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RE: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged

On Wed, Dec 8th, 2010 at 12:30 PM, Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:

> I would definitely say that archosaurs and
> mammals are higher forms of life than reptiles, but not because they are 
> "superior" but because
> they tend to be more complex...

That's debatable. Some lineages undergo simplification over time (snakes 
becoming legless, avian 
genomes becoming more compact, etc). Sometimes simpler is best.

> more intelligent...

Given that 99.9999+% of species that have ever existed managed quite well 
without 'intelligence' 
(whatever that is), it would seem to be an adaptation that is no more important 
than any other.

> use more energy...

This can be a detriment in areas of low productivity. Ectotherms pretty much 
rule the planet's 
deserts because of their lower energy requirements.

> and have the potential to produce sapient life.

As with intelligence, I don't see this as an adaptation that is any more 
important than any other.

The most successful form of life in the planet's history would be bacterial. In 
fact they are *still* 
the most successful forms of life. They don't exhibit any of your 'higher' 
characteristics, yet if a 
catastrophic event were to happen to the planet, they would likely be the only 
life forms to survive. 
Now that's what I call a 'higher' life form.


Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj