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Cryptozoology - Creation vs Evolution - Dinosaurs



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12/03 - Sam Clemens writes
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Mr. Niednagel - What exactly is a dinosaur? What makes an extinct lizard-like animal a dinosaur?

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Thanks for the question, Sam. The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem. Quite the majority of people identify dinosaurs as simply extinct reptiles, which were just large in size. If dinosaurs, as some espouse, were warm-blooded, then they were not true reptiles.

Also, the upright posture of many dinosaurs appears to have been distinctly unlike modern lizards, which have a sprawling gate. Paleontologists today define dinosaurs with a whole suite of technical characteristics, which include multiple sacral vertebrae, a strongly asymmetric manus (forelimb bone), and a slightly S-shaped third metatarsal (foot bone). Therefore, marine and flying reptiles, such as the plesiosaur and the pterodactyl, were not true dinosaurs, though they lived at the same time.

My belief is this: Dinosaurs should be placed in their own genus, or family. Because of their unique characteristics, such as upright posture, pebbly, scale-like skin, sharp teeth, and large size, they seemingly cannot be placed into an already existing family. They are not mammals, they may not have been reptiles, and, although many wish to believe so, they are not birds.


Thanks for writing,


Jordan Niednagel





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Cryptozoology - The study of the hidden animal world, cryptozoology is a science of speculation and surprise, involving the search for animals thought to be extinct to new creatures never before identified.


Creation vs Evolution - What was popularized in 1859 by former Christian turned agnostic, Charles Darwin, has in our day become one of the most hotly contested and sharply dividing issues to be found anywhere.


Dinosaurs - Considerable controversy surrounds dinosaurs, from their place in history to their color, habits, and overall physiology. As viewpoints collide, the search for answers continues.



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