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How dinosaurs became birds

Unusual fossil find of dinosaurs from which birds evolved reveals how evolution creates entirely new species

Simulation of the feathered dinosaur Zhenyuanlong. Image: Emily Willoughby/Wikimedia.
Simulation of the feathered dinosaur Zhenyuanlong. illustration: Emily Willoughby / Wikimedia.

By Steven Brost, the article is published with the permission of Scientific American Israel and the Ort Israel Network 09.03.2017

  • Scientists have long known that birds evolved from dinosaurs and that they are actually a subgroup of them. Rich finds of feathered dinosaur fossils discovered in China and elsewhere have chronicled the details of the dramatic transition from monstrous land-dwelling dinosaurs to small birds that could fly.
  • New techniques for analyzing fossils allow researchers to reconstruct how the body structure unique to birds was formed. The results show that the hallmarks of this group appeared slowly over tens of millions of years, for purposes different from those they serve today.
  • These findings add to a growing body of evidence that major evolutionary transitions occur gradually rather than rapidly.

At about six in the morning, well before dawn, on a cold November day in 2014, I made my way through the Beijing train station and struggled to board the crowded carriage. I went toJinjo, a city in northeastern China, about the size of Chicago. I tried to steal some more sleep as we crawled past concrete factories and smog-shrouded cornfields, but I was too excited to fall asleep. At the destination, something that was rumored to be unbelievable awaited me: a mysterious fossil that a farmer came across by chance while harvesting his crops.

Four hours later I went out to the platform in Jinzhou and followed my colleague Junchang Lu, a famous dinosaur hunter from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing, who asked for my help in researching the fossil. A small group of local dignitaries welcomed us and took us to the municipal museum housed in a dilapidated building on the outskirts of town. With the seriousness of a Ramat Darg political summit, our entourage walked along a long corridor and entered a side room where a piece of rock was placed on a small table. So I found myself face to face with one of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen: a skeleton about the size of a donkey, the chocolate-brown color of its bones contrasting against the gray limestone.

I had no doubt that it was a dinosaur. The creature had sharp teeth like a meat knife, pointed claws and a long tail that clearly testified to its family relationship toVelociraptor the evil one fromJurassic Park". But several important characteristics distinguished this item from China from ordinary similar dinosaurs. His bones are light and hollow, his legs are long and thin like those of a heron, and his body is covered with all kinds of feathers, including quill feathers large ones that were placed on top of each other across his arms and formed wings. This dinosaur is remarkably similar to a bird.

About a year later, he and I designated this skeleton as a new species: Zhenyuanlong. This fossil is the latest in a long list of feathered dinosaurs found in China's Liaoning Province over the past twenty years, an extraordinary series of fossils that illustrate, like a scrapbook, how the monstrous dinosaurs of the Jurassic age evolved into the birds of today.

The implications of these fossils are enormous. Since the days of Charles Darwin, scientists have wondered how evolution produces distinctly new groups of animals. Is it happening quickly, because of some unusual mutation that can turn land creatures into lords of the sky? Or do these new groups form more slowly, as organisms adapt to changing environments over millions of years? The Zhenyuanlong and other fossils from Liaoning and elsewhere are beginning to answer this.

transitional fossils

Birds are endowed with many characteristics that distinguish them from other modern animals. Apart from the features that allow them to fly, their metabolism is fast, which allows them to grow at an incredible speed; Their large minds give them high intelligence and sharp senses. The birds are so different, in fact, from the other animals, that researchers have been puzzled about their origin for a long time.

In the 60s, the British biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, one of Darwin's closest friends and most vocal supporters, began to solve the mystery of the origin of birds. Just a few years after Darwin published his book Origin of Species In 1859, quarry workers in Bavaria cracked a slab of limestone and discovered a 150-million-year-old skeleton of a Frankensteinian creature. It had sharp claws and a long tail like a reptile, but also feathers and wings like a bird. Huxley understood that the animal, which received the name Archaeopteryx There is a surprising similarity to the small carnivorous dinosaurs such as theCompsognathus, which also began to appear in those days. Huxley therefore came up with a revolutionary idea: the birds are the descendants of the dinosaurs. Some disputed him, and the polemic went this way and that for the next hundred years.

