So it’s not evolutionarily speaking a bird… yet. BUT I COULDN’T RESIST! If you listen to the show you know I have a dream of being given the finger by a bird (see hoatzin) and not we’re one step closer with this little dinosaur named Linhenykus monodactylus, which is a theropod just like the pesky Eodromaeus from Episode 70 this week. I think it’s safe to safe after discovering practically two dinosaurs in one week we’ve found all that there is to find. That’s it folks, lets pack it in and go home!
Oh yeah, ecology, my job. Why only one finger? That certainly is curious. The one finger had a claw which may have been useful for digging up food or into insect nests like a warthog’s tusks.
I personally love convergent evolution like digit lose in tetrapods. Early tetrapods had 8-10 fingers per hand! There’s been a steady decrease in most groups since, and not really any great examples of increasing digits. It has something to do with hox genes and selective pressure. I keep asking Patrick to explain it but I’m not sure he gets it either. GENETICS!
Originally spotted on the Palaeoblog.