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Dino Talk Late September, 2002: A Dinosaur Forum


Anyone here?
from Tim M., age ?, ?, ?, ?; September 30, 2002


I know that this has nothing to do with dinosaurs, but I'm bored and I thought I post something a little different.
Even though IBM's the worlds largest computer company (wait... now that Hewlett-Packard and Compaq have merged, Hewlett Packard's probably the largest... oh well) I've never seen an IBM in my life. And I live in the Silicon valley, which is arguably the birthplace of the PC. I've seen Xerox-PARC, Hewlett Packard headquarters, and Apple headquarters though.

from Tim M., age ?, ?, ?; September 27, 2002


"That is so nasty!"
Well, you get used to getting up so early after a couple of years

from Tim M., age ?, ?, ?; September 27, 2002


I have to be at schoo, at 8:30, but 8:10 is definitely nasty.
from Gianna, age ?, ?, ?, ?; September 26, 2002


I don't want to make this seem like a compatition, but I have to be there at 7:55! Compared to most schools in our area, we have a very long day. I remember that the Mid-Peninsula high school students used to get out at 2:00 P.M.
from Tim M., age ?, ?, ?; September 26, 2002


08:10?!!!?

That is so nasty! I would so never ever be on time for registration, and probably the first lesson! I just can't get up in the morning no matter what time I go to bed in the evening. Well, I really feel sorry for you now.
from da masta, age ?, ?, ?; September 26, 2002


"I'm in year 10 now. and school started back in september 3rd. It starts at 8:35 so I'm always late because I can't be
bothered to get up on time. But you have to admit, the time is barbarically early."

8:35 is EARLY for you? I have to be there at 8:10.
from Joe Bob B., age 11, Menlo Park, ?, ?; September 25, 2002


"Hi, and yes, I'm alive. Sorry I was gone so long. I'll be here more often, even though I have school (bleck). I'm working on chapter four of my story. Da Masta, you're giving up on your DWF? Too bad, I liked it."

I'll enjoy reading other's stories but I really haven't the time to do mine.
from da masta, age ?, ?, ?; September 24, 2002


""I have school (bleck)."
Yeah, and school just gets harder and more time consuming as you get older. (that makes sense, doesn't it?)"

I'm in year 10 now. and school started back in september 3rd. It starts at 8:35 so I'm always late because I can't be bothered to get up on time. But you have to admit, the time is barbarically early.
from da masta, age ?, ?, ?; September 24, 2002


Oh, BTW, the way I answered your post Andy is how I normally do it. It helps to distinguish my writing from yours.

"Above them are probably dogs, who can be trained to recognize commands and sign language"

I disagree. I have never considered dogs to be VERY intelligent. Dogs can be trained to do what they are told and various "tricks," but it does certainly not mean that they are intelligent. They just know that if they do some dumb "trick" they get food. Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I couldn't think of a milder word to put. But wolves are reasonably intelligent, relatively complex social structure, and an active carnovivore, their brains certainly are developing.

Another "intelligent" animal is the rat. They are very cunning animals.
from da masta, age ?, ?, ?; September 24, 2002


