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Thread: Intelligent Dinosaurs..?

  1. #1 Intelligent Dinosaurs..? 
    Forum Sophomore Tharghana's Avatar
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    Now hold im not a madman 8), But I was wondering if it would be Possible for a Dinosaur to be Intelligent? Like a Level of Intelligence of early man. Is that possible?

    Troodon is the example of supposedly the most intelligent dinosaur.


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    The evidence for this sort of thing would be tools, artifacts, evidence of manipulating the environment to suit the creatures.

    I am not aware of any such record with regards to dinos.


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    Well, that depends which "early man" you're talking about. The earliest early man (being one of the first direct descendants from the chimp-human common ancestor) had a relative brain size only marginally larger than that of a modern chimp. The tools that they use are completely organic and would be difficult to identify as such even if they actually manage to fossilize in proximity to the animal that used it.

    Do you know the brain to body size ratio of troodon, Tharghana?
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    Animals with a wide range of brain - to - body ratio use tools, including chimps (comparable to humans), birds (much larger), elephants (much smaller) and the occasional wasp (uncertain of the brain : body comparison here). It is problematic to attempt to define intelligence in any event.

    I see no way to get at the question of intelligence in dinos without some sort of evidence. There is evidence of nesting behavior in some species, thus tool use of one sort or another could be recorded, and there's been none recovered AFAIK.

    However, I've got no oar in the discussion, or if I have I'll certainly remove it.
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  6. #5 Re: Intellagent Dinosaurs..? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    Now hold im not a madman 8), But I was wondering if it would be Possible for a Dinosaur to be Intelligent? Like a Level of Intelligence of early man. Is that possible?

    Troodon is the example of supposedly the most intelligent dinosaur.
    Absolutely!

    And what is more, this is actually documented!!!

    Can you believe that?

    Probably not, but bear with me for a moment then.

    Dinosaurs are extinct. Technically not though. One group of dinosaurs actually evolved into a rather novel and different direction from the rest of the group and the results we can see when we examine the modern group of birds.

    Are there intelligent tool makes among the bird group?

    In fact, remember this headline?

    Crows Better at Tool Building Than Chimps


    Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) have been able to add useful new features to the insect-snagging tools they fashion from leathery pieces of torn leaf. What's more, they say, these innovations are faithfully passed on between individuals and across generations.

    "The ability to cumulatively improve tools is one of the features that define humanness. In fact this ability has been crucial for our technological progress," said co-author Gavin R. Hunt, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. "Our findings therefore remove an important technological difference between humans and other animals," he said.

    Even in the chimpanzee, tool manufacture is often a haphazard process, cites the study, and chimp tools show little evidence of incremental change over time.

    Despite the fact that chimps use tools for a wider variety of tasks, such as foraging and grooming, they don't appear to pass on tool-building knowledge in the same way that people, and possibly New Caledonian crows, do.

    YES!!!

    wonderful, both criteria of the question are fulfilled. Dinosaurs can evolve, and have evolved to something with an intelligence of 'early man', and some of these species are in fact advanced toolmakers. And since they are more advanced toolmakers than chimpanzees they could well be comparable in their tool making skills to early hominin species.

    This is of course just one example. Other bird species show 'human' intelligence on different levels.
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    <smacking head>

    Of course, cheers SM.
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  8. #7  
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    Troodon's Body to brain size was larger then any current day bird.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    Troodon's Body to brain size was larger then any current day bird.
    is that relative brain size ?

    which brings me to another point : how do birds like crows, which are now agreed to be quite intelligent, compare in brain size with mammals of the same body weight and similar intelligence (if such a comparison can be made) ?
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    First google hit:

    The crow’s brain, for example is the same relative size as a chimpanzee’s, and crows, along with jays, score best on an IQ test for birds devised by Louis Lefebvre, a professor of biology at MgCill University in Montreal.
    http://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com...me-bird-brain/
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  11. #10  
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    yeah, ok, i've been a lazy sod

    oh btw, what is this "google" you keep referring to ? my InfoSeek search engine doesn't seem to know it ...
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Troodon had one of the largest known brains of any dinosaur, relative to its body mass (comparable to modern birds).
    Yes I believe its relative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Well, that depends which "early man" you're talking about. The earliest early man (being one of the first direct descendants from the chimp-human common ancestor) had a relative brain size only marginally larger than that of a modern chimp. The tools that they use are completely organic and would be difficult to identify as such even if they actually manage to fossilize in proximity to the animal that used it.

