- ScienceDaily: “Discovery Raises New Doubts About Dinosaur-Bird Links”
In the study, Oregon State University scientists Devon Quick and John Ruben identified a connection between the way birds breathe and the relative lack of movement in birds’ upper leg bones. While most walking animals (including humans) move the upper leg bone as they walk or run, birds essentially keep it still, using their lower legs only.
Quick and Ruben’s breakthrough was in recognizing that this “knee running” anatomy, where the upper leg bones are fixed, is crucial in keeping birds’ lungs from collapsing. Thus, if birds walked like us, they would not be able to support the sophisticated pulmonary system that helps enable flight.
“This is fundamental to bird physiology,” Quick explained. “It’s really strange that no one realized this before. The position of the thigh bone and muscles in birds is critical to their lung function, which in turn is what gives them enough lung capacity for flight.”
In the next phase of research, the scientists examined whether theropod dinosaurs’ skeletons would have allowed a similar pulmonary system. But the evidence shows that skeletal differences—including a mobile femur—meant dinosaurs couldn’t have given rise to birds. “Theropod dinosaurs had a moving femur and therefore could not have had a lung that worked like that in birds. Their abdominal air sac, if they had one, would have collapsed. That undercuts a critical piece of supporting evidence for the dinosaur-bird link,” Ruben said.
Intriguingly, Ruben commented on the widely held dinosaur-to-bird-evolution model: “Frankly, there’s a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions.” A startling reminder—especially since it comes from an evolutionist—of how presuppositions play a role in determining science!
You can read our full response in “Birds Did Not Evolve from Dinosaurs, Say Evolutionists.”
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