" We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." - Dissent from Darwin

Natural selection [is used] carelessly as a mantra, as in the evidence-free “just-so stories” concocted out of thin air by mentally lazy adaptationists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. (Isaac newton)

Monday, January 4, 2010

How BIRD lost his teeth

According to scientists at the Chinese Acadamy of sciences in Beijing, the earliest birds went to extreme measures to address weight issues: they lost their teeth.

The team compared the body structure of a number of early birds and found that some toothed species were more adapted for flight. They think natural selection may have put pressure on weaker fliers to lose their teeth in a bid to improve their skills by losing excess weight. "It would be especially advantageous to reduce the weight of the head because [it] is further from the centre of gravity," they write.

That theory is "as good as any other", says Mike Benton at the University of Bristol, UK, though he remains sceptical. "Losing teeth wouldn't make a huge difference to balance in the air."

StoryTeller: Zhonghe Zhou at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing
Source: Early birds may have dropped teeth to get airborne


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

In a related story, researchers at the same Academy of Scientists decided to do away with common sense in their explanations, as it was thought that the added weight of this requirement was preventing their theory from ascending to the heights of mythology.