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Bakker's HERESIES Summary



Here is my own summary of Bakker's book including three open
questions that he discussed. If anyone has an update from
Bakker on these topics, I would be interested in seeing it.
 John Matrow

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THE DINOSAUR HERESIES
by Robert T. Bakker
1986

ORTHODOX: After the Cretaceous, Al Romer said the entire
Reptilia became second-class, an overaged, unprogressive
group that decayed steadily in biological importance down
to the present time.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: 3,000 lizard species and 2,700 snake species
today vs 3,000 non-flying mammals.

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ORTHODOX: Dinosaurs are merely "good reptiles," essentially
scaled-up versions of modern lizards and crocs whose
metabolism was pitifully low compared to mammals.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Today, when warm-blooded mammals abound, reptiles
can't evolve large size on land unless very special adaptations
permit the reptiles to avoid direct confrontation. Giant 
predator lizards can't evolve in the presence of big mammal
predators. Dinosaurs suppressed the evolutionary potential of
mammals, not the other way around.  Modern reptiles score higher
than mammals in number of small-sized species. But dinosaurs
produced no really small species and very few less than ten pounds.
Modern reptiles dominate the role of freshwater predator.
But dinosaurs didn't produce and swimming predators.

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ORTHODOX: Dinosaurs succeeded as cold-blooded reptiles because
they kept their body temperatures high and constant simply by
evolving gigantic body size (homeothermy theory).

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: A drop of 8 degrees(C) implies a drop of 20
to 50% metabolism. Even a 5% drop would allow another adaptive
system, such as mammals, to replace another. Also, dinosaurs
were not limited to warm, tropical climates. Early Creataceous
dinosaurs survived freezing winters in South Australia where
large reptiles would not have survived.

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ORTHODOX: Enormous brontosaurs had to live in water.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Even though a camarasaur at Como, Wyoming,
was on limestone, kunkar nodules prove it was hard ground,
not swamps. Centrosaurus teeth in the camarasaur demonstrates
a land predator had lunch, not crocodiles who also lose teeth.
In fact, Allosaurus and Coelurus predator teeth were also found.
The Morrison Dinosaur Habit Research Group showed that most
brotosaurs died on floodplains where water creatures where
absent, similar in pattern to elephants in East African
sediments, including droughts. Finally, large animals avoid
swamps and deltas. Dinosaurs are profuse in the Laramie Deltas
with the exception of brontosaurs. The later brontosaur
Alamosaurus of the same period as the Laramie Deltas (Late
Cretaceous) was found in what was a dry floodplain at North
Horn.

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ORTHODOX: Brontosaurs had to eat soft food and low metabolism
lowered the volume requirement.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Smooth rounded pebbles have been found through
and around rib fossils which could have been gizzard stones for
grinding large volumes of tough food as confirmed by the teeth.
Horizontal head and vertical neck in Diplodocus imply that its
neck was held nearly vertically during feeding at twenty to
thirty feet above the ground.

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ORTHODOX: Duckbill dinosaurs had webbed feet as evidenced by
skin impressions from Lance Creek, Wyoming. Thus, they swam.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: The toes are much too short are not spread
enough. The tail was not strong enough for propulsion. John
Ostrom also argues that a tail corset prevents undulating
motion. Wide spread toes are also required for mud like
hippos. Finally, the flattened pads of the foot of a dead
camel could pass as webbing if fossiled.

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ORTHODOX: Most dinosaurs ate soft mush.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Ostrom repeated Marsh's argument that duckbill
tooth patterns necessitated tough-food. Yale professors argued
in favor of duckbill cheeks for additional chewing. Duckbill
body posture was like that of buffalo, so they ate near the
ground. Triceratops on the other hand had large, powerful
muscles for chewing. This is what evolved the frill. Again,
teeth and cheeks allowed chewing. Brontosaur wide bellies
supported fermenting vats. Bipedal beaked dinosaurs also allowed
for longer digestive tracks by pushing the pubis back.
Ankylosaur also had expanded hind region for stomach vats.

--------------------------------------------------------------

ORTHODOX: Flowering plants (angiosperms) evolved without dinosaur
help.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Angiosperms pollinate for efficiently and
were well-equiped to spread quickly. High-feeding stegosaurs
and brontosaurs in the Mid and Late Jurassic did not threaten
ground plants like Cretaceous low-feeders. [Yes, stegosaur
was superbly designed high-feeder: it could push up to balance
on its tail, like brontosaurs] Like elephants, rhinos and 
buffalo, the herds of Late Cretaceous low-feeders cleared
land where angiosperms finally took over.

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ORTHODOX: Front legs on Centrosaurus and Triceratops should
"sprawl" away from the body like lizards.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Most shoulder sockets resemble rhinos which
should face down and back, not out. Footprints verify the
narrow track of front feet. Though not as energy efficient
as lizards, this arrangement is appropriate for galloping.

