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Animal Myths and Misunderstanding

  1. #16
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    Todays fact...

    Crocodiles are closer to birds than other reptiles

    Both crocodiles and birds are living examples of archosaurs. Crocodilians are a sister taxa to the dinosaurs, which eventually gave rise to modern birds. They are the last living, non-avian archosaurs, distinct from the other reptiles. The term “non-avian reptile” is often used to emphasise the close relationship between reptiles and birds, birds are actually classed as reptiles but because they are so specialised and distinct, they are treated as a separate group.



    Last edited by Cat001; 05-08-2018 at 05:49 AM.
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  2. #17
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    Shocker. I have heard turtles are the last living dinosaurs (don't know where that idea came from), but birds? One more reason to be interested in taxonomy.

    My personal feeling about retpailes is they shouild not be feared or hated for any reason and people need to educate themselves about how to recognize venomous sankes, what triggers alligator attacks, etc.
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  3. #18
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    I think that's a very good position to take CatMom

    Interestingly turtles are a genuinely ancient group of reptile that pre-dates the dinosaurs, they are a separate group to the dinosaurs and not particularly closely related. Here’s a misconception, Pterosaurs (the flying ancient reptiles) were not dinosaurs either but they were archosaurs. Mosasours (the ancient aquatic reptiles) were not dinosaurs or even in the archosaur family, they’re closer to lizards (squamates) than dinosaurs.

    Turtles are favoured in cognition studies because they are thought to have changed little in the last 225 million years, so represent animals that lived closest to the time of the reptile-mammal split.

    The Theropod dinosaurs are the specific group that gave rise to the birds. Most theropods were feathered including tyrannosaurus-rex and velociraptor, and this was a trait inherited by birds from the dinosaurs. A dinosaur tail trapped in amber was discovered not long ago giving insight into the specific colouration of the feathers.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...ma-cretaceous/

    This is closer to what a velociraptor would have actually looked like:


    The earliest known birds still retained many reptilian characerstics including tails, teeth and clawed forearms. The Archeopteryx (which translates as ‘first bird’) is a transitional form between non-avian dinosaurs and true birds. Any modern bird in cladistics terms can be considered a dinosaur.





    Microraptor is another interesting species of bird-like dinosaur that had four wings instead of two.





    Some birds still have vestiges of forearm claws, here's a picture of an ostrich wing demonstrating two claws.



    An interesting look at the branching of the theropod family

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  4. #19
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    Wow Cat. Could this be a major reason people are so fascinated with dinosaurs?
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  5. #20
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    I think it's one of the reasons, the other being the level of gigantism seen among the dinosaurs. The dinosaur family produced the largest carnivores to have ever lived (e.g. Spinosaurus) and the largest land animals to have ever walked the earth, especially the sauropods (long necked dinosaurs). Random fact, the biggest animal to have existed is actually the blue whale.
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