    What I had in mind was a Dinosaur that might been around as smart as a Chimp.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    yeah, ok, i've been a lazy sod

    oh btw, what is this "google" you keep referring to ? my InfoSeek search engine doesn't seem to know it ...
    Google is the new 1984, and I love it.

    Especially google documents.
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    I think that was a joke.. I hope.
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    from a scientific point of view probably, the dinosaurs were evolving for a good 400million years, and look at what this generation has done, taking out the unique humans, after 200 millenia apes are developing tools, I think we would be very single minded and foolish to belive a species evolving for 2000 times longer than us was still a moron lumbering round eating rocks




    personally I think any trace of their intelligence has been wiped out over the millenia, that or they were so intelligent everything they used were bio-degradeable







    of course from the opposite perspective they didn't have all these fossil fuels, much of our technology would not exist if we didn't have oil and coal, back in the triassic period there was probably nothing of the like so they might have had the brains, but lacked the tools
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booms
    personally I think any trace of their intelligence has been wiped out over the millenia, that or they were so intelligent everything they used were bio-degradeable
    If we can find fossilized bones, nests, and footprints from that time period, we could most certainly find stone tools. Developing to the point of preferrably using biodegradable material over stone doesn't mean that stone wasn't used at some point.
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    Well, if there was any technology, it might have been all destroyed over the 65 million years or so.
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    We've found dinosaur bones accumulated where there had once been a ravine or similar pitfall. The dinosaurs, apparently, were so stupid and clumsy they kept falling in and getting stuck, generation after generation.
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    I don't think its true that all Dinosaurs are complete morons, they survived on Earth for around 165 million years.
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    And sharks have been around practically unchanged for even longer. It is quite easy for a group of animals to remain in existence for long periods of time without being remarkably intelligent compared to humans.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    We've found dinosaur bones accumulated where there had once been a ravine or similar pitfall. The dinosaurs, apparently, were so stupid and clumsy they kept falling in and getting stuck, generation after generation.
    what would you say about the mammals that got stuck in the La Brea pits then ? pretty stupid to go and get yourself stuck when you see others hopelessly trapped in the mire, isn't it ?

    after all, what do you about the taphonomy of the site where the dinosaurs died ? is it really an accumulation over time in situ, or have the bodies been washed to a quieter spot on the floodplain ? to deduce stupidity on these grounds seems dodgy at best
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    Didn't dinosaurs also have an enlargement in the spinal cord near the pelvis like modern birds? Since this might take care of some of the automatic motor functions (I think), would that not affect its place on the relative brain size chart? I mean, and this might be nonsense, but doesn't brain size partly have to do with the number of bodily cells that it has to service? So if such an enlargement was present, shouldn't it affect their estimated intelligence?

    I remember reading in a book in the 7th grade or so, that some early dinosaurs had such poorly developed nervous systems that if you cut it's tail off, that it would not know it's tail is cut off and would struggle onwards for 20 minutes before it realized something was wrong. This sounds a bit dubious now that I think about it (a lot actually), but it does make me wonder about the evolution of the efficiency of the central nervous system. Is there any reason to assume that the relative brain size chart should indicate the same rough level of intelligence everywhere throughout life's history?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booms
    I think we would be very single minded and foolish to belive a species evolving for 2000 times longer than us was still a moron lumbering round eating rocks
    I, on the other hand, would think it incredibly arrogant of us to think that, just because we have intelligence, that is somehow what evolution "aims" towards.

    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.

    (If necessary, write that out 100 times until it sticks.) :P
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    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.
    ......
    ......
    ......
    Intelligence is not a necessary consequence of evolution.

    FINISHED !
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  26. #25  
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    That is true but I, I was saying it could be possible they where.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    That is true but I, I was saying it could be possible they where.
    Yes, it is possible; but the probability that any dinosaur species was able to advance to the point of complex tool technology or beyond and yet no evidence to date has been found that suggests this, is very very low. 65 million years not withstanding.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    That is true but I, I was saying it could be possible they where.
    Yes, it is possible; but the probability that any dinosaur species was able to advance to the point of complex tool technology or beyond and yet no evidence to date has been found that suggests this, is very very low. 65 million years not withstanding.
    See my post.

