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Friday, December 15, 2017

Turtle or Late Dinosaur?

Niolamia is an extinct genus of South American meiolaniid turtle.[1] Arthur Smith Woodward sunk it into Meiolania, but this was not accepted by later authors.[2] The genus is known from the Sarmiento Formation in Argentina.[3]
Few members of the turtle lineage have horns in the supraorbital region, and few display spikes in the osteoderm.

It seems the only reason this creature was put in the "testudine" lineage is because its fenestrae are closed, it has an osteoderm, and it lived after the KPg event. Since only the osteoderm and skull have been preserved, there is little other evidence to place it in Pantestudine.

Ankylosaurus had horns and a spiked osteoderm. By 66 mya, most of its fenestrae had closed. The one remaining pair of fenestrae was growing smaller, as if "closing."

In order to put this "turtle-like" creature in Meiolania, you must construct a ghost lineage that lived for nearly 100 million years while leaving no fossils. An ankylosaur ancestor only requires a 20 million year gap.

Oh but wait, it's not a member of  Meiolania.  Apparently there is no consensus as to what it was, but they call it  Meiolania anyway.

Here is the skull:

It looks nothing like that of any turtle, but looks very much like that of an ankylosaur:

This is not proof, just a questioning. Questions are important for science.

Does anyone have anything to link it to Pantestudines besides the lack of fenestrae in the skull and the presence of an osteoderm? 


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How Humans Stopped Eating Each Other...Mostly

Cannibalism and Kuru[edit]
Cannibalism among the Fore of the New Guinea highlands was stopped in the 1950s and by the 1990s, most of the people who’d taken part in the cannibal feasts had developed kuru and died. Yet inexplicably, there were some who were still perfectly healthy. Alpers and his colleagues were able to show these survivors had a particular gene profile – one that protected them from Kuru. Then they compared the Fore’s genes with everyone else on the planet and found that this protection wasn't unusual-many people from Europe, Asia, and Africa, had the same protective genes. The conclusion was that at some stage in our prehistory, maybe 500,000 years ago, our forebears were routinely eating their dead.[7] Alpers and his work are the main theme of Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery (2010).[8] He is interviewed in The Genius And The Boys (2009).[9]

A detailed study here;
But it was a cannibal planet long after 500,000 years ago, right up into the neolithic. Frazer's Golden Bough points to numerous universal cultural traditions that survive as relics of human sacrifice, headhunting and cannibalism at harvest time, lending strong evidence that the first agriculturalists practiced both. 
In my 25 years of research into man's prehistoric past, I have found numerous citations of cannibalism and human sacrifice in every continent and nearly every culture with the exception of Africa and Australia, where evidence is more tentative. These practices, along with headhunting, continued through the neolithic  in nearly every Eurasian culture. Its abandonment usually coincides with the introduction of Buddhism or a monotheistic religion (Especially Zoroastrianism and the related Abrahamic religions, such as Christianity and Islam). The proto-indo-european religions from which Hinduism and the Greek and Roman gods are said to have originated may have also played a part in the process of eliminating specifically cannibalism.So far I've not found evidence of a ban on headhunting or sacrifice in the earliest related cultures or texts. 

The Fore, the tribe which inspired these studies,  obtained the disease upon adopting cannibalism. They had little resistance in their genome before the epidemic and survivors were primarily those with the resistant gene.

The Fore are dominated by Y Hap C, which is thought to have been predominant in Australia during the late pleistocene. Unlike most peoples, Australian aborigines have little if any history of cannibalism.  In most PNG tribes besides the Fore and a few others, Y hap C is rare and prion disease restance is ubiquitous. Elsewhere, resistance reaches it's highest level in Japan and parts of India.

Though sub-saharan Africans such as the Hadza and San have not been tested for prion disease immunity, they are among the few peoples colonial explorers never accused of cannibalism. No evidence of cannibalism has been documented among them or their possible ancestors. However, multiple reports hint the pygmy tribes may sometimes be victims of cannibals from neigboring Bantu tribes even today. Australian and African hunter-gatherers also exhibit less Neanderthal introgression than the vast majority of other populations, including the Bantu.

Neanderthal cannibalism is well documented and seems to have continued in the homo sapiens who assimilated them.