The dispute was eventually settled, as is usually the case in such debates, when new fossils were discovered. In the mid-60s of the 20th century, the paleontologist revealed John Ostrom from Yale University the dinosaur Deinonychus, which remarkably resembles a bird, in western North America. It had long arms that look almost like wings and a lean build that suggests it was an active and energetic animal. It's possible, Ostrom concluded, that Deynonychus even had feathers. For if birds are the offspring of dinosaurs, which was already accepted by many paleontologists at the time, then feathers must have developed at some point in this evolutionary lineage. But Ostrom wasn't sure about that because he only had bones of that animal. Unfortunately, soft parts like feathers hardly survive the rigors of death, decay and burial and are not appetizing.

Ostrom waited. He continued to search for that "holy grail" that would prove beyond any doubt the connection between birds and dinosaurs: a dinosaur skeleton preserved in such detail that you could see feathers. Then, in 1996, near the end of his career, Ostrom attended the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Vertebrate Fossils in New York and there approached him Philip Kerry, currently serving as a professor at the University of Alberta. Kerry, who also studied fossils of bird-like dinosaurs, had recently returned from China, where he learned of an unusual fossil. He pulled out a picture and showed it to Ostrom. And here in the picture is a small dinosaur surrounded by a halo of feathery fluff. It was preserved in all its details because volcanic ash quickly buried it, like in Pompeii. Ostrom burst into tears. Someone finally found their feathered dinosaur.

The feathered dinosaur Zhenyuanlong from Jinzhou, China is one of many fossils found documenting how birds evolved from their terrestrial ancestors and conquered the skies. Source: Junchang Lü & Stephen L. Brusatte, "A large, short-armed, winged dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Cretaceous of China and its implications for feather evolution", Scientific Reports 5, 2015.
The feathered dinosaur Zhenyuanlong from Jinzhou, China is one of many fossils found documenting how birds evolved from their terrestrial ancestors and conquered the skies. Source: Junchang Lü & Stephen L. Brusatte, “A large, short-armed, winged dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Cretaceous of China and its implications for feather evolution", Scientific Reports 5, 2015.

The fossil shown by Kerry to Ostrom, who later received the name Sinosauropteryx, was the first in a flood of discoveries. The scientists rushed to the Liaoning region of China where the fossil was found like prospectors during the gold rush, although those who really knew where to look were the local farmers. Today, two decades after the discovery of Sinosauropteryx, fossil hunters have recovered more than 20 species of feathered dinosaurs from Liaoning. And their variety is wide: ancient cousins ​​of Tyrannosaurus rex, which are nine meters long and are covered with hair-like down, to vegetarian dinosaurs that are the size of a dog and are decorated with simple feathers that resemble porcupine needles, to creatures that are the size of crows with real wings that knew how to fly. These fossils are among the most celebrated in the world.

The feathered dinosaurs from Liaoning settled the matter: birds did indeed evolve from dinosaurs. But this statement may be a bit misleading because it implies that these two groups are fundamentally different. After all, birds are dinosaurs: they are one of the many subgroups that can be traced back to the common ancestor of all dinosaurs, and are therefore dinosaurs no less thanTriceratops Or eBrontosaurus. It can be described as follows: the birds are dinosaurs just as the bats are an unusual type of mammal that can fly.

The fossils from Liaoning also helped clarify thegenealogy of the birds. They show which branch of the dinosaur family tree they belong to. The birds are a type of a therapist, the same group whose members are formidable predators like T-Rex,Allosaurus וSpinosaurus. But the birds' closest relatives are a subgroup of small, flexible and much smarter theropods: the raptors, including theVelociraptor, Ostrom's Deinonychus and his Zhenyuanlong and I set up in Jinzhou, which does look very much like a modern bird. Somewhere in this flock of feathered species the line between what is a bird and what is not a bird passes.

We have so many feathered dinosaur fossils today from Liaoning and elsewhere that together they paint a picture of great evolutionary payoff. This image is the clearest example of its kind in the entire fossil record. I and other scientists study these fossils using a variety of advanced methods: computed tomography (CT) scans to simulate their anatomy, computerized data analysis to compile genealogies, computer models to simulate how these animals moved, and advanced statistical techniques to find out how evolution produces new species and anatomical structures. Insights obtained recently from these studies allow us to unfold the story of the transformation of dinosaurs into birds, a story that serves as central evidence in solving the old riddle of how large and new groups were formed.

