MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 36
Article views: 611
Latest Badges:

View all Tyronehster's badges.

The Twilight of Evolution?

15 December 2012, 07:21

‘It’s easy enough to disprove evolution: show me a rabbit fossil in the pre-Cambrian layer.’ Richard Dawkins.

The New York Times of 7 December 2012 reported on fossils discovered in north-eastern China of a giant, previously unrecognized animal, showing all the hallmarks of mammalian structure.

Although several species of this branch of mammalian fossils have already been uncovered in the rich fossil beds of Liaoning Province, the three largely complete 125-million-year-old specimens are by far the largest. The adult was at least 10 feet long and weighed a half a ton, about 40 times the heft of Ginuserual, the earliest known true mammal. The two juveniles were a mere 150 pounds each.

The new species was a distant relative of Machairodontinae, or sabre tooth cat, the mighty predator that lived from about 42 million years ago, before becoming extinct about 11 thousand years ago. The sabre tooth cat was the mightiest hunter of its time.

In an article in the journal Nature, published online Wednesday, Chinese and Canadian palaeontologists said the discovery provided the first “direct evidence for the presence of early pre-Cambrian mammals” and offered “new insights into early mammalian evolution.”

Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, who was the lead author of the paper, said in a statement that it was “possible that mammals were much more widespread, at least in that region than most scientists would have guessed even a few years ago.”

Dr. Xu said the fossils showed undoubted mammalian characteristics, and he was in no doubt as to their authenticity.

The species has been named Yutyrannus huali, which means “graceful hunter” in a combination of Latin and Mandarin.

Mark A. Norell, a curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, who had no part in the research, said the findings were significant because they swept aside a longstanding argument that perhaps mammals had only come into existence after the great dinosaur extinction.

Corwin Sullivan, a Canadian palaeontologist affiliated with the Beijing institute and an author of the report, noted that the idea of early mammals was not new.  He quoted Peter Godfrey-Smith, who said that finding anachronistic fossils would not invalidate evolution.

“However, large-bodied animals typically can retain heat quite easily, and actually have more of a potential problem with overheating,” Dr. Sullivan said. “That makes Yutyrannus, which is large and downright shaggy, a bit of a surprise.”

The researchers suggested that the climate might have been cooler when this shaggy giant lived than it was when T. rex roamed in the late Cretaceous period. Not necessarily, said Dr. Norell, who pointed out that large, hairy mammals like giraffes and wildebeest, perhaps analogous to sabre toothed cats, live today in hot latitudes.

Another possible explanation, offered by the authors of the journal article, is that the fur was not widely distributed over the mammal’s bodies, and so their function as display cannot be ruled out. Yet the researchers noted several times that the fur covering was extensive and “densely packed,” resembling some recent discoveries of extinct mammals that had perished in the last Ice Age.

“This is a great time to be a dinosaur paleontologist,” said Dr. Norell, whose research concentrates on fossils from China and the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. “The Yutyrannus huali shows how the whole conception of evolution has really changed in the last 15 years.”

So, it seems I was right after all. All they now say, after this discovery, is that mammals evolved earlier than we thought.

So much for creationist lies, I suppose.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

Just like this article, which is a complete fabrication.

Enjoy your weekend.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
SA riders vs drivers: Biggest pet...

From ‘slapping side-mirrors’ to ‘changing lanes without indicating’, Wheels24 users share their biggest pet peeves about motorcyclists and car drivers in South Africa. Read more...

14 comments 6068 views
Submitted by
The problem with defining people ...

A while ago there was a spate of articles about white privilege that I really wanted to respond to but business being what it is I simply didn't get the time. However considering the racial nature that many of the discussions on all social media platforms soon descends to the topic is as relevant as ever. Read more...

0 comments 239 views
Submitted by
Yolanda Mtintsilana
I am a happy feminist

I am a happy feminist and I do not want a head in my house but two hands that are going work together to build a home.  Read more...

0 comments 666 views
Submitted by
Bobby Shabangu
Let's talk about Gaddafi

What crimes did Muammar Gaddafi actually commit? 

0 comments 988 views
Submitted by
What Prof Piketty doesn't know ab...

Economist Piketty has stirred up a lot of attention around the world. But he really needs to understand the radical difference between South Africa and, say, Europe. Read more...

0 comments 1246 views
Submitted by
Kdoggy dog
Mzansi: is this a jungle for thug...

Let's all stand together and get rid of corruption once and for all since the ruling party aren't serious about anything.  Read more...

0 comments 226 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.