    It's all documented in scientific literature.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    That is true but I, I was saying it could be possible they where.
    Yes, it is possible; but the probability that any dinosaur species was able to advance to the point of complex tool technology or beyond and yet no evidence to date has been found that suggests this, is very very low. 65 million years not withstanding.
    See my post.

    It's all documented in scientific literature.
    My apologies, Spurious - you are right of course. Let me rephrase.

    Yes, it is possible; but the probability that any currently extinct dinosaur species was able to advance to the point of complex tool technology or beyond and yet no evidence to date has been found that suggests this, is very very low. 65 million years not withstanding.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    It seems that tool-making is really a fringe activity in the animal kingdom.

    It's probably not good to take this rare activity as a measurement of intelligence, unless of course you would like to make the circular argument that toolmaking indicates intelligence and intelligence leads to toolmaking.

    my 3 cents (inflation).
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    Does pack hunting evidence a certain level of intelligence, in that communication is used to effectively hunt as a pack? And what is the evidence that some dinosaur species may have hunted in packs a la Velociraptor in Jurassic Park.
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  32. #31  
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    Ants hunt in packs.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    It seems that tool-making is really a fringe activity in the animal kingdom.

    It's probably not good to take this rare activity as a measurement of intelligence, unless of course you would like to make the circular argument that toolmaking indicates intelligence and intelligence leads to toolmaking.

    my 3 cents (inflation).
    That's a good point, I agree. (Even worth the 3 cents, I think!) It is of course possible that intelligence can flourish without any significant tool technology resulting (just think of dolphins). However, the beginning of this discussion focused on chimp-like levels of intelligence, but some people seemed to be thinking even more advanced than that - and I just think it improbable that levels of intelligence comparable to humans wouldn't leave some mark of environmental alteration in a terrestrial habitat. Not impossible, just improbable.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Ants hunt in packs.
    They forage in packs. Or farm in packs, in the case of aphids.
    They also communicate.

    If the argument against a behaviour indicating intelligence is that a small-brained animal does that behaviour, then there is no criteria for intelligence that I can think of.

    Bacteria communicate, after all. They also create their own tools, in the sense of spore formation, fruiting body formation, and biofilm formation.

    Edit: After mulling it over for a little while, I can think of no good definition of intelligence. We may need to switch to civilisation as a criteria to define higher function.
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  35. #34  
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    I believe Teamwork is a Sign of Intelligence :?.
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Ants hunt in packs.
    They forage in packs. Or farm in packs, in the case of aphids.
    They also communicate.
    No, they hunt. Forage is just a word to demean their accomplishments.
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  37. #36  
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    Cows hunt in packs as well.
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    Eating grass is grazing. Eating leaves is browsing. Eating meat is hunting. It requires the finding and subduing of another animal. Ant hunting is probably less strategically complex than, say, wolf hunting, or human hunting of large and dangerous game, but it is still hunting. Many of them swarm over the prey item and bite and/or sting it until it is dead, and then they begin to tear it up into pieces and take it back to the nest. And sometimes they won't wait until the prey is dead before they start that step.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical


    Cows hunt in packs as well.
    In 'life of mammals' they are called plant predators.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical


    Cows hunt in packs as well.
    In 'life of mammals' they are called plant predators.
    \

    that isn't serious... right :? ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Eating grass is grazing. Eating leaves is browsing. Eating meat is hunting. It requires the finding and subduing of another animal. Ant hunting is probably less strategically complex than, say, wolf hunting, or human hunting of large and dangerous game, but it is still hunting. Many of them swarm over the prey item and bite and/or sting it until it is dead, and then they begin to tear it up into pieces and take it back to the nest. And sometimes they won't wait until the prey is dead before they start that step.
    Where does purchasing food items at Tesco's fit into the intelligence scheme?
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    some resources actually a predator as a "species that feed on other species", which would seem to include plants
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Eating grass is grazing. Eating leaves is browsing. Eating meat is hunting. It requires the finding and subduing of another animal. Ant hunting is probably less strategically complex than, say, wolf hunting, or human hunting of large and dangerous game, but it is still hunting. Many of them swarm over the prey item and bite and/or sting it until it is dead, and then they begin to tear it up into pieces and take it back to the nest. And sometimes they won't wait until the prey is dead before they start that step.
    Where does purchasing food items at Tesco's fit into the intelligence scheme?
    That would be a skill-based labor market of resource production leading to the existence of consumer goods and services.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical


    Cows hunt in packs as well.
    In 'life of mammals' they are called plant predators.
    \

    that isn't serious... right :? ?
    if you want to call Sir David Frederick Attenborough a joke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    if you want to call Sir David Frederick Attenborough a joke.
    that's settled then
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    I think the case can be made quite convincing since plants don't seem to be passive participants in their 'struggle for survival' with plant predators.