The appearance is random

The formation of feathers is a central issue in the puzzle of the development of birds. The feathers are the calling card of the birds, like Elvis Presley's cheek wigs and straight black hair. One look at the spread wings of an eagle or the flamboyant tail of a peacock is enough to know exactly what we are seeing. We understand that it must be a type of chicken because unlike mammals, reptiles or any other contemporary group of animals, only birds have feathers. And they are a wonderful accessory. Feathers are nature's Swiss army knife: a versatile tool that allows one to fly, impress a mate or opponent, and also maintain body heat and allow eggs to be incubated in the nest. And indeed their uses are so many that it was difficult to find out what was the purpose for which they were developed in the first place.

Thanks to the Sinosauropteryx and other fossils from Liaoning, we know one thing for sure: feathers did not suddenly appear with the first birds, but appeared much earlier, in their dinosaur ancestors. It is even possible that the common ancestor of all dinosaurs was a feathered species. But these early feathers were very different from the quill feathers of modern birds. The plumage of Sinosauropteryx, and of many other dinosaurs, was more like a woolly plume made of thousands of hair-like fibers. There is no way these dinosaurs could fly. Their feathers were too simple to catch wind, nor did they have wings at all. If so, feathers initially evolved for a different purpose, probably to keep these little dinosaurs warm.

Most of them had enough of their bristling feathers. But one subgroup, the theropods eraptors, underwent a total upgrade. The hair-like strands grew longer and then began to branch, first into a few simple tufts and then into a much more ordered system of branches spreading out from a central reed. And so the quill feather was born. And these elaborate feathers, being arranged in overlapping rows upon the arms, formed the wings. For some of the dinosaurs of Liaoning, such as theMicroraptor, a dinosaur that grew like a crow and was defined by Shu Xing From the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, there were wings on the legs and tail as well, an arrangement not found in any modern chicken.

Why did these dinosaurs turn their feathers into wings? The obvious answer is to fly: the maniraptorans turned their body into an airplane, and the wings developed and became the lifting surfaces. But a closer examination of the fossil evidence shows that this was not the case. Although some of the small, winged creatures such as the microraptor were surely able to fly, this is shown by experiments in wind tunnels and computer simulations conducted by Gareth Dyke From Debrecen University in Hungary, others, such as Zhenyuanlong from Jinzhou, were short-armed and their heavy bodies stayed on the ground. And besides, all these winged dinosaurs lacked the large pectoral muscles that provide the power necessary for flight, and only a few had asymmetrical quill feathers, with a short and stiff leading edge (front flagellum) and a softer trailing edge (rear flagellum), optimally adapted to withstand the strong forces of air resistance in fast motion.

There was no moment when a dinosaur turned into a bird, no big bang when the T-Rex turned into a chicken. It was a journey.

The latest findings suggest that the wings evolved to fulfill a different, less well-known role: flamboyant display. One type of evidence comes from pioneering work he did Jacob Winter from the University of Bristol in England. He used powerful microscopes to identify the bodies containing the pigments, Melanosomes, in fossilized dinosaur feathers. It turns out that the feathers of the feathered dinosaurs, which could not fly, were very colorful. Some of them even reflected light in a colorful glow like feathers of bird species even today. These bright ornaments must have been the perfect tool for attracting mates and deterring rivals.

The iridescence that probably characterized the feathers of these dinosaurs gave birth to a completely new hypothesis regarding the formation of the wings: they were initially developed for the sake of advertising - billboards that rose from the arms, legs and tail. These ornamental winged dinosaurs therefore found themselves running around with large, wide surfaces that, among other things, due to the laws of physics, have aerodynamic qualities. Want to say, the flight developed by chance. And it is possible that it developed simultaneously many times, when different raptors began to feel the lifting power of their wings in their jumps on the ground, in fast running up trees, or in jumping between branches. Eventually, the descendants of one of these raptor lineages began to shrink, developed large chest muscles and very elongated arms, lost their long tails, and became the birds of today.

Evolution step by step

The development of feathers and wings demonstrates a much more general evolutionary pattern. The Liaoling dinosaurs show that many other characteristics supposedly unique to birds evolved millions of years before the birds themselves and for reasons completely unrelated to flight.

