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Chickens are Weird by Eurwentala Chickens are Weird by Eurwentala
An unfeathered bird, drawn loosely from Katrina van Grouw's wonderfully beautiful book The Unfeathered Bird. If you have any interest in birds, dinosaurs or anatomy, you must have this book.

Birds look really weird without their feathers. Their dinosaur ancestry also becomes obvious, when their anatomy is actually visible. Just add a tail and some teeth, and you have a non-avian dino. And that's exactly what Jack Horner's Chickenosaurus project is about. See here: [link]
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:iconkatrinavangrouw:
KatrinavanGrouw Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Very flattered to find your drawing! I recognised it immediately from my own in 'The Unfeathered Bird'. And thanks for your kind words about my book, that's very much appreciated.
There'll be LOTS more about the surprising structures of domesticated birds - chickens, pigeons and ducks - arising from selective breeding on naturally-occurring mutations in my next book, 'Unnatural Selection'. It's all about evolution and genetics, and we're discovering some REALLY interesting stuff.

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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Wow! Thanks for the comment. Your book is really awesome.

Your next book sounds really interesting. Genetics of domestication is one of my big interests. I'll surely buy that one too. :)
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:iconkatrinavangrouw:
KatrinavanGrouw Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
No problem. And thanks again for your comments about the book.
 The next book certainly sounds perfect for you! I'm interested to know more about your interest in genetics/domestication. Are you an animal breeder yourself, and/or do you have an academic interest?
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
I'm looking forward to the new book. Do you know yet how long until it's published?

I'm an evolutionary biologist by training but work as a science writer. I'm mostly interested in genetics of domestication simply because I find it fascinating, but writing about it also offers occasional job opportunities. I wrote an article on dog domestication and Siberia's tame foxes a while ago, and it would be cool to be able to spread knowledge about bird domestication too.
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:iconkatrinavangrouw:
KatrinavanGrouw Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'd love to read your articles. Yes, the fox thing's really interesting. I wonder if they've also undergone any changes in skull shape as early domesticated dogs and other animals did - but I haven't heard any mention of that.
The book will be published early in 2018. A long time to wait, I'm afraid - but we timed it to coincide with the 150 years' anniversary of Darwin's 'Variations Under Domestication'.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
It's going to be a while, then. The anniversary year sounds like a really good timing. :)

Actually yes, their skull shapes have changed, though only slightly compared to dogs. It's incredibly cool. I translated the article for my English blog, and there are pictures too: hummingdinosaur.wordpress.com/…

The blog is unfortunately mostly dead now, because I found I simply don't have the time and energy to write three blogs at once (the other two are in Finnish).
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:iconkatrinavangrouw:
KatrinavanGrouw Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Fabulous!!! You absolute star. I shall enjoy reading this - a million thanks. It would probably be easiest to correspond via e-mail in future, as I may not often check my Deviant Art page (I only joined to communicate with you). My e-mail address is katrinavangrouw@aol.co.uk  We must certainly stay in touch and have many more discussions about domesticated animal evolution.
Many thanks, once again,
Katrina
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Sure! I'll email you soon. :)

Thanks for contacting me again.
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:iconmuffin-wrangler:
muffin-wrangler Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
Great work showing the weird muscle forms they have.
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:iconsniper0092:
Sniper0092 Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Birds are dinos.:D
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:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Student Artist
I do see chickens without feathers of yours, but in the future, Horner's latest chickenosaurus still have feathers and a dinosaur tail will be as scaly as similar to modern rat tail.

(But sadly I don't know were I just say.^^;)
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:icongilpires:
GilPires Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
THUMBS UP!
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
Thanks!
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
Part of the weirdness here, I think, is the neck. Usually most birds have their necks curved in a stronger S-shape.

The idea of the Chickenosaurus always irritated me for a few reasons. One, it doesn't teach us anything we don't already know about dinosaurs. The only thing we can learn from it is which genes were turned off and on to give birds their modern characteristics. Two, animal rights activists will say--and perhaps rightly--that it's inhumane to raise a moderately intelligent creature with such great physical modifications. And three, ignorant people who believe that birds didn't evolve from reptiles will likely claim that the Chickenosaurus is a mutant chimera rather than a real reverse-evolved bird, not understanding how it was actually created.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
I think you are right about the criticism of Chickenosaurus. It's cool to think this kind of things are possible, but they're not necessarily a very smart thing to do. If we're bringing back extinct things, I think we'd better focus on those recently extinct species that can be really brought back and still have a place in nature.
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:iconjdailey1991:
Jdailey1991 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
I don't think that would work either.  The only available candidates for bringing a woolly mammoth back are the African and Asian Elephant.  You are supposed to resurrect an animal that is used to cold, arctic conditions, not hot, tropical environments.  Pretty much everything an elephant acts is learned, like human behavior, so for a mammoth to have a modern elephant for a mother is self-defeating.


Also, I'm against the idea of cloning, because the process involves only one parent.  A clone is, by general definition, the genetic copy of one parent.  If this is accepted, you'd be promoting incest, which in a population is also self-defeating.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
I don't think cloning, as an idea, is in any way related to incest. It's just asexual reproduction, widely used in thousands of species of animals and plants. Just done by humans to animals that cannot do it themselves. It does not produce inbred offspring, as the level of heterozygoty is the same as in the parent. No diversity is lost.

On population level, big numbers of clonal reproduction will of course lessen genetic diversity and hinder evolution, but this is not what would be done in the case of the mammoth (or other extinct or critically endangered animals). The individuals cloned would be dead, which means there would be no identical copies within the population. Once the animals are created, they would supposedly start reproducing naturally.

Not that it's easy to achieve, but that's the general idea.

Yes, the fact that all temperate and arctic proboscideans are extinct is a problem. Indian elephant would likely be used as the surrogate mother, as it's far more closely related to mammoths than the African species are, and it's of course tamer and more manageable. But there would still be plenty of ethical problems in doing this sort of risky and probably painful research with highly intelligent and endangered animals. This is my biggest objection to de-extinction.

On the problem of missing mammoth culture, I think proboscideans are intelligent enough that it's not too great a problem. Helped by humans at first, they would quickly memorize their surroundings, form a social system (probably not identical to the one their ancestors had, but something akin to it) and start learning how to cope in nature. Provided, of course, that there is an area sufficiently like the ancient mammoth steppe to support them, which is another problem, though probably solvable.
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:iconsagekorppi:
SageKorppi Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Not to mention some chickens also have vestigial claws along their wing digits show up now and then :)
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
Yep, that's incredibly cool. In my drawing they're obstructed by the wing feather stumps, though.
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:icondeinonychusempire:
DeinonychusEmpire Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed, I've attacked some of my chickens just to see them. They're small, but they're there if you have a keep enough eye.
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:icondeinonychusempire:
DeinonychusEmpire Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
keen* enough eye. Wow.
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:icondinobenten:
dinobenten Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
I know it would not actually bring them back but genetics would be fun to play with to make a dino copy
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