    Relationships and defenses seem rather dynamic. Not a matter of just collecting for the plant eaters.
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    Caterpillar vs. Pitcher Plant. Fight!
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    Well this seemed interesting enough to post a reply.

    I think that the best candidate for tool users in dinosaurs would be the Deinonychosauria, the closest relatives to birds who went extinct. Of these, the ones with the most developed hands would be a good choice.

    Looking at crows, their feet are essentially hands also. They are well developed for grasping and usage. Their beaks appear to be equivalent to a second hand, as they always need one foot on the ground to stand. Now looking at crow evolution, they are aggressive pack hunters with scavenger-carnivorous tendencies, much like our earliest tool-using ancestors. Dinosaurs which also had this life style include Velociraptor, Deinonychus, and maybe a few arboreal species.

    Obviously, because these dinosaurs were ground based and had fingers and hands, they didn't need feet-hands. So finding species with the most manipulative hands could help narrow down the search.

    There's also the chance that their foot-claw was the equivalent of the crow's stick, so they may not have needed to make tools to the extent of the crow's ability. But the fact that they were pack hunters and scavengers implies the ability to think socially and creatively, so it's possible they would be able to create a tool on an as-needed basis.

    Because intelligence is purely based on necessity to life, one cannot take brain ratio as the be all and end all for smarts. One has to look at the life style. Fact is that most smarter species are hunters and social. These two characteristics require a more advanced brain to be able to relate and predict your fellow pack hunters and create a simple attack plan on the spot. Our ancestors managed to take down mammoths on communication involving nothing but grunts, so raptor caws could just as easily done the same.


    Finally, the fact that dinosaur groups like Deinonychosauria continued to have developed hands and fingers, while their theropod relatives evolved into forms which had less and less emphasis on hands means that Deinonychosauria dinosaurs had an evolutionary need for these hands. They were used for something. And it had to be more than just grabbing onto your prey, because other dinosaurs, and later "terror birds", had grappling hands to grab prey with that were FAR less developed and specialized. These raptor hands had a purpose beyond holding onto prey, and it had to be something some evolutionarily needed that these fingers and hands remained even with birds well into the Paleogene. If they were less important like that of Titanus walleri or Trex, they would have developed into those forms. But no, they remained mobile and flexible.

    Perhaps, they were for tool use.
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    Or maybe they simply used their hands to hold onto chunks of meat as they bite off pieces for swallowing. Their hands were not pronated, so might have been best suited for this purpose IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gormanmod
    Because intelligence is purely based on necessity to life, one cannot take brain ratio as the be all and end all for smarts. One has to look at the life style. Fact is that most smarter species are hunters and social. These two characteristics require a more advanced brain to be able to relate and predict your fellow pack hunters and create a simple attack plan on the spot. Our ancestors managed to take down mammoths on communication involving nothing but grunts, so raptor caws could just as easily done the same.
    It's debatable what level of language was accomplished by the hunters of mammoths; most of them were, after all, archaic Homo sapiens, and neandertals. Only at a stretch would I say that erectus was possibly contemporaneous and cohabitational with mammoths. Some would even argue whether or not erectus ever cooperatively hunted large game, or if they were largely scavengers.

    Regardless, how do we know that these dinos you speak of even hunted or lived socially?


    Finally, the fact that dinosaur groups like Deinonychosauria continued to have developed hands and fingers, while their theropod relatives evolved into forms which had less and less emphasis on hands means that Deinonychosauria dinosaurs had an evolutionary need for these hands. They were used for something. And it had to be more than just grabbing onto your prey, because other dinosaurs, and later "terror birds", had grappling hands to grab prey with that were FAR less developed and specialized. These raptor hands had a purpose beyond holding onto prey, and it had to be something some evolutionarily needed that these fingers and hands remained even with birds well into the Paleogene. If they were less important like that of Titanus walleri or Trex, they would have developed into those forms. But no, they remained mobile and flexible.