Straight, long legs and feet with three thin big toes, the hallmark of the modern bird, first appeared more than 230 million years ago in the earliest dinosaurs. Their appearance, it seems, was part of a redesign of the entire dinosaur's body and turning it into a fast running machine on two legs, a creature that ran faster and hunted better than its competitors. These characteristics of the hind limbs are part of the characteristics that distinguish the entire group of dinosaurs, and they are the ones that helped them rule the world for so long. In some of these dinosaurs, which were the earliest members of the theropod lineage, the left clavicle and the right clavicle fused to form a new structure: the fork bone. It's a seemingly small change that stabilized the shoulder girdle and allowed these nimble, dog-sized predators to better absorb the shocks involved in hunting. Later, in the birds, the fork bone underwent a transformation and is used by them as a spring that stores energy when they flap their wings.

The hollow bones and the rapid growth, which distinguish the birds and are important for flight, also have roots in the dinosaurs. Many dinosaurs had bones that contained air sacs that made them hollow. These sacs are a clear sign that they had highly efficient "flow lungs", taking in oxygen not only when inhaling but also when exhaling. In the birds, lungs of this type provide the fuel necessary to maintain their high-energy lifestyle, in addition to making the skeleton lighter and enabling flight. And also, the microscopic structure of the dinosaur bones indicates that the growth rate and physiology of these animals were in the middle, between those of the reptiles, that is, the slow to mature, and between those of today's birds, who are warm-blooded and fast growing. Researchers therefore understand today that flowing and fast-growing lungs appeared more than 100 million years before birds spread their wings, when the first fast, long-legged dinosaurs began to sustain themselves as energetic runners, quite different from their clumsy rivals, the amphibians, lizards and crocodiles.

From the modest size of the birds, delicate and much smaller than the T-Rex and his friends, they also preceded the birds themselves. Mike Lee from Flinders University in Australia andRoger Benson From the University of Oxford, they each found that the gradual evolutionary reduction of body size began in the raptors and lasted more than 50 million years. It is not clear what exactly caused this trend, but one possibility is that the smaller and smaller body structure of these feathered dinosaurs opened the door to new ecological niches for them: trees, bushes, maybe even underground caves or burrows that giants like the Brachiosaurus and the Stegosaurus could not enter.

The neural and behavioral features of the birds alive today are also rooted in the age of the dinosaurs. Much of the decisive evidence for the distant history of these features comes from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, where a joint team with the American Museum of Natural History in New York (AMNH) and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences has been collecting fossils for 25 years. Conducted by Mark NorrellוMike Novacek From AMNH, the expeditions, which leave every year in the summer, collected a variety of samples from the period Upper Cretaceous, 84 to 66 million years ago, providing an unprecedented detailed look into the life of dinosaurs and ancient birds. They found, among other things, a treasure trove of well-preserved skulls of velociraptors and other feathered raptors. CT scans of these fossils, which she did Amy Blanouf from Stony Brook University, discovered that these species had a large brain and that the most anterior part of this organ was enlarged. It is a large forebrain that makes the birds so smart and serves as a flight computer that allows them to master the uncomplicated matter of flight and move in the complicated air world in its three dimensions. Scientists still don't know why these dinosaurs developed such sharp intelligence, but their fossils clearly show that their bird ancestors became intelligent before they started flying.

The bird's body was therefore not an orderly plan, but more like a structure made of Lego, assembled brick by brick in the course of evolution. The transition between dinosaur and bird did not happen all at once, but over tens of millions of years of gradual development.

Smooth transition

The transition from dinosaur to bird was so gradual, in fact, that there is no clear distinction in the genealogy of the family between creatures that are not birds and those that are birds, as I showed in 2014 based on statistical calculations. My research stemmed from the doctoral thesis I wrote under Norell's guidance. Aside from his 25-year quest in the Gobi Desert, Norell has spent the last twenty years working with generations of doctoral students to assemble the ever-growing family trees of the dinosaurs. He and I, with our colleagues Grimm Lloyd from the University of Leeds in England andSteve Wang From Swarthmore College, we have built a database of more than 850 skeletal features of about 150 theropods spanning the entire spectrum of the dinosaur-to-avian transition. Then we used multivariate statistics to place each species in a "morphological space" which is basically a map that groups species according to the proportion of their shared characteristics. Two species are very similar to each other and anatomically they will be close on a map, like Chicago and Indianapolis on a road map, while two species whose skeletons are different from each other will be far apart, like Chicago and Phoenix. If the birds evolved from the dinosaurs in a series of dramatic, rapid mutations that soon gave rise to a completely different type of animal, then the two groups would be from different places on the map. But the resulting morphological space was "messy": the birds were scattered within larger areas of dinosaurs. There was no clear separation between them, which indicates a very slow transition to the point that it is practically not noticeable.

