Let’s get the disclaimers out of the way: I am not a paleontologist. Nor am I a zoologist. Nor do I really know what I am talking about, so why again are you reading this?
No, don’t go away. Please.
Anyway, one of the debates that I’ve paid little more than a flick’s worth of effort to is the debate of old-school dinosaur fans against science saying that dinosaurs did not have feathers and that birds are not the direct evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs. It’s 2016, people! Get with the program.
The wonderful thing about dinosaurs is there is so much that is still left to learn. Fossils may seem plentiful to some, but understand that there is nearly 200 MILLION years of time that dinosaurs ruled the lands. We’ve gotten a fraction of a decimal of a fraction’s worth of evidence to support findings of what life was like back then. What we do have allows us to make some damn good assumptions.
There are nearly 10,000 species of birds alive today. Conversely, south of 1,000 species of dinosaurs have been categorized to date. That is approximately 1,000 species to cover nearly 200 MILLION (I capitalize it to emphasize the fact that one is an idiot if they do not understand that it is a lot of years) years of time on this planet. That can be broken down to 5 species of dinosaurs existing every million years. But we have 10,000 species of dinosaurs alive today… So yes, there is A LOT that we haven’t even seen yet in regards to dinosaurs.
Because fossil evidence is tricky to uncover, it often takes many years before hypothesis are formulated off of findings. One of those hypothesis that turned closer and closer to reality thanks to evidence was the existence of feathers, or proto-feathers on dinosaurs. It was further proof to support the skeletal similarities to modern birds. Few clues to feathers were found until recently just as there were few clues to skin (Lambeosaurus is one of the few species to have good fossilized skin imprints).
But there are people who deny that it is the case. They want to hold fast to the notion that there were no feathers except for ancient birds like Archaeopteryx (my son could pronounce it at 3 years old).
Come to grips with reality: dinosaurs were birds.
And don’t you dare point to a sauropod and say “how can they be birds? Answer that!”
Look at a cat. Look at a dog. A bat. A pig. Look at a fucking whale! How can they be mammals like us? They all look so different!
Modern birds are just descendents of a very specific branch of the overall family of dinosauria.
My long winded point is: I don’t want to call dinosaurs ‘dinosaurs’ anymore. They were birds. Shouldn’t be difficult. Not like we don’t have over a century’s worth of documentation and opinions to circumvent and change. Shouldn’t be hard at all.
Just at least accept that birds are dinosaurs and vice-versa, OK?
Besides, a feathered T-Rex would be one hell of a sight to behold.