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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Research with Necks to no Evolution

Far too often, we see research that is interesting and moving along nicely that is tainted by homage to Darwin., such as this one. There are times when researchers saddle up and simply do their jobs. Like we saw in the futile effort to link retroviruses in koalas to human evolution, sometimes they try to compare living creatures with what may have happened in the past. What about critters with long necks?

Researchers wondered if the long necks of giraffes had similar characteristics of those in some dinosaurs. They did this without tainting the study with Darwin.
Credit: Clker clipart
A characteristic of giraffes is their extended necks, but so did many sauropod dinosaurs. The Master Engineer designed giraffes with tremendous detail to raise and lower their heads for eating, drinking, and other things. Could certain dinosaurs (which were much larger and taller) had similar characteristics? It is a distinct possibility.
What do giraffes and sauropods have in common? A new paper shows how you can seek answers without Darwin’s help.

From an evolutionary perspective, sauropods (dinosaurs) and giraffes have almost nothing in common except being vertebrates and having long necks. Giraffes did not ‘evolve’ from sauropods, so it would be a remarkable ‘convergence’ to have these large beasts end up with similar neck vertebrae and the ability to lift and swing their heads on their magnificent necks. Call Darwin to help explain this, please!

A team of five led by Daniel Vidal apparently didn’t need Charlie’s help. There is nothing about evolution, convergence, mutation, selection or any other Darwinian concept in their open-access paper in PLoS One, titled “Ontogenetic similarities between giraffe and sauropod neck osteological mobility.” That’s ontogeny (development of the embryo to adult), not phylogeny (evolution) – no apologies to Haeckel. Instead, they consider just the facts: how these animals’ vertebrae possessed similarities and differences that allowed heavy lifting. The Abstract says,
To find out more, click on "Long Necks Without Evolution".



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