Welcome to my Metazoic site! This site discusses the existence of the creatures to come along after humans will be extinct. I first became interested in a world after man when I acquired my first copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future in 1992. However, I unwittingly created creatures that did not exist from the time I was about 8 years old. But it was after I obtained a copy of that book (now a collector's item) that I decided to take these same creatures I created as a child and make them more realistic in an evolutionary sense. Though it may be hard for a lot of us to grasp, humans will soon become extinct. One of the biggest factors of how this will happen is the current overpopulation rate. Which is why I don't contribute to the population. I created this world with little more than mammals fulfilling all ecological niches with the help of some friends. I even gave the era of the age after man a name, I called it the Metazoic, derived from the words for "After-era" (Meta, meaning after, and zoic meaning era). We are now in the Cenozoic era. To view all the animals I have created since I began this project, you can go to the "Meet the Mammals" section of this site. To discuss your own ideas about what you think will happen in the future world, and share your ideas with others, please feel free to leave a comment.
One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everything You Know Is A Lie!

This is a story almost too zany to be true. Since the discovery of feathered theropods and the quilled Psittacosaurus, paleontologists have had the sneaking suspicion that all dinosaurs were feathered to some extent, even if not fully feathered as adults somewhat partially feathered instead, or else fully feathered as juveniles. For a while, suspicions have just been that, but now, we have clinching proof!

Meet Tienyulong confucusi (there is some debate on whether the name is acceptable following the ICZN), a new Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid from China. While Cretaceous heterodontosaurs are weird, but not unknown (the dinosaur Echinodon is oftetimes thought of as a heterodontosaur), the really shocking feature of this animal is the coat of quilly feathers it has running down its back and tail! These are definitely protofeathers too, as they resemble the protofeathers found in other dinosaurs, such as Bepiaosaurus, to an extent.

What's even more interesting is that the quills of Tienyulong seem to be somewhat intermediate between the highly derived quill structures known from ceratopsians (Psittacosaurus), and the more primtivie "fluffiness" of other dinosaurs. In fact, it now seems very likely that all ornithodirans were feathered, at least to an extent. Feathers have been found in all three of the major ornithodiran groups (Pterosaurs, like the famous Sordes, theropods, ranging from tiny Sinosauropteryx and modern hummingbirds to therizinosaurs and tyrannosaurs, and now ornithiscians, Psittacosaurus, Tienyulong, and possibly Triceratops).

This suggests that groups that have not yet been found with feathers, such as coelophysoid theropods, silesaurids, and such, probably did have feathers as adults. As for the ornithischians, it seems likely that the smaller forms were fluffy or had a feathery mane, and in the larger species (horse sized and up) that we know were mostly covered in scales, they may have had a feather "mane" as is often portrayed by the paleoartist Luis Rey. As for sauropods, I have heard Darren Naish of Tetrapod Zoology fame once suggest that there is a slight possibility that the keratinous spines of diplodocids are somehow related to feathers. And of course, the baby sauropods of Auca Mahuevo may have been fuzzy as well.

Speaking of coelophysoid theropods, consider this my equivalent of a weekly blog post, as I may not be able to post the article on dinosaurian pimps just yet.


Canis said...

Probably just the ornithiscian dinosaurs were feathered. The saurischians may not of been, but I'm not a dino expert.

Metalraptor said...

Canis, saurischian dinosaurs were feathered, that's why this is so important. Up until now, unequivocal feathers were only known from theropods, so most paleontologists thought they were only found on the theropods. However, feathers on a heterodontosaur is the last place one would expect to find them. The implications of this suggest that not only theropods, but all dinosaurs and ornithodirans were feathered or covered in dino-fuzz. This is the biggest paleontological discovery since Sinosauropteryx was brought to light in 2000 or so.