these similarities, homology between the integumental filaments of Sinornithosaurus and avian feathers has been questioned.”  The team that reported this new find, named Dilong paradoxus, only referred back to that paper with a cautious statement that such “filamentous integumentary structures in Jehol theropods have been interpreted as protofeathers.”    They suggest that these structures might have provided thermal insulation.  These beasts, about the size of large dogs, may have had trouble storing heat.  Big animals, like teenage T. rex monsters (see 08/11/2004 headline), have trouble getting rid of it – that’s why elephants lose their baby hair as they grow.  They did not give any indication the filaments were related to the origin of flight in any way.  Another problem is that Dilong is classified as “early” in the evolution of dinosaurs, and it already had some “derived” features (i.e., fully evolved, similar to those of later descendants), while other contemporaneous groups lacked them.  “The distribution of postcranial pneumatization” [hollowness in skeletal bones], for instance, “is thus very complex among coelurosaurians, rather than displaying a continuous evolutionary trend along the line to birds.”    The bottom line: strange filaments apparently associated with a small, new kind of tyrannosaurid dinosaur have been found well preserved in Liaoning province, China, but no one knows quite what to make of them.  They appear early on in the tyrannosaurid lineage, but are not yet known among Cretaceous monsters like T. rex.  The filaments do not establish any unambiguous phylogenetic link to modern bird feathers except for superficial similarities.  They look more like hair than feathers, and probably functioned as insulation.1Xu, Norell et al., “Basal tyrannosauroids from China and evidence for protofeathers in tyrannosauroids,” Nature 431, 680 – 684 (07 October 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02855.2Erik Stokstad, “T. rex Clan Evolved Head First,” Science, Vol 306, Issue 5694, 211, 8 October 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5694.211a].This critter was no more evolving into a bird than a porcupine is, but news outlets like National Geographic are so eager to prove birds evolved from dinosaurs, you can practically sense them chomping at the bit to leap into the air themselves.  Mark Norell (on the discovery team) said that Jurassic Park IV will probably portray all the monsters with feathers instead of scales.  We’ve learned to be cautious about claims of feathered dinosaurs evolving into birds (see 05/06/2004, 05/19/2003 and 11/21/2002headlines, for instance).  It’s going to take a lot more than a few scratch-lines on rock to make this story stick.    Since dinosaurs are not all that similar to living reptiles and are all extinct, we should be open to any piece of evidence that helps us understand what they looked like: skin impressions, tracks, and now these filaments.  If the filaments helped keep the little doggy dinosaurs warm, like hair does, then they were not evolving into something else; they had a function.  Perhaps the young had some kind of downy covering to retain heat and lost it as adults.  Avian feathers, on the other hand, are much more complex than these filaments and are designed (for birds of the air) for flight.  Each creature was adapted to its environment; that shows design, not evolution.  Anyone thinking the dino-bird advocates have scored yardage with this find should read this description of the difference between scales and feathers by Dr. David Menton, and also read our previous reports on problems the Darwin Party wrestles with in their own just-so stories of the evolution of feathers (see 10/30/2003 and 08/21/2001 headlines).(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Continue Reading

Database to help unemployed teachers

first_imgA database is created so that professionally qualified South African teachers can register themselves when seeking employment in public schools.The database aims to cut down on turnaround times in filling vacant teaching posts across the country. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThe Department of Basic Education has created a national recruitment database to ensure that qualified teachers are employed and deployed on time to schools.The database, which will keep details of professionally qualified teachers seeking employment in public schools, will also cut down on turnaround times in filling vacant teaching posts across the country.All professionally qualified South African teachers are invited to register to be added to the database. Application forms can be downloaded from the department’s website – www.education.gov.za – completed and posted or hand-delivered to the department along with copies of qualifications and academic records.Principals and school governing bodies on the lookout for new teachers can easily access the database to find people who meet the criteria of the posts they are trying to fill.All the information – including a concise version of each teacher’s curriculum vitae, verified qualifications, subjects covered and teaching experience – is electronically captured on a single spreadsheet and sorted by province, enabling quick search and filter options.Updated versions of the database will be uploaded each monthly basis to ensure that candidates who have found employment are removed and new candidates added.“The database is one of the measures employed by the department in response to delays experienced in deploying temporary teachers to vacant posts,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.Source: South African Government News Agency.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Trupointe Cooperative announces retirement of Wallace

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Gordon WallaceVice President and COO of Trupointe Cooperative, Inc., Gordon Wallace, will retire August 31, 2016 after 42 years in the agricultural industry.Wallace began his career in 1974 with Clark Landmark, as an agronomy salesman, after graduation from The Ohio State University. He went on to be named general manager/CEO in 1985 of the same cooperative, with sales of $24M his first year. Over the next 25 years, Wallace would lead the cooperative as CEO through many changes including the 2000 merger of AgriUrban, AgTech, Clark Landmark and Clinton Landmark to become Southwest Landmark. In 2010, Wallace helped to lead a vision to bring Southwest Landmark and Advanced Agri-Solutions Cooperatives together to form Trupointe Cooperative, with sales of $496M. Wallace has served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Trupointe.“Our cooperative would not be where it is at today without the contributions made by Gordon. He has provided much leadership over the years and we wish him well in his retirement,” said John Lowry, Board Chairman.“It has been a privilege for me to work in a great industry and with many good people for the past 42 years,”  Wallace said.Wallace has also played an active part in the agricultural industry; serving on the Board of Cooperative Business International, the Board of the Cooperative Pension and Savings Plans, the Vice President’s Advisory Board for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, and serving as a past chairman of The Ohio AgriBusiness Association.last_img read more

