For someone who's profile pic is a lizard I was very slow to catch this.
Archaeoraptor is NOT a lizard. I repeat, NOT a lizard. Dinosaurs are NOT lizards. Lizards are Lepidosaurs, have a three chambered heart and their legs are slung to the sides of their bodies. The Archaeoraptor is an Archosaur, has a four chambered heart and its legs are held beneath its body. The two are about as closely related as you and a platypus.
Am I nitpicking details? Why yes I am. But hey, its not the same as nit-picking typos.
no, that's not really a nitpick. it's a very, very large difference between a flying theropod dinosaur and a lizard. he might as well have confused you with crashfrog.
but while you've briefly covered the important differences, i'd like to cover the often neglected part of this old creationist canard.
"archaeoraptor" is not a faked specimen in the way that a creationist might expect. it is not a dinosaur (or "lizard") that someone has carved feathers onto. rather, it is a chimera, and combined from two genuine
specimens. one of those, the rear half, happens to be the earliest discovered specimen of microraptor zhaoianus
(or perhaps gui
, as they might be synonyms). the front is another genuine specimen of yanornis martini
. the forgery was discovered, in part, because of the fact that it wouldn't have fit the evolutionary lineage -- it had a tail very much like a non-avian dromaeosaurid dinosaur, but a beak like a bird?
yes, read that closely barackzero. the whole back half of the forgery was a legitimate flying dinosaur, and it was discovered because of the theory of evolution. why the forgery? well, contrary to what the creationists would like, it wasn't committed by scientists. rather, it was the scientists who quickly discovered it, and yanked publication of the article in all but nat. geo. (which sort of jumped the gun) the forgery itself was committed by an unscrupulous chinese fossil prospector, who was selling