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"Birds from Dinosaurs - Why Are the Intermediaries Later than Archaeopteryx?

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Birds from Dinosaurs Why Are the


Intermediaries Later
than Archaeopteryx?
Birds and reptiles have a lot in common. Similarities in
their bones, digital claws, red blood cells, kidneys, penis,
together with the reptilian appearance of bird embryos all
speak to a common ancestor.[1] A high calcium diet even
causes birds to develop reptilian ankle bones.[2]
Birds have even more in common with a certain type of
reptile the theropod dinosaurs. They share the following
characters: fused clavicles, feet with three claws pointing
forward and one backward, partially fused metatarsals, and
a second set of ribs covering the front of the torso.[3] The
earliest bird, Archaeopteryx, even had three fingers with
claws coming out the top of its wing, and it had teeth in its
mouth instead of a toothless beak. Theropod dinosaurs also
had three fingers, all with claws, and sharp teeth in their
mouths.
One theropod in particular, Compsognathus, is often
placed in museums next to the earliest bird, Archaeopteryx, to
show their similarity. At first glance, they look similar
because they are both about the size of a chicken. However,
there are a number of substantial differences between
Archaeopteryx and Compsognathus. Archaeopteryx had a
longer femur, thinner leg bones, and its tail vertebrae are of a
different type than those of Compsognathus, having
THIS SECTION: exchanged dinosaur features for bird-like features.[4] Other
characters of Archaeopteryx are distinctly more bird-like
SUDDEN
ORIGINS AND than dinosaur-like, including a larger brain size, the
RAPID
closeness of its teeth, the lack of dental serration, the nature
EVOLUTION
of its shoulder girdle, its caudal maxillary sinus, fewer bones
IN THE FOSSIL
in the tail, its reduced prezygapophyses, its elongated
RECORD
prenarial, the break up of its postorbital bar, and the
relationship between its caudal and columellar parts.[5]

Above: Archaeopteryx, the famous link


between birds and dinosaurs. Notice
unmistakable bird feathers have been
impressed into the rock. Also notice the threefingered hands with claws. This feature
confirms that it must have been related to the
carnivorous theropod dinosaurs which had the
same type of three-fingered clawed hand.

Archaeopteryx had full wings and tail feathers capable of


flight. In contrast, Compsognathus had no wings at all, and
does not appear to have had any feathers not even a few
small ones on the skin for warmth. In another gross
morphological difference, Archaeopteryx possessed an
ornithischian hip, wherein the pubis and the ischium both

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"Birds from Dinosaurs - Why Are the Intermediaries Later than Archaeopteryx?"

are positioned toward the posterior, unlike the saurischian


hip of Compsognathus, with its forward placement of the
pubis, as in all theropods. On paper, this sounds obscure,
but it is significant because if it weren't for other features, an
ornithischian hip would normally make the bird more
related to completely different looking dinosaurs such as the
horned Triceratops and the plated Stegosaurus.

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So even though Compsognathus looks superficially similar


to Archaeopteryx, it is actually a rather poor candidate for a
"missing link." We should look to other candidates.
The coelurosaurian raptor dinosaurs make a better
intermediary. Unlike Compsognathus, many of the raptors
had feathers, they had a stiffened tail, and their pubis was
midway between the saurischian position and the
ornithischian position. Other characters shared with birds
include a wishbone, birdlike feet, a carpus bone in the wrist,
the social behavior of traveling in packs/flocks, and the
presence of longer arms than those of other dinosaurs.

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A wealth of such raptors has been uncovered from the


Yixian Formation in Asia. However, the age of the Yixian
Formation is about 125 to 120 million years ago,[6] which
presents a problem, because the first bird Archaeopteryx is
known from a half-dozen specimens that are 25 to 30 million
years older found in the beginning of the Kimmeridgian of
Bavaria, dating to 155 million years ago in the late Jurassic.
Thus, the feathered raptors of the Yixian Formation are too
young to be the missing link between birds and dinosaurs.
Even though the feathered dinosaurs from the Yixian
Formation might be related to the birds, they cannot be
direct ancestors. As Martin states,

The small coelurosaurian dinosaurs related to


Archaeopteryx all occur in the fossil record after
Archaeopteryx and so cannot be directly ancestral.[7]

Above: Survival of the Fittest is the


harsh reality of this dark and wicked cosmos.
Below: But some evolutionary transitions
happened too fast for Survival of the Fittest to
be the cause.