Image of Archeopteryx. Source: NobuTamura / Wikimedia.
Image of Archeopteryx. source: NobuTamura / Wikimedia.

If so, birds are nothing but a type of dinosaur. Had I made a search in Jinzhou some 125 million years ago, when Zhenyuanlong was still alive flapping his wings futilely as he fled the ash cloud that eventually suffocated him, he would surely have looked like some kind of large chicken to me. I would say that in general, dinosaurs and birds of prey are. The technical definition of the Zhenyuanlong as a dinosaur rather than a bird is a scientific convention and a matter of tradition. Paleontologists have long defined birds as descendants of the most recent common ancestor of Huxley's Archaeopteryx and the modern bird: basically an animal with fat wings that was capable of flight. Since the dromaeosaurs, including the Zhengyuanlong, are several branches outside of this part of the family tree, they are not defined as birds.

However, poultry should not be underestimated. They may be dinosaurs and not a separate class, but they are special. They built a whole new way of life for them, and today they thrive with more than 10,000 species in a rich and spectacular variety of forms, from the hummingbird to the ostrich. Moreover, the birds managed to survive when all the other dinosaurs died 66 million years ago.

The thought of all the random vicissitudes of fate that operated over tens of millions of years and produced this group of animals is amazing. Their ancestors did not know that they were becoming more and more like birds. Even we, if we had witnessed the process, would not have expected that many of the characteristics that evolved to help these dinosaurs warm up and attract mates would be repurposed and become fundamental components of an aviation system.

Evolution does not see the unborn; It operates only on what is available now, and what directs it are only the ever-changing factors that never end: environmental pressures and competition. There was no moment when a dinosaur turned into a bird, no big bang when the T-Rex turned into a chicken. It was a journey, and as scientists learn about other major evolutionary transitions, such as the transition from fish to tetrapods with limbs and fingers, from land mammals to whales, from tree-dwelling primates to bipedal humans, we are aware of a common factor in all these transitions: it is a marathon, not a sprint, And there is no finish line.

It is worth mentioning another aspect of the saga of the origin of birds. The statistical study that my colleagues and I have done may explain how the birds survived the catastrophe of extinction that claimed the lives of the other dinosaurs. In our work, we used the large database we built to measure evolutionary rates: how quickly the skeletal characteristics of birds and their dinosaur cousins ​​changed. This is a sign of evolutionary vitality. The results surprised us. These early birds that lived alongside their dinosaur ancestors evolved at an extremely rapid rate, faster than the velociraptor, the gentianlong, and other non-avian species. It seems that from the moment a small dinosaur capable of flight was created, from the moment its Lego set was assembled, the realization of an incredible evolutionary potential became possible. The flying dinosaurs now had access to ecological niches and new opportunities. And when their brothers could not cope with the apocalyptic impact of the nine and a half kilometer diameter asteroid that collided with the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous era, the birds simply flew past the destruction, as a new world unfolded before them to conquer.

about the writer

Stephen Brost - Paleontologist from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He studies the change of large animal families, such as the dinosaurs and birds, over long periods of time.

for further reading

28 תגובות

  1. There is actually a hint to the solution of the mystery in the description of the lecture. It is possible that the lecturer was not talking about "finding new particles" as Yehuda claimed, but specifically about the decomposition of the nucleus into quarks outside of confinement, i.e. finding quarks outside of the structures known to us that circulate freely in space. Such disintegration would indeed not be possible at the energies that the LHC reaches, but of course this is only a minor aspect in the pursuit of new particles. Either way, I think I'd be happy to ask the guy what he meant but I couldn't find him either. I searched on Google in the hope that I would discover an association with some university (and then I could easily contact him through it) and I also tried several sites of scientific publications (I assumed that in English he spells his name phonetically, Raz) but in all ways I found nothing.

