Another piece of the evolutionary puzzle has been discovered, setting off new discussions on modular evolution. According to the article,
“Darwinopterus came as quite a shock to us” said Dr David Unwin, from the University of Leicester, UK.
“We had always expected a gap-filler with typically intermediate features such as a moderately elongate tail – neither long nor short.
“But the strange thing about Darwinopterus is that it has a head and neck just like that of advanced pterosaurs, while the rest of the skeleton, including a very long tail, is identical to that of primitive forms.”
Why the shock? Clearly, the ability to correctly hypothesize on the evolution of a species is a bit lacking. To me, this suggests that once again, evolutionary theory—and this would warrant use of the word “theory”—is all about hypothesis, testing, evidence, hypothesis. As stated in an earlier post, when the pieces don’t fit, change the picture to make them fit.
Dr Unwin, could this be an intra-breed creature? If you were to look at the fossilized remains of a tiger, a lion, and a liger in say, 160 million years, would you conclude that the liger is an evolutionary bridge between the two species?
Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I find it all the more interesting that so many finds are coming out of China these days.