    Perhaps, they were for tool use.
    The hands of most primates are mobile and flexible, yet few of them use tools of any complexity, if any at all. Mechanically their hands are probably capable of it, but the computational ability in the brain doesn't quite cut it. Just because an appendage is mobile and flexible does not mean that the animal used tools.
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    I'm talking about older hunters. I'm not sure why I wrote mammoths. My mistake.


    Also, that's what I mean with capacity vs necessity. More than likely the hands of most primates allow for tool use, but they don't have to do it. It's there if they need it. But they do make some tools, and the more human-like the hand gets, the more tools available there are, if they ever need to use the hand.

    I'm not sure, however, we can use the mammalian form for dinos. That sort of logic created the upright standing intelligent dinosaur (speculative evolution project a while back) which is grossly ignorant of simple evolutionary science. You have to look at other dino-like species and relatives. Most of the tool user birds have these feet-hands that are very mobile and useful, so if these feet characteristics are shown in some dino hands, they could possibly have been able to use tools. Nests, for instance, could provide the opportunity for a dinosaur to develop tool use over millions of years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gormanmod
    crows... Their beaks appear to be equivalent to a second hand, as they always need one foot on the ground to stand.
    That's a good point. Yesterday I watched a crow eat mussels it had cracked by dropping. Because the crow balances quite well on one leg, it clamps and rolls an object under one foot while using beak for finer manipulation. So we might see bipedal dinosaurs with good toe spread doing likewise.

    Another strategy we see in dogs. They lie down to handle objects with the trio of two front paws plus mouth. Three's the magic number of opposable points, even if it's a clumsy three. Otherwise, the flat ground must serve as third.

    Later yesterday I stood under an assembled T.Rex skeleton. Those puny forelimbs always baffled me. Besides that they're so spindly a charging T.Rex's own momentum should seriously dislocate them if snagged, as arms they can't possibly match the tearing strength of T. Rex jaws and neck. They can't even lift anything worthy of that bite. But perhaps the King would pivot down to pin corpses beneath its chest and the ground, while nibbling and tearing. In that case the strength of forelimbs is the applied torso weight, and we'd expect those limbs ideally buried in flesh like a whale's hands, with just some stubby hooks protruding. So, imagine tough fleshy bumps with some claws for traction. Then notice how the the dinosaur's snout would seem to reach that point comfortably.
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    Yea. The Titanus W Bird clearly has ambiguous traits to the T-rex, so one can assume they had similar methods. But small nimble bird-like dinosaurs had the ability to use their hands, beak, and foot if needed. Because they were light, they could have easily used their feet for hands like a crow, using their hands as grasper, and their snout as tearing parts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Or maybe they simply used their hands to hold onto chunks of meat as they bite off pieces for swallowing. Their hands were not pronated, so might have been best suited for this purpose IMO.
    I believe he already stated that there hands wouldn't have needed to evolve very far merely for garbing prey, and garbing chunks of meat wouldn't need advanced hands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gormanmod
    Titanus W Bird
    Neat creature, but arms are much longer and thicker than T. Rex's. I was suggesting the arms may have been buried in flesh, much as a whale's limbs are. Because they're such relatively tiny twigs, they're a liability. Like, those arms would snap under the King's own weight.

    Here's T. Rex losing an arm wrestle to a teenage girl:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Here's T. Rex losing an arm wrestle to a teenage girl
    i doubt that very much - as far as i remember, the arms of T.rex, despite being small, show traces of being powerfully muscled
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    Carnotaurus as we like it:


    The real skeleton:



    I look at those massive bones the vestigial arms are mounted on, and think they anchor muscle. What else could they be for? Why do we believe this dino needs armpits? Why???

    Apparently tyrannosaurus arms also had very limited range of movement. Powerfully muscled probably, but not necessarily like ours. The two human tailbones are powerfully muscled. How would a dinosaur artist draw our tails?
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    From what i've heard, the Velociraptor was one of the most brilliant Dinosaurs ever to have set its murderous claws onto planet Earth. The Albert Einstein of Dinosaurs, so to say.
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    That must have been the movie.

    From wikipedia:

    Also in Jurassic Park III, Dr. Alan Grant, played by Sam Neill, states that Velociraptor were smarter than dolphins, whales and some primates. Based on fossil evidence, this is highly unlikely. It is more probable that, while intelligent by dinosaur standards, they were less intelligent than modern big cats.[33]
    Interestingly there is no mention at all of velociraptor in the article on which this line is based (the 33 reference).

