By January 27, 2006

What's Cooler Than a Croc or a Dinosaur?

A croc and a dinosaur! This Ars Technica Nobel Intent post discusses how the recent processing of material excavated 60 years ago. The efforts of a graduate student revealed a dinosaur with some crocodile features and some dinosaur features, indicating a possible common ancestor between crocs and animals such as the velociraptor, which would not make an appearance for another 80 million years. Of particular note was the foreleg of the dinocroc, which was so croc-like the grad student thought he was excavating a crocodile instead of a dinosaur.

The analysis of this fossil evidence also bolsters a theory on efficient forms. Apparently there are at least three non-primate examples of thumbs in the historical record, but despite the thumbs belonging to animals in different evolutionary trees, the bone structures of the thumbs are all the same.

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