  2. rival

    Good luck finding him. Beyond the Israeli Mars Association he belongs to, I can't find anything about him that allows us to contact him. And can't find anything that links it to particle physics or even physics. In fact, the only place I found a mention of this name in the academy is in the list of graduates of a degree in industry and management at Ben Gurion University. (Although I admit that I did not devote much time or effort to it)

  3. walking dead,

    Thanks for the link, on the face of it it is quite consistent with Yehuda's words. Now that you know what the lecturer's name is, maybe you can send him an email and find out about the matter.

  4. We write Yehuda two long responses, explain to him slowly and carefully, repeat the important points three times, and in response he ignores, does not listen to a word and repeats his mantra from the beginning of the discussion again. who would believe? I'm shocked.

  5. Poor responder
    It is not appropriate for me to argue about what was said or what was meant, etc., and if in your first comment from yesterday you do not see disrespect for the Israeli Association, me and the professor, then forgive me but you have no choice! You have no culture of responding to those who have a different opinion than yours.
    I still stand behind everything I wrote, which was a simple and short message about an interesting lecture on particles that I heard at the Israeli Astronomical Society with a lecturer who analyzed the situation in detail and kept us captivated for two hours. point.
    Good Day

  6. And in response to your question - this is a free forum and each of us has the right to write his opinions. I don't need anyone to give me the right to tell you that you are talking nonsense, just like no one gave you the right to write your comment. All of this is even more ridiculous if you remember that I never expressed disdain for the Astronomers' Club or the lecturer, but even if I felt like disparaging them - I owe you and no one an account. The real irony here is of course that for years you have been writing here the most disparaging comments imaginable, about physicists falsifying results and changing the results of experiments and measurements, that there is a conspiracy of scientists against certain theories, that people who have been studying for 20 years do not understand what you read in a children's book and so'.

    By the way, you can shorten processes. Do you remember what the lecturer's name was at the Mitzvah? If he is an active astronomer I can contact him directly and ask him why he said (so to speak) that new elementary particles cannot be discovered at the energies of the LHC.

  7. Listen, your inability to deal with anything that isn't what you think is just fascinating. There really is nothing to complicate here: you said what you heard in the lecture at the observatory, I said it was not true. I said it sarcastically for the same reason you immediately jumped and called me a fool - because we are not strangers and we already know each other, and we already have solid opinions about each other. For example, I know that you are completely opaque and that no matter what is said to you, you will not listen unless it is something you want to hear. And here we have an excellent example: I made it clear and said in an unambiguous way that I do not disparage astronomers or members of this or that club, but I say what I say because astronomers have very limited knowledge (to say the least) when it comes to particle physics, just as I have very limited knowledge about telescopes.

    I didn't say a word or a half about the club or its members. Regarding the person who gave the lecture, I only said that he *might* be wrong (although it seems much more likely to me that the fault lies with you and that you are not faithfully representing his words, because a physicist who deals with astronomy does not understand particle physics, but is usually aware of his limitations and knows that he doesn't understand, so he won't say nonsense). I don't think I disrespected anyone, but if you insist on seeing my sarcastic tone as disrespect - then the only person here I disrespected is you, and you do an excellent job of proving to me why. You don't listen to what you are told, you put words into words, you forcefully seek to insult (in your name and in the name of all the astronomers in the world) and even for a second you don't stop and think or consider the content of my response: that learning about the LHC from an astronomer is like learning about cooking from a cobbler.

  8. Listen, Mr. Magiv
    SA I said (and I will say it again) there was an interesting lecture at the Israeli Astronomical Society on the subject of particles and the lecture came to the conclusion that very elementary particles would require energy of about ten to the power of 25 electron volts for detection purposes and even more. At Cern they reached ten to the power of 13. It is hard for him to believe that they would invest in such tremendous accelerators and he came up with an idea to use more massively energetic particles coming from the space around us whose energy is ten to the power of 21 electron volts although they are rare and difficult to detect. His conclusion was that one should invest in detectors and means to analyze the results.
    So what is wrong here? What gives you the right to belittle the lecturer, the members of the Israeli Astronomical Society and me? Even if the lecturer was wrong about something, even if I didn't understand the data exactly, nothing gives you the right to react in a stupid way like you did! And don't tell me that your response is not disrespectful. S. Dozens of members of the association sat late in the evening for two hours and heard an interesting lecture.
    If there is a mistake in what was said, you could correct what was said here, so maybe there was a place not to call you a derogatory nickname (and I admit that it was done and written in a storm of emotions).
    You are really wrong.
    Here I responded gently.
    Good night

  9. Yehuda,

    First of all, a man who starts his comments by calling others stupid and screwed up, makes a bit of a joke of himself when he signs "Please respond gently!". But self-awareness has never been your forte, so let's move on.