    They measured a few different dinosaurs and archeaopterix and some bird ancestors.

    The conclusion was that dinosaurs were in the nonavian reptilian intelligence range with archeaopterix inbetween the other dinosaurs and birds.


    It's just amazing how awful the references are on wikipedia once you start checking them.

    It's almost comparable to proper science papers where the same phenomenon occurs.

    So this line..
    It is more probable that, while intelligent by dinosaur standards, they were less intelligent than modern big cats.
    Should actually be..
    It is more probable that, while intelligent by dinosaur standards, they were less intelligent than a retarded chicken.
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    Hmm, but theres still speices we havent found, that could be intelligent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    Hmm, but theres still speices we havent found, that could be intelligent.
    Sure.

    In the Avian group the crow and parrot family have evolved high intelligence independently as well.


    It's just that it would seriously break with the trends in the dinosaur group.
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    It is tempting to think greater intelligence always advantageous. But selection, as a rule, prunes intelligence to the minimum. The turkey evolved a pea brain. Excess intelligence is a liability.

    The rule only breaks in very odd circumstances. Freedom from predation might be one condition..? But the dodo tells us more are needed.

    Contrast the idiotic South Asian peacock with the clever blackbird. They're in direct competition as agricultural scavengers going for the same crops but employing divergent strategies. Maybe wise-guy needs a straight-man...? No Abbot without Costello. In that case I could see dinosaurs diverging into smart vs. stupid roles. Then just how smart must one be to carve a niche beside dopey 'ol Rex there? Smart enough to break through?
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    while it is true that on average predators are more intelligent than their prey, there's plenty of stupid and very successful predators about

    e.g. does it really matter how intelligent a crocodile is ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    does it really matter how intelligent a crocodile is ?
    Yes it matters. The croc who stops to ponder what it's doing misses lunch.

    I'm guessing the smartest dinos were opportunistic omnivores. Sneaky egg stealers like early humans. We'll find proof of superior wit in their stomach contents.
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    I think a crocodile who ponders actually misses his lunch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank
    It should be noted as well that crocodiles aren't unintelligent either; recent information shows that they're capable of long-term memory (or at least, for the equivalent of five days.)
    which puts them only a step ahead of earth worms
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    I never claimed crocodiles ponder.

    In fact, I actually made your point because someone else claimed that it is better for crocodiles to ponder.


    :?
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    Who claimed that? I can't remember. Anyway I'm late for lunch again and we've got to keep this thread moving.
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    moving towards extinction.
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    But Dinosaurs wern't cold blooded, some paleontologists belive that most were actually warm-blooded reptiles, if thats believable.
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    Being warm-blooded doesn't change much; all mammals are warm blooded and the vast majority of them are pretty stupid. I will grant that there aren't very many cold-blooded animals with any remarkable degree of intelligence, and that being warm-blooded probably aids in the maintenance of larger brains. But it is not by itself a sufficient condition; many other factors need to be in play as well.
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    all mammals are warm blooded and the vast majority of them are pretty stupid.
    As are birds, maybe even more so?

    I am not even sure that saying most dinosaurs were warm-blooded can be said with any surety? There were many dinosaurs that had adaptations that were apparently directly geared towards soaking up solar energy, like dorsal sails and such. Is there evidence to suggest warm-bloodedness in lineages other than those thought to include modern birds? For instance, would Sauropods not have had lots of overheating problems if they had been warm-blooded?
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    I'm actually a paleontologist...well I'm a consultant, but I do have 5 years university and tons of field experience under my belt.

    I would like to contribute by saying a few points (either to reinforce what has been said or throw something new on the table):

    1. Duration of time spent evolving doesn't imply that intelligence ever would occur
    2. There is no evdience for dinosaurs of intelligence near that of primates before crown group birds, particularily psttiacids and corvids, evolved.
    3. Body size: brain ratios, or enchephalization quotient, can be very misleading. Different parts of the brain do different things, as we all know; so having a larger brain could reflect enhanced capacity for interpretation of your environment, rather than something like problem solving.
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    So I guess there probaly wasn't intelligent dinosaurs.
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    the truth is : we don't know
    none of the evidence seems to support hyper-intelligent dinosaurs, but then again, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
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