In The Beginning…

Hi everyone! As this is my first blog EVER, I feel there is almost a sense of justice that we talk about the beginning of the animal kingdom; the dinosaurs.

Now, I know what you are thinking, “Why is he talking about dinosaurs? This blog is supposed to be about animals!” Well, the fact is that dinosaurs are indeed very much relevant to the topic of animals as they are not only animals themselves (albeit prehistoric), but by looking at what little we know of this ancient creatures, we can see how the animals of today actually came to be.

A popular example of comparison is this comical going on hilarious example of how this:

T. Rex

Evolved to become this:

Chicken

I KNOW. HILARIOUS RIGHT?!

Well, whilst it is funny to think that the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex through time became the humble chicken, it actually makes sense. Here are three reasons why:

The “mighty” roar.

Now, whilst mammals and even some modern day reptiles such as crocodiles and tortoises and many other creatures possess a larynx (the organ that controls air expelled by the lungs and produces characteristic animal noises from mighty roars to monkey chatter), modern day birds do not possess this organ. This greatly suggests that their ancient ancestors probably didn’t either. The fact is that the T. Rex probably was not physically able to produce the earth shattering roar we so know and love.

Birds possess an organ called the syrinx, an organ in the trachea that produces melodious sounds in most bird species when vibrated.. That is not to say that the great T. Rex chirped like a bird, but it does suggest the great likelihood of them being incapable of roaring.

There is a third option, proposed by researchers in July 2016: perhaps the dinosaurs used “closed-mouth” vocalisation? This would presumably require neither a larynx nor a syrinx and would produce sounds similar to pigeon cooing, but much louder and deeper. This would actually be more disturbing and frightening than the famous roar if you think about it.

Tyrant king of plumage.

Another interesting fact to mention is the great possibility that the Tyrant King could very well have been covered in feathers rather than leathery scales. This is especially supported by the fact that scientists almost expected the T. Rex to be feathered as they discovered a small tyrannosaur from the same family lived in the Liaoning forest. This small cousin of T. rex, Dilong paradoxus also had large jaws with small, tightly packed front teeth. But this tyrannosaur also had a thin coat of feather-like fibres. Palaeontologists led by Xu Xing of the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the feathers and thinks these “protofeathers” may have helped keep Dilong warm. If this dinosaur did, why not their more famous cousins?

And lastly, the most dangerous animal on Earth… THE CHICKEN!!!

The chicken, if you look closely at it, possesses many similar features to that of the T. Rex. They both walk on two legs, possess scaly feet with sharp talons, avian-like fast metabolism, stupendously fast growth rates and they both had would can be effectively called a pea brain. Also if we take a chicken skeleton (see below),

chicken skeleton

doesn’t it look remarkably similar to that of a T. Rex (see below), albeit, far smaller and more bird-like.

T. Rex skeleton

To conclude, I have focused on the comparison between these two well known species to emphasise that dinosaurs, though big and ancient and so very different to both modern day birds and modern day reptiles, still have some small impact on our day-to-day lives and of course are relevant to research on modern day animals.

So, if your ever feeling down, go buy yourself some KFC and just think to yourself, “I may be feeling down, but I’m eating a T. Rex”. How’s that for a confidence booster?

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