The dilemma concerning the origin of birds is similar to


that of the snakes. Raptors are to the birds what reducedlimbed lizards are to the snakes an intermediary form that
would be a good example of a missing link, except that it
arrives too late in the fossil record to be a missing link.
Because they are intermediaries, they give evidence for the
theory of descent in a general sense, yet because of their
timing in the fossil record, they fail to provide true evidence
for a gradual transition between forms over long time
frames. We are left with the reality of rapid evolution the
sudden evolution of new forms. Raptors were evidently the
descendents of missing links that evolved so quickly that they
left little trace in the fossil record.
Luckily, there is at least
some hope for finding a missing link. A few raptor-like
dinosaurs can be dated to around 160 to 165 million years

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ago, which is about 5 to 10 million years prior to


Archaeopteryx. Hence, it is still possible that the perfect
intermediary might be discovered.
After Archaeopteryx, early birds retained certain reptilian
characters for a long time, such as toothed mouths instead of
the typical beaks of modern birds. Their transition into truly
modern forms was a long time in coming, and did not reach
fruition until the Eocene and Oligocene long after the
dinosaurs became extinct. Thus, the amount of time it took
natural selection to perfect the new form was much longer
than the time it took rapid evolution to build the basic
structure of the new form. As with the snakes, it appears
that there are two mechanisms for evolution in play rapid
evolution of new forms by means of an unknown force,
followed by gradual evolution of existing forms by means of
natural selection.
The question is, what causes the rapid evolution?

Click here to find out more about sudden origins and rapid
evolution in the fossil record.
The creationist narrative in Genesis 1 is contradicted by
many ancient Christian texts. Instead of an Almighty
Creator God, ancient Christian texts espouse that the
universe is born from blind arrogance and stupidity. The
angels caused evolution to occur from species to species.
There are many gods, (or aliens?), and the Christian God is
just one among them. Satan the Devil writes scripture, and
thus the Bible was polluted with Genesis 1. Archaeology and
modern scholarship demonstrate that Genesis is indeed
corrupted. Cavemen walk with Adam and Eve. Esoteric
prophecies reveal the coming of Christ, and also reveal the
dark forces that govern the cosmos. Such are the ancient
Christian writings.
Sciencevindicates the truth of these ideas. Evolution often
happens too fast for Darwins theory. Gaps in the fossil
record indicate that some kind of unnatural force acts
together with natural selection. Astrobiology reveals that
intelligent life probably evolved long before us. The fossil
record reveals strange clues that aliens abducted species and
transported them across oceans, and that DNA from diverse
lineages was combined to spawn hybrid species. Evidently,
aliens influence evolution, and they are the gods of the
worlds religions.
This is not fiction. All these facts are thoroughly documented
in the links above.

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[1] Martin, Robert A. Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts & Transitions Through Time. 2004,
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA, p 143-144
[2] Levinton, Jeffrey S. Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution. 2001, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge, UK, p 208
[3] Martin, Robert A. Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts & Transitions Through Time. 2004,
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA, p 148
[4] Martin, Robert A. Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts & Transitions Through Time. 2004,
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. Sudbury, MA, p 143-150
[5] Witmer, Lawrence M. The Debate on Avian Ancestry: Phylogeny, Function, and Fosills; In
Chiappe, Luis M; Witmer, Lawrence M. Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs. 2002,
University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA, p 7
[6] Swisher, Carl C III; Wang, Yuan-qing; Wang, Xiao-lin; Xu, Xing; Wang, Yuan. Cretaceous
Age for the Feathered Dinosaurs of Liaoning, China. 1999, Nature 400, p 58-59
[7] Martin, Robert A. Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts & Transitions Through Time. 2004,
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA, p 153

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