Giant Pterosaurs Flew Over Paluxy Dinosaur Tracks

first_imgRecent dinosaur findings provide glimpses into the ecology of dinosaurs, with lessons for scientific inference.Paluxy River tracksOlder creationists may remember the flap in the 1980s over alleged human tracks with dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas.  The human-like tracks were later seriously questioned to the point that most creationists have dropped them as credible evidence.*  The dinosaur tracks, however, were uncontroversial.  Seventy years ago, Roland T. Bird photographed and then dug up a series of 17 tracks in a sequence to prevent them from erosion due to flooding.  The tracks were sent to various museums.  Now, three scientists from England and America have used the available data to reconstruct the original trackway.  Publishing in PLoS ONE, they used a process called photogrammetry to create a 3-D digital model that allows future researchers to study the tracks in detail.There is still some question whether the tracks, made by a sauropod and a theropod, represent a chase sequence or a chance relationship.  The authors had to interpolate some evidence because only 12 of the 17 tracks could be clearly identified from Bird’s original photographs.  Some parts of the reconstruction, therefore, are less clear than other parts.  The authors created a 3-D flyover of the entire trackway that is posted in the paper and by the BBC News.  Science Magazine, Science Daily and Live Science reported summaries of the paper without mentioning the old human-track controversy.Pterosaur WondersWhile describing a new pterosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, Wynne Parry, reporting for Live Science, describes some of the amazing facts of these flapping flyers.  In “How Pterosaurs Ruled the Skies Above the Dinosaurs,” he notes that some were heavy giants outperforming any living flyer today:Fossils suggest the biggest pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus northropi, had a wingspan stretching about 33 feet (10 meters), longer than that of a small airplane. Of course, not all were giants. Of the more than 150 known species, some attained birdlike sizes, along the lines of sparrows or seagulls.With size comes weight. Michael Habib, who studies biomechanics at the University of Southern California, has calculated that one particular group of pterosaurs may have weighed more than 661 pounds (300 kilograms), a weight they managed to consistently foist into the air and keep aloft.Habib remarked that “Flapping flight is one of the more challenging things you can do.”  Of the three vertebrate groups that employed powered flight (birds, pterosaurs and bats), pterosaurs were well designed for it.  Each group had its own mechanisms, which Habib attributes to chance:Three anatomical requirements set the stage for large size in flying animals: wing anatomy that generates a large amount of lift per unit speed, hollow bones with a high ratio of stiffness to weight, and the muscle power to launch into the air, Habib said.“Bats have the right launch system, but they don’t have pneumatic [air-filled] bones. Birds have pneumatized bones, but they don’t have the right launch system, and they don’t have as high a lift coefficient [for their] wings,” Habib said. “Pterosaurs are the only ones by happenstance that ended up with those three things.“This means that giraffe-sized pterosaurs like Quetzalcoatlus could leap into the air and start their engines, flying off high over the dinosaurs.  Most of the pterosaurs could waddle on all fours, using their elbows as front legs.Parry relates another remarkable fact: soft tissues have been preserved in some pterosaur fossils –One of the exhibit’s star items provides a rare glimpse of ancient skin. A fossil found in a 150-million-year-old German rock formation contained the preserved tissue of a pterosaur wing, which allowed scientists to detect layers of skin, blood vessels, muscles and the long fibers forming a series of supports within the wing. The color of the wing membrane led researchers to dub the fossil Dark Wing, which has never before been exhibited outside of Germany….The exhibit explains that traces of fibers found on fossils from the pterosaur Sordes pilosus, or hairy devil, suggest these animals had fuzzy coats and were likely warm blooded. Climate Change Long AgoAnother dinosaur story in Live Science bears on a major political controversy: global warming.  Katia Moskvitch reports that in the dinosaur era, carbon dioxide levels were five times higher than they are today.  The new estimate is much higher than previous estimates.  “The higher CO2 levels [must] have [had] significant effects on the planet’s climate, and its flora and fauna,” one researcher said.  One thing is clear: if humans were contemporaries with dinosaurs, it wasn’t their fault.