December 23, 2009

Sinornithosaurus, the bird-lizard with venomous fangs.

"You wouldn't have seen it coming... It would have swooped down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attacked from the back. It wanted to get its jaws around you. Once the teeth were embedded in your skin the venom could seep into the wound. The prey would rapidly go into shock, but it would still be living, and it might have seen itself being slowly devoured by this raptor."

51 comments:

edutcher said...

Ann said...

"You wouldn't have seen it coming... It would have swooped down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attacked from the back. It wanted to get its jaws around you. Once the teeth were embedded in your skin the venom could seep into the wound. The prey would rapidly go into shock, but it would still be living, and it might have seen itself being slowly devoured by this raptor."

OK, I'll say it. Sounds like what is happening in the minds of all the people who have been peeling Obama stickers off their bumpers the last six months

Henry said...

Of all the metaphors for Congress's healthcare legislation this is the most farfetched. Venom doesn't seep.

Henry said...

Okay, I'm wrong. This is a low-pressure venom monster.

bearbee said...

Sinornithosaurus - Say it 5 x rapidly.

Thought I read/saw something about a creature with arm and leg feathers a while back:
Sinornithosaurus

The Liaoning Forest

DBrooks17 said...

Sounds a lot like the Obama Administration.

traditionalguy said...

Very interesting. I want to know what animal or what people were its descendants a few natural selection variations later.

Palladian said...

"Birds are not aggressive creatures, Miss. They bring beauty to the world..."

Freeman Hunt said...

And people say that the extinction of any species is a tragedy.

Methadras said...

Freeman Hunt said...

And people say that the extinction of any species is a tragedy.


Are leftists a species? I'd like to see them extinct.

rhhardin said...

It sounds like the Brazilian needle bird, escaped from a lab in Brazil and working its way north, according to the Weekly World News.

This just a little time after the Killer Trees escaped from a Brazil lab. They move by walking, but walk slowly enough that they're only a threat to elderly people and infants.

traditionalguy said...

Maybe the Chinese dragons come from these legendary creatures.

Cedarford said...

Great new discovery! It is awesome how evolution works.
The Chinese have really stepped up doing top notch research and field excavations - and it's like a significant find is coming out of their productive fossil formation areas almost every other week.

Beaverdam said...

Lets talk about boobs. It's Holiday time and everyone deserves perky boobs.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Even dinosaurs?

Big Mike said...

"You wouldn't have seen it coming," said Burnham. "It would have swooped down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attacked from the back. ... The prey would rapidly go into shock, but it would still be living, and it might have seen itself being slowly devoured by this raptor."

And how exactly did Burnham manage to test the toxicity of the venom of this long-extinct creature? This paragraph is the very worst sort of junk-scientific speculation.

tim maguire said...

The Jurassic period had all the coolest carnivores. All we got is the octopus.

Joe said...

Gotta love the make-shit-up branch of paleontology. Yup, we have great fossils and some pretty good circumstantial evidence that the dinosaur in question had venomous teeth. But the leap to describing how it hunted is just absurd.

ricpic said...

You wouldn't have seen it coming...

Based on his infamous wish that Mrs. B would put him out of his misery with a bullet to the back of the head I'd say Bissage was born too late.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

JAA: Especially dinosaurs, but only if our wives do not find out!

wv: Grand pyrzestr of the year to he who is not discovered!

Paddy O. said...

Seems a good time to post the link to my favorite Mark Twain short story. It's aboutscientific explorations.

Scott M said...

I love dinothaurth (said with the once-hated 5-year-old lisp forever infinitum) and I'm enough of a fanboy geek to understand why they do it...but to watch a paleontologist make sweeping generalizations about aspects they cannot possibly know is always amusing.

That doesn't dampen my love for dinothaurth one itty bit.

Pogo said...

Maybe it's extinct because it did not, as postulated, swoop down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attack from the back, sinking the rapidly-acting venom into the wound.

Instead, it was scrawny and rather stupid. Half the time it swallowed its own poisonous saliva which did not kill itself, but rather caused ferocious and malodorous gas and runny stools that made the girl Sinornithosauri turn up their beaks and run away giggling. Reproduction rates were therefore poor.

Worse, even when not accidentally swallowed, the venom had to be mixed with chewed bark and thrown at the victim like a baseball.

And everyone knows that Sinornithosaurus, the bird-lizard with venomous fangs, threw like a girl.
Ex. Tinct.

David said...

Sounds like a metaphor for Tiger Woods' Christmas.

mariner said...

Remember that other "scientists" similarly make shit up about human origins, and we're expected to believe them, too.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

That thing was awful! Boy,I sure am glad that's not around anymore.

⚡⚡⚡ THE FEAR ⚡⚡⚡ causes me to go off and create a composite of 30 minute meals.

Retriever said...

Made me think of Jurassic Park and what happened to the evil geek who turns off the security system to loot the place...and fantasize about what is going to happen to our shameless political rascals....

ricpic said...