    Just as you "totally said that there was a lecture on particles at the Israeli Astronomical Society that had a number of conclusions", I totally said that the conclusions as you present them are refutable and clearly wrong. You have to be a special kind of person detached from reality to think that thousands of physicists around the world who have dedicated their lives to science suddenly decided to engage in a task that is impossible (if the energy required to find new particles is much greater than what is obtained at the LHC, then there is not much point in looking for new particles with the help of the LHC, right?…). So, given that we are not delusional people and disconnected from reality, the necessary conclusions are:
    a) Or whoever presented this conclusion does not understand what he is talking about.
    b) Or you didn't understand what you were being told and you are spreading false information.

    Either way, I'm not "making fun of all members of the Astronomical Society". I have friends who are astrophysicists and astronomers. I'm just saying that astronomers are not particleists, and just as you would question an orthopedist (however competent) if he advised you how to perform brain surgery, it's just not a good idea to draw information about particle physics from astronomers.

    In any case, Tol Cora, on the head of the thief, the wrongdoer in Momo and all that. In other words - wipe the foam off your mouth, calm down, and remember for a moment that you can't see America from the top of Olga Hill.

  10. Ladvilbenzo Shaham and others
    Tell me, is something wrong with you? All I said was that there was a lecture on particles at the Israeli Astronomical Society that had a number of conclusions.
    The commenter begins with a feeling that what I said is pathetic nonsense, Devilbenzo laughs at all the members of the Astronomy Society (which is known to have nothing to do with particle physics) and where did he find out that we want to teach the world's scientists.
    So please forgive me for something deeply screwed up in your attitude to the most legitimate response on the subject, which has nothing to do with me at all, except for the fact that I was present at the lecture!
    Please respond gently!

  11. How lucky that there is someone from the Astronomical Society (which is known to have nothing to do with particle physics) who can teach all the physicists from the field from all over the world how to do their work.

  12. In the lecture held this week at the Society for Astronomy at the Givatayim Observatory, it was explained that the energy required to find modern particles is much greater than that obtained at Cern. Therefore, the chance of finding new particles in the near future is small. There is an attempt to catch energetic particles coming from space in detectors on the surface of the earth.

    The particles arriving from space are more than a million times more energetic than those produced in the Zern accelerator.

  13. albentezo,
    In similar words, this is also what he replied to me on Facebook. I wrote to him that I hoped he meant that there are interesting results from the LHC which, although they are not of the required significance, are still interesting

  14. Shmulik,

    "New physics" is a term that describes any phenomenon that does not fit the modern and accepted models, in particular the standard model of particles and general relativity. The evidence for new physics can be predictions of the model that do not occur (there are not so many of them), phenomena that the model cannot explain (there are some such as dark energy or dark matter, the problem of the hierarchy of masses, etc.) or places where the model is simply inaccurate ( There are few such, such as the neutrino masses). These phenomena and problems, most of them, only become relevant at high energy scales, so it is customary to say that we need a new physics at high energies - that is, a new theory that will reproduce the standard model in low energy ranges, but will differ significantly from it at high energies.

  15. There is one mistake in the article.
    Contrary to what has been said, birds do not have a large brain, but the proportion of the brain to the total weight in small birds is very large. In birds of 4-5 grams the proportion of the brain may be 8%, and similarly in small bats, up to about 5%. The larger the bird, the lower its brain-to-weight ratio. In birds and bats that weigh over 1 kilo, the brain rate is 1% and less than that. For comparison, in a cat that weighs about 3 kilos, about 30 grams of brain, or about a percent. Only the ostrich among birds has a brain that approaches 30 grams.

