5. The Evidence for the Theory is Irrefutable ==>
   5.1. Direct Evidence ==>
     5.1.1. Fossil Evidence ==> Research Literature ==> Rigorous Research


A sample article. This is just one of thousands of similiar articles available on Plosone, an interactive open-access journal for the communication of all peer-reviewed scientific and medical research. (http://www.plosone.org/home.action)

The article referenced here goes into minute detail about what can be gleaned from a single fossil find. It contains 104 citations.

This article, Bird-Like Anatomy, Posture, and Behavior Revealed by an Early Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur Resting Trace. Look at the rigor with which this minute speck of data is investigated. Most impressive are the number of citations (104 in this article) that appear in these articles, each of which has it's own number of citations.



Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic (~198 million-year-old) lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity.


The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods


[1]Milner ARC, Harris JD, Lockley MG, Kirkland JI, Matthews NA, 2009 Bird-Like Anatomy, Posture, and Behavior Revealed by an Early Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur Resting Trace. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4591. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004591

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