"Is this true? I thought that tool use was one of the primary measures of intelligence - I remember that the example of chimps using grass stems to "fish" for termites was an example of their intelligence being similar to humans' - in which case the raven story (or the woodpecker finches) would seem like good evidence of smarts. But are there lots of other animals that use tools?*THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACCIDENTALY DISCOVERING THAT DOING CERTAIN THINGS TO CERTAIN ITEMS AND THEN USING THEM IN A PARTICULAR WAY TO HELP YOURSELF GET FOOD OR SOMETHING ELSE YOU WANT, OR COPYING ANOTHER CREATURE DOING USING A PARTICULAR OBJECT IN A CERTAIN WAY TO GET WHAT IT WANTS, AND ACTUAL, REAL INVENTIVENESS, HAVING A CLEAR PICTURE IN YOUR MIND WHAT IT IS YOU WANT AND THEN FINDING THE MATERIALS AND MAKING IT AND USING IT. MOST ANIMALS HAVE THE FIRST KIND OF "INTELLIGENCE," AND ALTHOUGH IT DOES PROVE THAT THE ANIMAL IS VERSATILE AND ADAPTIVE, IT IS NOT REAL INTELL! IGENCE LIKE WE HAVE. OUR INTELLIGENCE TOOK MILLIONS OF YEARS TO EVOLVE, EVOLVING REAL INTELLIGENCE IS A PAINFULLY SLOW AND COMPLEX PROCESS. ELEPHANTS AND SOME CETACEANS ARE IN A WAY SMART, MAINLY DUE TO THEIR COMPLEX SOCIAL LIVES. IT MAY SEEM, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THAT THERE ARE QUITE A FEW "INTELLIGENT LIFE FORMS ON THIS PLANET, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY MILLIONS OF SPECIES OF ANIMALS THAT THE NUMBER OF "INTELLIGENT" ANIMALS PALES IN COMPARISON. MANY ANIMALS JUST DON'T NEED THIS "INTELLIGENCE." ANOTHER THING - ONLY MAMMALS APPEAR TO HAVE DEVELOPED INTELLIGENCE. REMEMBER ME SAYING THAT COMPLEX SOCIAL LIVES AND PREDATORS HAVE DEVELOPED INTELLIGENCE? WELL, I THINK THAT INTELLIGENCE HAS A LOT TO DO WITH MAMMAL METABOLISMS AND ENDOTHERMY. MOST ECTOTHERMIC PREDATORS, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, HUNT BY AMBUSHING THEIR PREY. BEING ECTOTHERMIC IS NOT VERY GOOD COMBINED WITH POIKILOTHERMY, SO MOST REPTILE, AMPHIBIAN AND MANY FISH (BUT FISH ARE AN EXCEPTION BECAUSE MANY OF THEM CAN ACTUALLY G! ENERATE HEAT IN THEIR MUSCLES, UNLIKE REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS) PREDATORS HUNT BY AMBUSHING, WHICH REALLY DOES NOT NEED MUCH INTELLIGENCE BUT A FAST REACTION. MAMMAL AND BIRD PREDATORS, ON THE OTHER HAND, OFTEN HAVE MUCH MORE COMPLEX HUNTING PATTERNS, WHICH OF COURSE HELPS TO DEVELOP YOUR BRAIN. ANOTHER THING IS BLOOD SUPPLY TO THE BRAIN, UNLIKE ECTOTHERMS, MAMMALS CAN ENSURE THAT THERE IS A CONSTANT, WARM BLOOD SUPPLY TO THE BRAIN. FAMILY BEHAVIOUR IS ALSO AN ISSUE; BIRDS AND MAMMALS OFTEN LIVE IN FAMILY GROUPS, SOMETIMES WITH A COMPLEX STRUCTURE. THIS HAS LED TO INTELLIGENCE ARISING IN ANIMALS LIKE DOLPHINS AND ELEPHANTS. BUT MOST REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS DON'T HAVE A REAL SOCIAL STRUCTURE, AND COMMUNICATION IS QUITE LIMITED. ALRIGHT, FROGS CAN BE QUITE LOUD, BUT TRYING TO CHIRP LOUDER THAN THE MALE FROG NEXT TO YOU MAKES YOU NO MORE INTELLIGENT. I MEAN REAL, ADVANCED COMMUNICATION, AND IT IS PROVEN THAT ELEPHANTS COMMUNICATE WITH DEEP RUMBLES AND DOLPHINS WITH WISTLES, SQUEKS! , AND CLICKS. BUT HOW MANY REPTILES OR FROGS CAN YOU NAME WITH COMPLEX SOCIAL STRUCTURES? NOT MANY. NONE AT ALL, IN FACT.THIS HAS TO DO WITH THEIR LIFESTYLE, WHICH IS ULTIMATELY GOVERNEDBY THEIR METABOLISM, AND WHETHER THEY ARE ECTOTHERMIC OR ENDOTHERMIC. PERHAPS ANSWERING THE QUESTION ABOUT DINOSAUR METABOLISM CAN HELP US WITH THE QUESTION OF INTELLIGENCE IN DINOSAURS. I TEND TO TAKE THE VIEW THAT MOST DINOSAURS WHERE ENDOTHERMIC, LIKE MAMMALS AND BIRDS, PROBABLY WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE SAUROPODS, AND PERHAPS I'LL TALK ABOUT WHY LATER. IN FACT I ALREADY HAVE, BUT IT WAS BEFORE ANDY CAME, BY A FEW MONTHS! SO I THINK THAT THE MOST LIKELY GROUP OF DINOSAURS IN WHICH INTELLIGENCE AROSE IS THE MANIRAPTORA, THEY WHERE SMALL, CARNIVOROUS DINOSAURS, AND SOME ALMOST CERTAINLY HAD A COMPLEX SOCIAL STRUCTURE. IT IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE.*
And what other tests are people using? I know that they use a lot of visual, sign-recognition tests for dolphins and whales*AH, YES. I BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DESIGN A SELF AWARENESS TEST FOR DOLPHINS. CHIMPANZEES HAVE ALREADY PASSED IT.*, but what about other animals?"