  16. albentezo,
    In Haaretz, an article was published from the New York Times about the impasse in particle physics.
    Response thirty is from Prof. Elam Gross (I checked his Facebook and it is indeed his), below:
    "Wrong article so this is me giving a full answer in English (see my Facebook feed) to the original article in the New York Times. The writer is the best science journalist in the world and this is probably his biggest mistake.... The fact that we have more than enough circumstantial evidence for the existence of new physics at high energy scales, no one disputes that. But what... nature has decided that it is not yet accessible to us. So what? Is that why we despair? Shall we stop looking? If we stop looking we will return to the darkness of the Middle Ages. Is someone stopping cancer research because we haven't gotten over it for decades? For twenty-five years I have been looking for the Higgs boson and there are many who have spent more years on it... so what? For 25 years I was in despair because I couldn't find him? It is also the most wrong time to publish such an article when the American scientists are obsessed with the budget and Trump is blowing their necks. There are new particles and if nature wills we will find them soon. If not then we will leave it to our grandchildren or great-grandchildren and mark the areas we have covered so they can move forward. This is what scientists do, they don't give up if they don't find... He missed Dennis Overbay….”

    When he writes that - "the fact that we have more than enough circumstantial evidence for the existence of new physics in high energy scales, no one disputes that" do you understand what he means?

  17. heart
    The mechanism of evolution has been proven beyond all doubt. The mechanism of heredity is already known, proven and can be carried out in the laboratory, also initiated by genetic engineering, so it is time to stop debating it at all.
    It is possible to prove the process of evolution in the laboratory on creatures that grow fast such as bacteria and Drosophila flies, it is possible very easily in the laboratory to make flies grow legs instead of tentacles, and so on, and this also eliminates the claim of the creationists that it is impossible to carry out a mutation that will change an entire organ.
    The creationists and the religious who think that sacred literature is scientific literature, can still debate what developed from what to develop theories like there was a creation from which there was a continuation in the form of a revolution (that is, God created man and from which monkeys evolved...), or the theory that I heard not long ago that "beings" came and performed healing here In addition to the process of evolution... and so on, but bottom line, the mechanism of evolution is proven beyond any doubt, while on the other hand creation and all the claims and theories of the creationists have no proof in any finding and all you do is try to find holes in the scientific theories in order to deny them, but with all A new discovery The scientists close these holes for you too.

  18. "Almost all palaeontologists doubt that Protoavis is a bird, or that all remains assigned to it even come from a single species, because of the circumstances of its discovery and unconvincing avian synapomorphies in its fragmentary material. When they were found at the Tecovas and Bull Canyon Formations in the Texas panhandle in 1984, in a sedimentary strata of a Triassic river delta, the fossils were a jumbled cache of disarticulated bones that may reflect an incident of mass mortality following a flash flood"

    From Wikipedia (Protoavis).

  19. ב
    You are ignorant and stupid. You have no knowledge, no understanding and nothing interesting to say.
    If I were you, I would shut up.

    Is your faith so shallow that you have to come here to talk such nonsense? Does it make you feel good?

    B - You have no feelings of inferiority, you are simply inferior.

  20. No dinosaur will gradually turn into a bird. At the same weight that no truck will gradually turn into a space shuttle. Intermediate fossils do not prove any evolution. Just as intermediate stages between a truck and a space shuttle (a plane for example) do not prove evolution. In fact, even if those objects were to multiply and be subject to natural selection, a truck would never become a space shuttle. The main reason for this is that there are no gradual functional steps from truck to space shuttle.

    In fact, the number of fossils even contradicts the hierarchy expected from the evolution of birds. For example: Proto-Abyss is much earlier than Archeopteryx, but it is no less bird-like than Archeopteryx. Other fossils show a morphological contradiction also in terms of the feathers, and even these cases are explained by the missing letter or by convergent evolution (meaning feathers evolved twice). Very far from the hierarchy expected from the theory of evolution.

  21. Today it is no longer a new thing that the birds evolved from the dinosaurs.
    But I that in the late 90's there was a scandal about such a fossil of a small dinosaur with feathers that was found in China and that it was discovered to be fake. – and it gave a lot of fuel to all the evolution deniers who celebrated this fake.
    National Geographic fell into this trap and paid a lot of money for the fake fossil and used this fake in their magazine and in their science films.
    Not long ago I saw a National Geographic movie on TV and I recognized the fake fossil there, apparently the fact that they have a fake fossil in the movie doesn't stop them from continuing to show the movie.

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