It seems that unless you are an Australian aborigine or sub-saharan African, you likely descend from cannibalistic neanderthal hybrids. I definitely do, so please don't take me wrong. I've got close to 4% Neanderthal introgression myself. My ancestral Y haplogroup (Hap R) is a sister group to the two Haplogroups who ate and mated with the paleolithic Papua New Guineans(Haps S and M). My haplogroups other sister group is the one that ate and mated with the former paleoamericans(Hap Q). My ancestor and his sisters (Haplogroups inside  F) ate and mated with 70% of the planet. The men of Y Haplogroup DE ate and mated with 29% that we didn't get to.

The San and Hadza's ancestors may be the only people who escaped the spread of Neanderthal genes by cannibalistic hybrids. And it seems they had to assimilate genes to do so, bearing evidence of two Archaic African Hominids in their immunity systems. It's likely they went where invading northerners couldn't go; Malaria infested jungles and sun drenched deserts.

My ancestor was brought out of a cannibalistic, human sacrificing, headhunting, barbaric state by the spread of  a monotheistic religion. Unless you're an African hunter-gatherer or Australian aborigine, you probably have a cannibal ancestor too.


Monday, December 4, 2017

No Bipedal Ancestor For Dinosaurs

"Silesauridae is an extinct clade of dinosauriformes, a group of Triassic reptiles which included early ancestors and relatives of the dinosaurs."
A large phylogenetic analysis of early dinosaurs and dinosauromorphs carried out by Matthew Baron, David Norman and Paul Barrett (2017) and published in the journal Nature recovered Silesauridae as a monophyletic sister group to Dinosauria.

None of them are bipedal. One Silesaurid MIGHT be partially bipedal.
 Silesauridae evolved from Dinosauriformes just like dinosaurs. Few unclassed Dinosauriformes are known, but the earliest is Asilisaurus. Asilisaurus was also quadrupedal.

And yet scientist think the ancestors of ornithischians and saurischians, the two main groups of dinosaurs, were fully bipedal. Though early saurischians are fully bipedal, the earliest ornithischians were not. No reason or explanation for the assumption is given in available literature.

Pisanosaurus has been considered the earliest known ornithischian. A 2008 study placed Pisanosaurus outside of (and more basal than) Heterodontosauridae. In this study, Pisanosaurus is the earliest and most primitive ornithischian.[4]
On the other hand, a phylogenetic analysis conducted by Agnolin (2015) recovered Pisanosaurus as a possible non-dinosaurian member of Dinosauriformes related to the silesaurids.[14] In 2017, it was again suggested that Pisanosaurus was a silesaurid.[15][16]

Pisanosaurus was only partly bipedal.

Other primitive ornithischians include Eocursor, Trimucrodon, and possibly Fabrosaurus.

Of the three, only Eocursor is known to have been partly bipedal. No one thinks it was ancestral to any quadrupedal ornithischians.
Hedetodontosaurus is among the first ornithischians in the Jurassic, and was primarily bipedal. It was also highly specialized, even exhibiting heterodont teeth in response to niche adaptation. No one thinks it was an ancestor of later ornithichians.

Lesothosaurus and Strombergia  are just as old as Hedetodontosaurus. Some scientist think the two were the same species, but one belongs to Thyreophora and the other to Neornithischia. These are the two main clades of Ornithischian. They were both bipedal, but also highly specialized.  Neither are candidates for the ancestor of later Ornithischians.

 Emausaurus, Scelidosaurus, Scutellosaurus are also Ornithischians as old or nearly as old at hederodontosaurs. Among them, only Scutellosaurus is thought to have been partly or primarily bipedal.

 Scelidosaurus  is considered basal to both stegosaurs and ankylosaurs and is firmly quadrupedal.

After  Scelidosaurus , the great majority of ornithischians are quadrupedal. Late Cretaceous bipedal ornithischians are thought to have evolved from quadrupedal ancestors.

So quadrupedal Silesauridae, basal to all dinosaurs, was quadrupedal. It evolved into partly bipedal Pisanosaurus (or a sister taxon) which evolved into quadrupedal  Scelidosaurus (or sister taxon) which evolved into quadrupedal ankylosaurs and stegosaurs.

So why would anyone think stegosaurs evolved from a fully bipedal ancestor? There is not a single fully bipedal candidate for ancestor of the two main clades of dinosaur, ornithischian and Saurischia. There is not a single fully bipedal ornithischian in lineage  between stegosaurs and Silesauridae. But for no reason whatsover, it's considered settled science that ornithischians and saurischians evolved from a bipedal ancestor.

For shame, for shame.