Beef and Leaf Feathered Dino Found

Falcarius
utahensis was adapted for both ripping up plants and chasing down prey.
image from PaleoForms LLC, Provo, Utah

The fossil record seems so clear and convincing to the Dowbrigade
that current mainstream doubt about its veracity threatens the very foundations
of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution. Even Galileo would
have a tough time these days.  Can you see him on Court TV, accused
of teaching Godless theory as fact?

Fossil-hunters working in the dusty Utah desert have caught a dinosaur
in the act of going vegetarian. The newly discovered species, which
lived about 130
million years ago, displays the hallmarks of adapting to a leafy diet.

The creature’s teeth have a shape that seems to be adapted to leaf shredding,
the researchers report. Similar teeth can be found in modern iguanas, for
example, a reptilian family that also has a varied diet.

Very like the Dowbrigade. Between our garden and health mania we are adapting
to leaf shredding, and our resemblance to an iguana has been oft remarked
upon.

Falcarius utahensis also has a slightly widened pelvis, Kirkland’s team
points out, which would have been necessary to accommodate the longer
gut needed to extract nutrients from plants.

That’s us! That explains our changing contours! We are evolving into a
Falcarius!

But the dinosaur’s legs reveal that it still has adaptations suited
for meat eating as well. The creature’s thigh bones were longer
than its
shin bones, suggesting that it could run at an impressive pace. "The legs
are still adapted for running after prey," says Kirkland.

Or tennis balls.

from the Journal Nature Online

Evolution article from the New York Times

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