__________________*Some think the rest of the Paluxy story remains to be told, because creationists may have been too hasty to drop the subject when some of the tracks had been misinterpreted (the fact that some locals had carved giant human tracks was only part of the controversy).  Dr. Walter T. Brown makes this statement in the footnotes of his book In the Beginning:  “Before 1986, many thought that dinosaur tracks and human tracks were together along the banks of the Paluxy River, near Glen Rose, Texas. Some, but not necessarily all, of the humanlike tracks were made by part of a dinosaur’s foot. The film, Footprints in Stone, and John Morris’ book, Tracking Those Incredible Dinosaurs, which popularized the man-track idea, have been withdrawn. A few creationists still claim that some of these manlike tracks were made by humans. I believe that the Paluxy tracks should be studied more and many questions satisfactorily answered before claiming human tracks are along the Paluxy River.”  John Morris, in an article on ICR, stated: “Even though it would now be improper for creationists to continue to use the Paluxy data as evidence against evolution, in the light of these questions, there is still much that is not known about the tracks and continued research is in order. We stand committed to truth, and will gladly modify or abandon our previous interpretation of the Paluxy data as the facts dictate.”  He provided 6 questions that should be investigated further.The dinosaur-human track controversy from the 1980s embarrassed many creationists, because the film Footprints in Stone made such a plausible case, using primary evidence.  Not only did the tracks fit a human foot perfectly with left-right stride, they continued under an undisturbed bank!  It is to the credit of the creationist community that they quickly withdrew their claims when critics presented evidence that the human-like parts resided within the inner portions of theropod tracks.  The claws of the three-toed theropod tracks had not been visible until a critic went looking and found them (some find that suspicious).  Once creationists considered that evidence with open minds, they not only withdrew their material but discouraged fellow creationists from using it (see CMI, AIG, and ICR article by John Morris, who retracted his own book).  A few creationists, notably Carl Baugh and Kent Hovind, continued asserting that the human tracks were real, but most creationists have long since distanced themselves from such claims.This is a lesson for all scientists: the need to avoid wishful thinking, jumping to conclusions because you want them to be true.  Would that evolutionists would follow that example.  Critics have pointed out for decades – sometimes over a century – the flaws with Haeckel’s embryos, the horse series, the ape-to-man series, and other icons of evolution, yet prominent evolutionists continue to display them as evidence for Darwinism.  We recall dinosaur hunter Phil Currie remarking in CMI’s film The Voyage that Shook the World that scientists see what they expect to see.The Paluxy story is not dead, though.  One uncontroversial aspect shouts against the evolutionary long-age view: the rapid erosion of the Paluxy tracks.  Seventy years ago, when Roland Bird excavated the tracks, he had to hurry because he was “fighting against constant flooding from the river,” the PLoS ONE paper mentions.  Other tracks studied by creationists in the 1980s have also disappeared since they were exposed.  How credible is it that scientists would happen along these spectacular trackways right when they are being destroyed by natural causes, supposedly 110 million years after the dinosaurs made the tracks?  (See also the rapid destruction ofThen there is the soft tissue preservation.  Evolutionists expect us to believe that hair, skin, and delicate impressions of blood vessels, muscle tissues and skin fibers of pterosaurs were preserved for up to 220 million years.  This is but one of a number of soft tissue cases reported in the secular literature in recent decades.  The burden of proof should be on long-agers to show this is possible; the default explanation should be that the fossils are much, much younger than claimed.We should point out that Paluxy was not the only site suggesting man and dinosaurs were contemporaries.  Currently at AIG’s Creation Museum there is a lobby exhibit showcasing multiple lines of evidence – including artwork in temples and other human sites from different parts of the world, made centuries ago – showing dinosaurian figures.  The word “dinosaur” was only coined in the 19th century.  These artists most likely drew images of what they saw.  In many cases, the dinosaur figures are in context with other known animals.  There are also dragon legends from many parts of the world: China, Europe, and North America.So when you add up these independent lines of evidence – soft tissue preservation, ancient accounts and artwork, and intelligent design of dinosaurs, it is reasonable to postulate that humans saw dinosaurs not that long ago.  It’s the evolutionary view that should be considered dubious.  They are the ones who should be embarrassed, especially those who believe with Habib that pterosaurs evolved pneumatic bones, flight muscles and launch systems “by happenstance.”  If you believe happenstance produced powered flight, not just once but multiple times, we would like to offer you a free flight and resort vacation package to the beautiful Isle of Debris.(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Silent Saver Under Attack

