Oldest long-necked dinos found, according to Live Science 21 November 2018, and Biology Letters 21 November 2018 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0633.
Palaeontologists in southern Brazil have found three “exceptionally well preserved” specimens of a previously unknown sauropodomorph – the group of long necked dinosaurs that includes giants such as Brontosaurus. At 3.5 metres (11ft) long the new species is not nearly as big as the giant sauropods, but it does have the distinctive small head and a long neck that is at least as long as the trunk region of its body. Two of the specimens had intact skulls, which is unusual for sauropod fossils as they are quite fragile. The new dinosaur has been named Macrocollum itaquii.
The rock layer containing the fossils is dated as Late Triassic, 225 – 233 million years old, making these specimens the oldest sauropodomorphs so far found. The research team claim that during this time small short necked ancestors of sauropodmorphs grew larger in overall size, developed the long neck and took to feeding from high growing vegetation.
Stephen Poropat, a palaeontologist at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, who was not involved in the study, commented to Live Science: “That such an ancient, sauropodomorph had such a long neck is interesting, since it suggests that Macrocollum and its kin were already experimenting with the sorts of adaptations that were evidently put to such good use by their Jurassic and Cretaceous successors, the sauropods, for more than a hundred million years.”
Because three almost complete skeletons were found close together the researchers claim to have found “the oldest evidence of gregarious behaviour among sauropodomorphs.” However, Poropat suggested “Although this might be true, it is also possible that several Macrocollum individuals died in the same small area for a different reason. Perhaps they were clustered around a rapidly drying water hole or became mired in a bog or swamp independently of each other, but within a relatively short period of time.”
Editorial Comment: It makes no more sense that dinosaurs could grow long necks by trying to feed from high up vegetation, than the claim that giraffes got their long necks by trying to eat leaves from trees. So, the idea that suropodomorphs got their long necks because they experimented with adaptations is another evolutionary “Just So” story and ‘Fake News’. If these fossils really are the oldest sauropodomorphs then they already had long necks when these fossils were buried so there is no evidence they used to be short-necked. Nor is there any evidence that they evolved into the giant sauropods are dated as being younger in the evolutionary timetable.
Fess up evolutionary palaeontologists – it is time to admit that fossils can never prove evolutionary transitions from one kind into another. Transition is an active process, and cannot be proven unless the change from one kind to another is observed. Fossils are dead and are not changing into anything.
And be a little more honest about their burial too. Think about how much sediment is required to bury three 3.5 metre dinosaurs together deeply enough for them to be “exceptionally well preserved” and not to be disturbed by scavengers. A drying up water hole will not work. A massive load of sediment carried by a flood will.
Evidence New vol. 18 No. 18
12 December 2018
Creation Research Australia
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