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RE: Dino coloration and more...



Jeffrey Martz wrote:

>>         Let's face it -- there simply wasn't a survival imperative requiring
>> the dinos to develop intelligence and humanoid bodies. They never evolved
>> because they didn't need to -- they were already masters of the world.
> 
>   If your reasoning holds true...<SNIP>
>      I think a valid criticism or defense of the dinosauroid depends 
>more on how congenial the theropod body plan is to developing such 
>humanlike traits, not the success of the dinosaurs as a whole.

Of course what you say is correct, but maybe I didn't state my point clearly.
What offends me about the "dinosauroid" is not whether it COULD evolve as
depicted, but the humanocentric assumption that it WOULD have, "if they
hadn't died out." This presupposes a basic tendency toward the humanoid
form as the (not "a", but "THE") ultimately desirable survival trait. While we
are certainly successful in our own way, there is a subtle implication that the
dinos were less successful than they might have been, and "just didn't have
time to reach our level" -- or something like that. 
        That's what bothers me. The dinos were plenty successful, especially
compared to us upstarts (in duration, at least!). Everybody here knows that.
Look at the changes between an Allosaur and a T.Rex, both evolved to fill
the same niche, but about 90 MY apart. That difference is trivial compared
with the changes between our ancestors a mere five MY ago and our current
condition. My point is: they weren't going in our direction, and they didn't
need to, and to assume that they "want to be like us" in an evolutionary
sense smacks of a sort of arrogance.
        I guess that states it more clearly. I invite comments, support, or
rebuttal.

[It's not clear whether or not you intended this, but just in case someone
 else interprets you this way I'd like to make sure it's stated up front
 that Allosaurs are no longer considered to be the ancestors of
 Tyrannosaurs.  Also they may or may not have filled the same niche; I
 strongly suspect that Jack Horner would vehemently disagree with your
 contention that they did.  -- MR ]

Wayne Anderson

(Not that I'd be especially eager to see a T.Rex coming in my direction...)