Thursday, June 15, 2006


Another Day, Another "Missing" Link

"Dozens of fossils of an ancient loon-like creature that some say is the missing link in bird evolution have been discovered in northwest China," reports Randolph E. Schmid of AP.
The remains of 40 of the nearly modern amphibious birds, so well-preserved that some even have their feathers, were found in Gansu province, researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Previously only a single leg of the creature, known as Gansus yumenensis, had been found...

"Most of the ancestors of birds from the age of dinosaurs are members of groups that died out and left no modern descendants. But Gansus led to modern birds, so it's a link between primitive birds and those we see today," Matt Lamanna, a co-leader of the research team, told AP.
As this discovery, coming so quickly on the heels of other recent discoveries demonstrates, it isn't so much that the links are missing, as that they are out there waiting to be found.

They will never be found by people who have their nose stuck in a Bible at the expense of looking at the natural world. Young scientists, inspired by these and other discoveries yet to be made, will find these links to our natural history by going out into the field and by conducting research.

That is what makes science exciting, and that's why it draws so many of the best young minds to it.


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