Continue Reading

GeoTour Spotlight: Florida’s Operation Recreation (GT3D)

first_img SharePrint Related Hidden Gem (something only the locals know)Step back in time and discover more about the Native Americans that once inhabited Florida at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park. Locate the cache while learning about why this site has served as a vital ceremonial center for 1,600 years. Or head on down to Bahia Honda State Park where you can interject caching with snorkeling coral reefs.Lovers Key State ParkPrizesFind 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Kids can win too!  If they discover all six nature cards, they win an Operation Recreation Kids Geocoin!Operation Recreation GeoTour GeocoinWhat geocachers are sayingCarrot Killer and I braved the heat to ride our bikes and explore the Keys. We love visiting state parks, and we have the Florida Geo-Tour in mind as a fun challenge to complete. We loved riding the trails and hitting up the beach at this park. CK made the find on his one, and we were happy to sign for our first Florida State Park cache.       — LadyBlackCat949 After the Manatee talk, we headed to this cache. It was very windy today because of the incoming storm, so it was a nice break to be inside. We had a wonderful time. We went to the river viewing platform afterwards and saw a wild manatee swimming in the river. TFTC FloridaParkService! — Mahout_Have found 50+ ORGT caches and got our coin long ago. Not sure how it is that we never got this ORGT that is not too far (about 25 miles) from our home. Just after we got the cache, it started to rain and we got soaked on our way back to the geomobile. Beautiful park. TFTF. — caviar42Florida Caverns State Park Location:Florida’s 171 award-winning state parksFavorite Points:#749Operation Recreation GeoTour stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 award winning Florida State Parks and Trails.Bahia Honda State ParkFlorida’s state parks and trails inspire residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty. Print out your GeoTour Tracking Sheet and the Kids GeoTour Tracking Sheet and come explore nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches, and more than 1,600 miles trails.Must See (popular tourist attraction)While caching, don’t forget to take some time to soak in the striking features of Florida State Parks. Gaze upon the outstanding floral architecture at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park and work your way through webs of brick walkways leading you to secret gardens and reflection ponds to locate the hidden cache treasure. Get invigorated while making the five-mile drive into Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park to cache within the 54,000-acre preserve protecting Florida’s dry prairie. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an array of endangered plants and animals!Kissimmee State Park Meadowlarkcenter_img Find out more about the Operation Recreation GeoTour here.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Continue Reading

RAND Corporation Webinar: Hidden Heroes – America’s Military Caregivers

first_imgRajeev Ramchand, Ph.D., Senior Behavioral Scientist and Terri Tanielian, MA, Senior Social Research Analyst from RAND will present findings from the study and highlight:The size and makeup of the military caregiver populationDifferences between caregivers who support pre-9/11 and post-9/11 service membersThe burdens experienced as a result of performing caregiving dutiesGaps in services and supportsRecommendations for providing better support for military and veteran caregivers now and in the future. Continuing Education Credit1.00 Continuing Education credit hour will be available through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to credentialed participants. Note: The following states do not accept national CE approval programs and require individual program/provider application processes: California, Michigan, North Carolina, and West Virginia. For more information on how to receive credit go to the event page. Join us this month as we host our FREE military caregiving professional development webinar, featuring presenters from the RAND Corporation. *No registration is required. Webinar BackgroundMilitary caregivers play an essential role in caring for injured or wounded service members and veterans. Yet playing this role can impose a substantial physical, emotional, and financial toll on caregivers. This presentation will provide an overview of RAND’s recent study that examined the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States and assessed the array of policies, programs and services available to support the men and women who render this care. Date: June 19, 2014Time: 11:00 am EasternLocation: Hidden Heroes: America’s Military Caregiverslast_img read more

Continue Reading

Man ‘stoned to death’ by monkeys, family wants FIR to be registered against them

first_imgA 70-year-old man was allegedly stoned to death by some monkeys in a village here, putting the police in a fix as the deceased’s family wants an FIR to be registered against them. The incident took place on October 17 in Tikri village of the district. Circle officer Ramala Rajiv Pratap Singh told PTI that the deceased was sleeping near a pile of bricks when some monkeys jumped on the bricks. The pile of bricks collapsed and fell on Dharampal, leaving him injured. He was taken to hospital where he succumbed. Giving a different narrative, Krishnapal Singh, the brother of the deceased, in his complaint has said that Dharampal was collecting woods for a havan when he was attacked by the monkeys. Bricks were thrown at his head and chest, and he succumbed to injuries at the hospital.“We have submitted a written complaint against the monkeys, but the police is terming it as an accident,” he said. He said they will now meet senior officials and request them to initiate action in this regard.last_img read more

Continue Reading