If you follow paleontology, you are probably aware of a theory that says that dinosaurs turned into birds. So Tyrannosaurus Rex is sort of like that strutting, stuttering, John Wayne spouting Super Chicken Foghorn Leghorn in the cartoons (Remember him)? “I say…I say…I say…I say…BOY!” Anyway, there’s a problem with the theory. That is, dinosaurs, the first, second and third digits develop and this is what the dino walks on. In birds, the second, third and fourth digits develop, and this is what birds walk on. You can do this with your own hand and put your hands on the ground to see what it would be like to have structures like that. The 1-2-3 dino digits do not correspond to the 2-3-4 bird digits. The theory moved into fail territory in the late 1990’s, where it’s been ever since. However, in China, a new species has been discovered called Limusaurus inextricabilis. It is the only known ceratosaur to be found in Asia so far. Interestingly, L. inextricabilis is one of those things the Creationists say does not exist, that is, a Missing Link. In L. inextricabilis, the first digit of the dino 1-2-3 is very weakly developed, as if it is on its way out evolutionarily. Along with that, it has a dramatically enhanced fourth digit, clearly coming into its own. It looks like dinosaur was on its way to dinobird. I used to be an inveterate birdwatcher, until most of the birds left. It was a lot of fun in the early 1990’s, but I swear there are so many fewer birds since then. Why is that? Anyway, birdwatching is not much fun unless there are lots of different cool birds around. Birds look a lot different through binocs. One time I was watching with my brother and I looked at a Robin through the binocs. It was as if I was seeing it for the first time. I put down the binocs and looked over at my brother. “Damn that Robin is one ugly looking bird! That thing looks like a…lizard!” My brother is really smart, way too smart. “Yeah,” he nodded sagely, knowing what I was getting at. “It’s supposedly a really primitive bird.” Lizard = reptile = dinosaur = birdosaur = bird. Life is full of little epiphanies, if you only take the time to glance up and think a bit.
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