5 May 2020

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/04/new-fossils-rewrite-… … you could have fooled me but we are told here that scientists have long opposed the idea that dinosaurs lived in aquatic habitats. Now, researchers have actually found unambiguous evidence that spinosauros was an aquatic hunter and lived on a diet of fish. It used its tail for propulsion – to locomotively swim in a massive river system. Dinosaurs, previously, have been said to inhabit swamps and marshland but this one is a swimming dinosaur. Hence, we might have some sense on all the dinosaur bones dredged up from the American interior seaway.

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/04/marooned-on-mesozoic… … here we have a 66 million year old mammal found in Madagascar – the size of a oppossum. It looks very much like a badger. It lived alongside dinosaurs, and big crocodiles. More and more evidence that mammals co-existed with the dinosaurs. They were not all small rodents it would seem. The spinosauros is said to have primitive features that have since evolved but the interesting point is that it was found in rocks dated towards the end of the Cretaceous period – virtually on the nub of the K/T event. As such, we have no idea how long such animals had been in existence, but clearly in this instance they could well have evolved much earlier than the catastrophic sediments associated with the Chicxulub crater.

Robert sent in a link which changes the subject to spiders (or not so spidery fossils) – at https://crev.info/2020/05/fake-fossil/ … which doesn't hold its punches. Fake fossils. Fake spider fossil proves peer review is not as robust as it should be. Fraud in science is now at an epidemic level as illustrated by the web site 'Retraction Watch' – and the author goes on to outline some of the problems with 'peer review' concerning an article he recently wrote himself. There were three reviewers, he says, and two of them did not know much about the subject he was writing on – but luckily the third reviewer did. The story itself revolves around what was identified as a spider but turned out to be a crayfish (see earlier post on the News). The legs of the spider had been painted on to the rock and it was only under a microscope this was visible. I suppose fraud in fossils is possible as we all know from holidays in exotic climes enterprising locals will sell fossils to unsuspecting tourists that have been heavily reworked in order to achieve a more fossil like appearance (with neat lines and add ons). Clearly, an artist at work that can produce real life look a likes is on to a winner – but that is the way of the world. Fraud by scientists is the slant of this piece which one can also suppose is as old as the hills. It happens. The worst crime is when a research paper is turned down because the reviewers are ignorant of the subject and find it unbelievable (or against their worldview = politics).

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