Science Marches On Walking With Dinosaurs Discussion

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12:57:08 PM Jul 22nd 2017
edited by MagnusForce
  • Arthropods DO have brains, DO use them and CAN think, contrary to what the show explicitly stated.

Cut this out because it's not an example. It's just a pissed-off rant (note the capitalization of the verbs), and while I haven't seen the series in a while, I don't think they explicitly said it. At worst, it was probably Executive Meddling to make the story more interesting to the average viewer.

Also there seems to be some abuse for Artistic License Paleontology and Rule of Cool, but it's a little unclear.
02:19:30 PM Sep 23rd 2014
Was Iberomesornis recognized as an enantiornithine by 1999? I remember an (Iberomesornis(Enantiornis, Passer)) topology being kicked around back in the day.
02:28:55 PM Sep 23rd 2014
You're right; I don't think Iberomesornis was considered an enantiornithine until 2000.
11:20:24 AM Sep 21st 2014
The lineage that gave rise to mammals split to the one that gave rise to reptiles and birds before those invented the reptilian scales. The show represents perhaps the first time that Dimetrodon and its herbivorous "twin" Edaphosaurus have skins similar that of modern hairless mammals, instead of the classic scaly one. However, some think now that they would have the skin texture of a salamander, and the belly of a fish.

Out of curiosity, who are these "some" and what is their evidence?
09:28:39 AM Sep 21st 2014
edited by
Taken out of the WWD section:

  • Placerias and the cynodont aren't reptiles in modern phylogenetic sense, but instead mammal ancestors.

Not Science Marches On, because it was known at the time the series was made. Chalk it up to simplifications of the narrative or even Artistic License Paleontology.

  • Liopleurodon was only about 6-10 meters (19-33 feet) in length, rather than the 25 meter (82 foot) long juggernaut in the series (to be fair, they said it was a huge specimen, but still, they probably couldn't grow that big even then).

This size was never proposed by experts. It was made up by the series and handwaved as the animal being an unusually old specimen (presuming that Liopleurodon kept growing for life, like crocodiles). Rule of Cool at its finest.

  • The Late Triassic of North America was the exact opposite to what the program showed; the real deal was covered in floodplains and tropical forests, not searing desert and dry, dusty wastes.

It was lush and flooded at the end of the episode, when the wet season arrived. Was this dry/wet circle of seasons not actually the case, but believed in academic circles in 1999? If not, it's not Science Marches On.
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