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ORTHODOX: Dinosaurs were slow.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Cartilage is excellent for absorbing shocks.
Triceratops short shanks were overcome by thick muscles. Their
shoulder blades also swung back without collarbone anchor.
Footprints cannot argue against top, rarely used speed.

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ORTHODOX: Stegosaur plates were ornamental to intimidate enemies
and to attract mates.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Most crocs display big oval plates of armor
on the back of the neck and these usually have raised, pointed
ridges. By reducing yhe bony bases and enlarging the ridges,
the oval plates evolved into stegosaur triangles. Muscles in 
the skin might have moved the plates up or down for defense.

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ORTHODOX: The armored groups-stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and horned
dinosaurs are separate suborders.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: These Thyreophoroidea, or shield carriers,
lacked the obturator prong in the pubis and ischium. They also
had armored eyelids and the skulls were far more rigis and the
palate bones firmly connected to one another.

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ORTHODOX: Pterodactyls was poorly designed for flying and 
survived only because there was no aerial competition.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Recent discoveries and analysis show many
arguments for good design for flying.

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ORTHODOX: The two great dinosaur clans, the beaked dinosaurs
and the meat-eaters, evolved from quite different ancestors
(brontosaurs supposedly evolved from early meat-eaters).

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Lagosuchus (rabbit (legs) crocodile) can
be argued as the ultimate evolutionary grandparent of both
groups as well as pterodactyls.

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ORTHODOX: Birds evolved from a dinosaur ancestor (pseudosuchus)
because the collarbone had almost disappeared in dinosaurs.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: John Ostrom showed how Deinonychus and
Archaeopteryx were identical in fingers, wrists, shoulders, hips,
thighs and ankles. Hoatzin chicks finger bones remained unfused
and flexible into the first weeks of life in the nest. Genetic
storage is the mechanism where previous features, such as a
collarbone, stay in the genes until "recalled" as needed.
Throwbacks are controlled by suppressor genes. Surgical 
manipulations of bird embryos demonstrate suppression of teeth.

--------------------------------------------------------------

ORTHODOX: Dinosaurs were not warmblooded.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Dinosaurs had mammal-like Haversian canals
in their bone structure. They did not have collagen fibers in
their bone structure in a lamellar pattern like cold-bloods
but a woven pattern like warm-bloods. Even though both types
have growth rings from cold weather, cold-bloods have better
defined rings in the same environment as warm-bloods. Dinosaur
rings are not as defined as known cold-bloods of the same era.
Predators had predator-prey ratios like mammals, not reptiles.
Note that ratios varied by territory: more predators in dense
forest, fewer on the plains. Finally, footprints showed dinosaurs
moved as fast as warm-bloods, not cold-bloods of similar size.

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ORTHODOX: Dinosaurs had low metabolism.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: Hollow cavities in vertebrae are like those
in birds which are used for air-blood exchange. Large ribcages
supported large hearts. Tyrannosaurus was built for speed and
needed a large heart.

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ORTHODOX: Dinosaurs had a small brain.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Between the hip sockets was a sacral enlarge-
ment, a second "brain" for controlling rear leg and tail movement
on Stegosaur. Ostriches are similar. Some turkey and ostrich
sized dinosaurs had brains as large as turkeys and ostriches.

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ORTHODOX: Darwinism says evolution is a slow and continuous
process.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Punctuated equilibria says most evolutionary
change handles suddenly but most of the time, most species are
not evolving at all because conditions in large, stable populations
do not permit changes to occur. Dinosaur studies support this
as well as showing fast evolutionary turnover-a warm-blooded
trait. Dinosaurs also show adaptive radiation (number of species
growth) like warm-bloods. In fact, the higher the metabolic
needs of a group of species, the more vulnerable it is to
sudden and catastrophic extinction.

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ORTHODOX: It is paradoxical that the crimson crocidiles
(Erythrosuchidae) succeeded as top predator over the proto-
mammals of the early Triassic.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: The crimson crocs success, which led to
dinosaur domination, was due to superior equipment and
warm bloodedness as evidenced by predator-prey ratio and
bone analysis.

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ORTHODOX: The dinosaurs died out because of a catastrophic
event such a large meteor.

COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Examine other mass extinctions: end of
Permian, end of Triassic, end of Jurassic, ten thousand
years ago when mammaths, saber-tooths and others died out.
Cuvier's law of land-sea simultaneity holds in that sea 
extinctions came about at the same times, thus ruling out
poisonous plants at the end of the Cretaceous. Note that
the land extinctions struck hardest at the most dynamic,
rapidly evolving groups of large creatures. The meteor
theory fits the requirements but it was too sudden. Fossil
evidence shows a period of thousands of years of years if
not more. Every well-recorded extinction showed a decay of
evenness (number of species, not animals) before final collapse.
It is well established that the warm shallow seas drained off
(killing off many species) and deep seas changed, too (killing
more off). In conjunction with shallow sea drainage is the
appearance of land bridges and island chains. Species expand
to new continents as evidenced by Mongolian species appearing
in N. America at the end of the Cretaceous. Every species
pf reptile, bird and mammal carries its own unique load of
parasites and disease organisms. Many foreign organisms will
find no native enemy to hold them in check, so they will run amok.
All of the worst outbreaks of disease that have swept through
humankind or its domestic stock have ultimately come from the
introduction of foreign species. A foreign predator might
suddenly thrive unchecked, slaughtering virtually defenseless
prey as its populations multiplied beyond anything possible
in it home habitat. But then the predator might suddenly
disappear, victim of a disease for which it had no immunity.
Large land animals crossed geographical barriers easily.
Small species can not migrate as easily, because even a small
river can block their progress. Cold-blooded creatures do
not travel well either. The most effective way to nurture a
large crop of germs is to keep them contantly warm. Thus,
the large, warm-blooded creatures were most susceptible to
extinction, i.e., the dinosaurs.

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ORTHODOX: Order Saurischia and Order Ornithischia are distant
cousins and Dinosauria is not a natural group.

COUNTER-ARGUMENTS: In 1971 Peter Galton found thumb-twists on
both primitive meat-eaters and primitive plant-eaters. This
"high-weight novelty" was too complex to have evolved twice
in totally separate lines. In 1972 Galton's study of
Anchisaurus showed an ilium (upper hip bone) like Ornithischia.
Eight other features constituted a fair case for missing link.
Fuss Crompton's three-foot ornithischian also had a thumb-twist
which proved Order Ornithischia was the sister group of Order
Saurischia. Independently, Jose Bonaparte reached the same
conclusions when studying Lagosuchus. It also follows that
birds are in the same class. Finally, remove Dinosauria from
Reptilia.

==============================================================

OUTSTANDING QUESTION

Armor-plated nodosaurs have been found lying on their backs
embedded in the now hardened deposits left by the mud on the
sea floor at Como, Wyoming and Kansas. How did this occur?

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OUTSTANDING QUESTION

The most common, large plant-eaters of the Late Cretaceous
were the duckbills without any sort of obvious defense. How
did the duckbills escape their enemies?

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OUTSTANDING QUESTION

No fossils have been discovered to show how the pterodactyl's
forelimbs became transformed into wings.

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FAMILY TREE (lower case is a family)

lagosuchids
   herrarasaurs
   PTEROSAURIA
      dimophodons
      rhamphorhynchs
      pterodaustro
      pterodactylids
      ornithocheirs
   THEROPODA Infraclass
      podokesaurs
      NEOTHEROPODA
         ceratosaurs
         Dinoaves
            allosaurs
            ornithomimids
            tyrannosaurs
            dromaeosaurs
            archaeopteryx
            icthyornis
            hesperornis
            modern birds Superorder
      PHYTODINOSAURIA Infraclass
         anchisaurs
         SAUROPODA Superorder
            cetiosaurs
            brachiosaurs
            diplodocids
            titanosaurs
         PREDENTATA (=Ornithischia) Superorder
            ORNITHOPODA
               heterodontosaurs
               nanosaurs
               hysilophodonts
               iguanodonts
               hadrosaurs
            THYREOPHORA
              ORBITOSCUTA
                 pachycephalosaurs
                 scelidosaurs
                 Stegosauria
                    stegosaurs
                    Ankylosauria
                       nodosaurs
                       ankylosaurids
              Ceratopsia
                 psittacosaurs
                 protoceratopsids
                 ceratopsids

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Species introduced to new areas

Protoceratopsid to N. America 70Mya
big bear dogs & saber-tooth cats to N. America 20Mya
mammoths, tundra antelope & pandas to N. America 100Tya
starlings from Europe to NY Central Park
rabbits from England to Australia
elephants, jaguars, deer, tapirs, wolves to N. Am. to S. Am. 2Mya


Diseases introduced to new areas

Black Plague from Asia to Europe
Rinderpest cattle disease from Asia to Africa


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BRONTOSAURUS vs. APATOSAURUS

"I use BRONTOSAURUS not APATOSAURUS even though, according to the
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the latter is the
legal name. Al Romer used to complain that "rules of nomenclature
should server the cause of science, not the other way around."
The same man-Yale's Professor Marsh-coined both APATOSAURUS and
BRONTOSAURUS; the former name is just a bit older, but the latter
is much, much better known by the public at large. Science should
take every opportunity to divest itself of unnecessary obscurantism,
and so I will use BRONTOSAURUS.... Then nomenclatural Law of 
Priority...was originally developed to honor the first discoverer
of a species or genus and to stabilize the system of names. Using
BRONTOSAURUS honors Marsh, who discovered the genus, and certainly
reduces confusion and instability when scientists communicate to
the public."

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