from da masta, age ?, ?, ?; September 24, 2002


"I have school (bleck)."
Yeah, and school just gets harder and more time consuming as you get older. (that makes sense, doesn't it?)

from Tim M., age ?, ?, ?; September 21, 2002


Hi, and yes, I'm alive. Sorry I was gone so long. I'll be here more often, even though I have school (bleck). I'm working on chapter four of my story. Da Masta, you're giving up on your DWF? Too bad, I liked it.
from Joe Bob B., age 11, Menlo Park, ?, ?; September 19, 2002


I don't think it could have been possible for birds to have evolved from Droaeosaurs. They appeard first.

The topic of Bird intelligence is interesting as well. We know already that primates (excluding humans) are very smart animals. One famous Oragutan was known for making tools out of things he was give, such as food. He used these tools to unlock his cage, and free all of his fellow Oranguatans. But I think this was an exeptional case. The fabrication as well as use of tools definetly is a sign of intelligence. I've never heared of a bird making its own tool, apart from Andy's story about the bird that found its own stick to use for a tool. But there's a difference between making a tool and finding one. In general, one can say that birds (or at least some species of bird)are pretty intelligent, given their tool use. Above them are probably dogs, who can be trained to recognize commands and sign language, Cetaceans, Primates, and perhaps certain other species of mammal. I think they are smarter than most Amniotes with more primitive routes, such as Reptiles, and they are probabl! y smarter than the lesser mammals. This situates them about halfway up on the "intelligence chart".

Of course, this isn't the purely scientific way of addresing this question. I'll get back to you guys later. But where I liv, it's getting late...
from Tim M., age ?, ?, ?; September 18, 2002


da masta says:
"Also, on the whole, birds aren't particularly intelligent - most have really interesting behaviour or adaptions, well, they all do, but overall birds aren't really clever. "

Is this true? I thought that tool use was one of the primary measures of intelligence - I remember that the example of chimps using grass stems to "fish" for termites was an example of their intelligence being similar to humans' - in which case the raven story (or the woodpecker finches) would seem like good evidence of smarts. But are there lots of other animals that use tools?
And what other tests are people using? I know that they use a lot of visual, sign-recognition tests for dolphins and whales, but what about other animals?

from Andy, age ?, NYC, ?; September 17, 2002


Well, we've got a new regular, called Andy, and I hope this site's interested him. He sounds pretty clever too, if he stays we should be able to keep conversations up longer. Dinosaur intelligence seems a topic now, but if you read or see anything interesting, it would be great to have another one.

Also, on the whole, birds aren't particularly intelligent - most have really interesting behaviour or adaptions, well, they all do, but overall birds aren't really clever. Neither where the small coelurosaurs they probably evolved from. I've dismissed the theory that they evolved from dromaeosaurs, birds appear to have evolved totally by at least the late jurassic.
from da masta, age ?, ?, ?; September 16, 2002


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