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Member Since 24 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 01:27 PM

Topics I've Started

Giving up watching sports

19 November 2014 - 06:58 PM

I'm at a loss but I'm also finding less reasons to keep up with pro sports any longer.  It's gotten t to the point where I would actually base my emotional state on how my team was doing. Eventually, I had an epiphany this past weekend watching the Patriots: this #### doesn't matter. Not historically, not culturally, and certainly not personally. I haven't watched ESPN in my home in nearly a year.



Fun Sunday activities that don't involve Football

07 September 2014 - 06:22 PM

I've come to the sad realization that I spend around too much time watching Football on Sundays and am looking for recommendations for fun outdoor activities that I can do by myself as a male in his late twenties/early thirties.


ETA, I live in the New England area if any FBGs have suggestions. 

Does America have a porn problem?

01 September 2014 - 05:13 PM

:shrug: I think Kate Upton is hot but have no urge of looking at those photos leaked.

What's the worst job you've ever had?

21 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

Did a search to see if this topic has been discuss on the FFA ; nothing came up.


:popcorn: Whatchya got? I have a feeling someone has a good call center story.

Dinosaurs 'shrank' regularly to become birds

04 August 2014 - 12:52 PM




Huge meat-eating, land-living dinosaurs evolved into birds by constantly shrinking for over 50 million years, scientists have revealed.

Theropods shrunk 12 times from 163kg (25st 9lb) to 0.8kg (1.8lb), before becoming modern birds.

The researchers found theropods were the only dinosaurs to get continuously smaller.

Their skeletons also changed four times faster than other dinosaurs, helping them to survive.

Results from the study are reported in the journal Science.

Continue reading the main story From dinosaur to bird

Previous work has shown that theropod dinosaurs, the dinosaur group which included Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor and gave rise to modern birds, must have decreased in size at some point in their evolution into small, agile flyers.

But size changes frequently occurred in dinosaur evolution, so the research team members, led by Mike Lee, from the University of Adelaide, Australia, wanted to find out if the dramatic size reduction associated with the origin of birds was unique.

They also wanted to measure the rate of evolution in dinosaurs using a large data set.

The authors used sophisticated analytical tools - developed by molecular biologists trying to understand virus evolution - to study more than 1,500 dinosaur body traits coded from 120 well-documented species of theropod and early birds.

From this analysis they produced a detailed family tree mapping out the transformation of theropods to their bird descendants.

It traces evolving adaptations and changing body size over time and across dinosaur branches.

They found that the dinosaur group directly related to birds shrank rapidly from about 200 million years ago.

It showed a decrease in body mass of 162.2kg (25st 7lb) from the largest average body size to Archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird.

These bird ancestors also evolved new adaptations, including feathers, wishbones and wings, four times faster than other dinosaurs.

 Shrinking and new bird-like traits jointly influenced the transition of dinosaurs to birds, researchers say.

The researchers concluded that the evolution of the branch of dinosaurs leading to birds was more innovative than other dinosaur lineages.

The authors say this sustained shrinking and accelerated evolution of smaller and smaller body size allowed the ancestors of birds to develop traits which helped them to cope much better than their less evolved dinosaur relatives.

"Birds evolved through a unique phase of sustained miniaturisation in dinosaurs," Mr Lee said.

"Being smaller and lighter in the land of giants, with rapidly evolving anatomical adaptations, provided these bird ancestors with new ecological opportunities, such as the ability to climb trees, glide and fly.

"Ultimately, this evolutionary flexibility helped birds survive the deadly meteorite impact which killed off all their dinosaurian cousins."

'No overnight transformation'

The researchers believe that miniaturisation and the development of bird-like traits had a joint influence on the evolution of the dinosaurs into today's birds.

Professor Michael Benton, from the University of Bristol's school of earth sciences, said: "This study means we can't see the origin of birds as a sudden or dramatic event, with a dinosaur becoming a powered flyer overnight.

"The functions of each special feature of birds changed over time - feathers first for insulation, and later co-opted for flight; early reductions in body size perhaps for other reasons, and later they were small enough for powered flight; improvements in sense of sight and enlargement of brain - even a small improvement in these is advantageous.

"So perhaps it's a long-term trend associated with deputation to a new set of habitats, in the trees, to avoid predation, and to exploit new food resources."