first_imgResearch and developmentThere are about 50,000 home builders in this country. Most of them don’t have R&D budgets. So BTO, along with the national labs and universities it supports, is critical to developing new energy efficiency technologies like the ones I mention above. For example, Mark Modera and colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab recognized that a lot of the energy used to heat and cool buildings escapes through leaks in the ducts. They developed a new way to seal those leaks by blowing particles through the ducts that plug the holes as the air leaks out. He started a company, Aeroseal, which makes the equipment and sealant in Centerville, Ohio, and trains people around the country and the world to use it.Last month BTO released a report that highlights 27 technologies, as well as 112 LED lighting components, that BTO helped develop and that resulted in commercial products between 2010 and 2015. There is a refrigerator that separates the cooling from the freezing, a smart control for air conditioner fans, cheaper and better LEDs, windows that become darker or lighter as needed, a sprayable sealant, improved manufacturing of windows and LEDs, building energy management software, and more. Facilitating useOther BTO initiatives help bring those technologies into more widespread use. The Home Energy Score shows the efficiency of existing homes and ways that families can save on their energy bills, including sealing their ducts. Home Performance with Energy Star (BTO runs this part of Energy Star) has helped more than 600,000 families in communities throughout the country get quality energy upgrades to their homes, thus creating jobs in construction, equipment installation, and manufacturing. From lab to marketThe technologies BTO develops don’t save energy unless someone uses them, so BTO works on commercialization, too. Its Building America program works with teams of builders to incorporate new technologies in more efficient and comfortable homes. For example, it has worked with Habitat for Humanity volunteers to build super-efficient homes for low-income families in Denver, Colorado, and Lenoir City, Tennessee, and efficient homes throughout the Gulf Coast and the nation. Research and DevelopmentThe standards form a base for the development of even better technologies. Light bulb standards have led the way to cheap, efficient LED bulbs, and now BTO is working with companies to expand LEDs to other kinds of bulbs and to develop organic LEDs, which might be used in flexible panels rather than bulbs. Thus the efficiency spiral circles back, but with greater energy savings and greater economic and environmental benefits.Homes built since 2000 are on average about 30% larger than older homes but use roughly the same amount of energy. BTO innovation and assistance has been essential for those savings and for the jobs, better comfort, more stable electric grid, and reduced air pollution that result. Funding a robust and diversified buildings research and deployment program will be just as essential to future savings. By LOWELL UNGARThis post originally appeared on the ACEEE Blog.Are you happy to have cheap, efficient light bulbs that don’t flicker and hum? How about a large refrigerator that uses less electricity than the old incandescent bulb? A small government office has played a key role in all of these innovations and now helps the average American family save almost $500 each year in lower energy bills.Yet this silent saver is under attack. Like Energy Star and other effective federal energy efficiency programs, the Building Technologies Office (BTO) would be slashed in the administration’s proposed budget for 2018. It may not be “sexy,” as the last president once called insulation. But few offices are more important to consumers.Our recent fact sheet shows how BTO helps consumers save money, creates jobs, fosters innovation, makes businesses more competitive, and helps states and local governments. BTO is one of 11 program offices in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office, which in turn is a small part of the Department of Energy. Energy and Building Programs Brace for Trump BudgetGreen Building in the Trump EraEnergy Star Delivers Big for America: Why Put It at Risk?Congress Urged to Save Energy Star ProgramDisappointing Energy Savings for Energy Star HomesChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorWill the Energy Star