Every one of those 30 minute meals would've been improved with a coupla squirts of tabasco sauce.

Carl Johnson said...

Wow. Nearly 5 hours and no argument about gay marriage.

Unless there is a metaphor I've missed in Althouse's post.

Penny said...

"Every one of those 30 minute meals would've been improved with a coupla squirts of tabasco sauce."

And a recipe!

I thought Chip was setting up a cute little way to access thirty fast, yet tasty meals.

Expectations...ALWAYS a bitch.

Kirby Olson said...

Gore is hellbent on nature, and how fantastic it all is, and how we ought to save it, but green is red, in more ways than one.

Rialby said...

Do any poisonous birds still exist?

Tari said...

I have clients like that ...

JohnAnnArbor said...

Poisonous birds are almost too cool to exist.

Andy said...

Blogger Rialby said...
Do any poisonous birds still exist?

There are poisonous birds in Papua New Guinea:

http://birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/poisonous_birds

However, there are no living venomous birds like those described in the article.

As for those commentators who assume that the paleontologists must be making some facts up (such as speculating how the Sinornithosaurus's venom delivery system would have worked): the article notes that the venom system of the Sinornithosaurus is similar to that of several rear-fanged snakes.

Given that some of these rear-fanged snakes (like the South African boomslang) are arboreal and bird-hunting, the hypothesis isn't surprising- the scientists assume that similar physical traits under similar environmental conditions express themselves similarly in different species. This hypothesis (convergent evolution) happens often enough to be a mainstay of evolutionary theory.

Cedarford said...

"Rialby said...
Do any poisonous birds still exist?"

Funny, but no.
Just about every other type of animal has some kin within the clade that are venom producers, but not birds.

And for some reason, Australia is the home of the most poisonous "everything: - except perhaps most venomous amphibian.
The most toxic mollusk, coral, ant, jellyfish, reptile, shellfish, mammal, spider, fish, worm, wasp,shrimp all hail from Australia or Australian waters.

EDH said...

You wouldn't have seen it coming... It would have swooped down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attacked from the back. It wanted to get its jaws around you. Once the teeth were embedded in your skin the venom could seep into the wound.

Here's an actual photo of the Sinornithosaurus feeding on its prey in its natural habitat.

Penny said...

"And for some reason, Australia is the home of the most poisonous "everything"

That's only because Canada chose to loosen its borders.

Lem said...

The Chinese see the closing of the fossil gap with the US to be in their national interest ;)

Michael McNeil said...

The Jurassic period had all the coolest carnivores. All we got is the octopus.

Not so. The so-called “terror birds” (Phorusrhacidae) of South America (giant up to 10 ft. tall birds with enormous jagged beaks, who chased down their prey) lived long after the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, surviving late enough to be contemporaneous with early human ancestors, vanishing only after volcanism raised the isthmus of Panama connecting South with North America, after which northern mammalian predators like wolves and great cats moved down into South America — and after a period of intense struggle (during which one of the largest terror bird species Titanis walleri actually managed to invade North America for a time, getting as far as Florida), they disappeared around 1.8 million years ago.

Fred4Pres said...

That Jimmy Cammeron, ripping off the fossile record!

Off topic, but here's a present. Yes, this is not a parody. The comments are pure gold. Enjoy!

David said...

Terror Birds? Florida? Damn, we better build a wall.

bearbee said...

The Jurassic period had all the coolest carnivores. All we got is the octopus.

Komodo Dragon ain't no slouch and there is no need to diss a survivor of the Jurassic period, the estimable crocodile.

rhhardin said...

Poisonous geese, restrained by electric fence.

Big Mike said...

The Jurassic period had all the coolest carnivores. All we got is the octopus.

Well, Tyrannosuarus Rex, and its close cousins like the Tarbosaurs, Albertosaurs, and Daspletosurs, lived in the Cretaceous period, which came after the Jurassic. At 40 feet long, 7+ tons, and running speeds estimated somewhere between 25 and 45 mph, they were pretty cool predators.

But when it comes to predators, by far and away the most deadly lives today.

bearbee said...

Ya mean Pigasaurus found polluting the environs in Jerkassa Park, DC?

vbspurs said...

Ya mean Pigasaurus found polluting the environs in Jerkassa Park, DC?

It's descendant is still around those environs. Pelosisaurus. Ooh, the fangs.

chuck b. said...

Sinornithosaurus, the bird-lizard with venomous fangs.
"You wouldn't have seen it coming... It would have swooped down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attacked from the back. It wanted to get its jaws around you. Once the teeth were embedded in your skin the venom could seep into the wound. The prey would rapidly go into shock, but it would still be living, and it might have seen itself being slowly devoured by this raptor."


Sounds like a metaphor for my in-laws visiting over the holidays.

Merry Christmas to you too!

Lol. Sounds like

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kentuckyliz said...

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