Homes Program Survive Version 3?Government Ups the Energy Star Antecenter_img At a cost of less than $2 per household, BTO is helping you save almost $500. Actually, that’s just in appliances, equipment, and lighting covered by efficiency standards that BTO issues. BTO helps throughout what I call the virtuous spiral of energy efficiency market transformation. Universal savingsWhen the technologies are widespread and cost-effective, they can justify standards that ensure a minimum level of energy performance for all homeowners. BTO helps develop effective building energy codes for homes and commercial buildings, helps states adopt the codes, and helps builders show they meet them with tools like ResCHECK. Buildings built to new codes could save $150 billion (net present value) compared to efficiency levels a decade ago. Lowell Ungar is a senior policy advisor at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo won’t quit Real Madrid — club boss

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “Ronaldo is a Real player and will continue to be so as far as we are concerned,” Perez told Marca sports daily Tuesday. “No offer has been received for him.”According to media reports Ronaldo is unsettled at Madrid because he believes Real did not back him as fully as he had hoped in his dispute with the taxman.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAnd he has also complained on multiple occasions in the past at his treatment at the hands of Real supporters, who have resorted to jeering and booing his performance on the pitch.In an earlier report Marca said Ronaldo has told his teammates he was leaving and “there is no turning back”. What ‘missteps’? 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Perez said he could understood why the four-times world player of the year had been upset after he was accused last week of evading 14.7 million euros in tax through offshore companies.Big challengeHe said that Ronaldo had clearly done nothing wrong and Perez was appalled that the “presumption of innocence is not respected” by the media who have branded the played a delinquent.Perez, a 70-year-old construction magnate, was elected unopposed Monday for a third term in charge of Europe’s most successful club.His first big challenge is keeping Ronaldo at the club he joined in 2009 from Manchester United for a record 94 million euros ($105.3 million).There has been speculation that Ronaldo is trying to put pressure on Real so that they will bear some of the burden of an eventual fine for tax evasion as Barcelona did for Lionel Messi.Manchester United have so far made no comment on reports they are interested in buying back the player for an estimated 200 million euros, on top of the release fee.Since extending his contract in November until 2021, Ronaldo is according to Forbes the highest paid sports star in the world with $93 million (83m euro) in 2016-2017.Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also reported to be interested but Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge denied the German champions would make an offer.“We are accustomed to intensive speculation on possible arrivals and departures during the transfer period,” wrote Rummenigge in the statement. “As a rule, we do not comment on these rumours. But now in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, we want to clarify once and for all that this rumour has no basis and must be referred to in the realm of fables.”Under Perez, Real Madrid have won three Champions League titles in four seasons. The club — which also won La Liga last season — lead the way in the elite European competition with 12 trophies.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo runs during a training session ahead of the Russia 2017 Confederation Cup football tournament in Kazan on June 16, 2017. AFPCristiano Ronaldo will be staying at Spanish giants Real Madrid and no offer has been received to tempt him away, club president Florentino Perez insisted Tuesday.Unhappy Ronaldo has been linked to Manchester United and other top clubs after reportedly threatening to leave Real and quit Spain after running into problems with tax authorities.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Portuguese sports daily A Bola had also claimed that Perez had already been informed of the 32-year-old’s decision.However, Perez said that he had not spoken to Ronaldo, who is on duty for Portugal at the Confederations Cup in Russia, which ends on July 2.Even so, Perez said he was convinced Ronaldo would stay and affirmed that his Real contract was protected by a one billion euro release clause.“I have not spoken with him. We don’t want to disturb his concentration with the national team,”  said Perez.“But something really bizarre would have to happen if he were to leave this club.”ADVERTISEMENT Ancajas to rely on speed, power vs Japanese foe WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage View commentslast_img read more