Ososayensi bathole isilwane sasemandulo esandisa umlando wohlu lwezilwane

Umfanekiso 1. Isithombe: McPhee et al., A Giant Dinosaur from the Earliest Jurassic of South Africa and the Transition to Quadrupedality in Early Sauropodomorphs, Current Biology

Asikho isilwane esiphilayo emhlabeni owomile esidlula ububanzi bendlovu. Enye yezinto ezenza ukuthi indlovu ikwazi ukukhula ibe isisindo nobubanzi obudlula zonke ezinye izilwane esiqiwini ukwakheka kwemilenze yayo. Imilenze yendlovu inamadolo abheke phambili nasemumva, kodwa ayi emaceleni njengamadolo ezingwenya.

Imilenze yendlovu iqondile uma uyibheka ngaphambili kanye nasemumva ukuze ikwazi ukuthwala isisindo sayo. Lolulwazi lwezilwane eziphilayo namuhlanje lutshela ososayensi ukuthi izilwane zasemandulo zaziphila kanjani ngokuthi becwaninge amathambo amadala atholakala emhlabathini. Izimo zemvelo zagqiba lamathambo, kwaphinda kwabayizo lezi zimo zemvelo eziwayezayo.

Amanye alamathambo atholakale esifundazweni saseFree Statei ngasezweni laseLesotho. Amathambo lawa kubonakala ukuthi awesilwane esasinda ukudlula izindlovu ezintathu, siphinde sicishe sibe side okwendlulamithi (bona umfanekiso 1). Lesi silwane sasiphila esikhathini emandulo lapho khona indlulamithi nendlovu zingakabikhona emhlabeni esikhathini esaziwa ngokuthi i-Jurassic.

Abancwaningi okubalwa kubo ososayensi abasuka eNyuvesi yase-Wits eNingizimu Afrika basiqambe ukuthi i-Ledumafadi mafube okumele ukuduma kwezulu ekuseni ngesiSuthu. Baqambe leligama elithi Ledumafadi ngenxa yobubanzi balesi silwane, abacabanga ukuthi sasibanga umsindo omkhulu uma sinyathela, bese kuthi igama lokusa elithi mafube lichaza ukuthi lesi silwane singukusa kokusunguka kwezilwane zasemandulo ezibanzi.

Kudala kwaziwa ngokwesayensi ukuthi imvelaphi yezilwane emhlabeni akwenzekanga ngesikhathi esisodwa kodwa uhlu lwezilwane lubonakala luguquka emlandweni obonakala uma ososayensi becwaninga amathambo ezilwane zasemandulo. Njegoba wena uqhamuka kukhokho wakho, naye eqhamuka kowakhe, kanjalo futhi izidalwa zomhlaba nokuguquka kwazo kusukela ezikhathini zasemandulo.

Umfanekiso3. Isithombe: By Steveoc 86 and Kevin Yan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62991517

Kuyilokhu kuguquka okubonakala emlandweni wezilwane ososayensi abacabanga ukuthi kwasungula izilwane ezaziwa ngokuthi ama-sauropod, okuyigama elisho ukuthi isilwane esikhulu esinomqala nomsila omude kanye nemilenze eqondile (bona umfanekiso 2). Okuxaka ososayensi abacwaninga amathambo ezilwane zasemandulo ukuthi kwenzeka kanjani ukuthi isilwane i-Ledumafadi mafube sibe ngukhokho wama-sauropod.

Njengoba uma ufuna ukubheka ukuthi abantu bahlobene yini ubheka ufuzo ukuze ubone ukuthi bayafana yini, ososayensi babheke amathambo alezi zilwane bathola ukuthi kuningi okufanayo kodwa lusaqhubeka ucwaningo. Izindaba ezibambe umhlaba wonke kakhulu ukutholakala kwe-Ledumafadi emhlabathini waseNingizimu Afrika, kodwa okujabulisa ososayensi kakhulu ithuba lokuqhubeka nokufunda ukuthi zihlobene kanjani lezi zilwane zasemandulo.

Isayensi yezilwane zasemandulo inendlela yokuxoxa ngesikhathi esikade sadlula ngisho abantu imbala bengakabi bikho emhlabeni. Lesayensi izwakala sanganekwane kodwa ixoxwa ososayensi abanye babo basuka emazweni angaphandle. Kungabakuhle uma lezizindaba sikwazi ukuzixoxela thina ngokwanda kolwazi.

Lolu lwazi lizokwanda kuphela uma sizifundisa ngalezi zilwane amathombo azo ahleli ngaphansi kwethu, ngoba uma kungethina abafunda ngazo bezicwaninge, sizolahlekelwa umlando womhlaba wethu.

Umfanekiso 3. Isithombe: McPhee et al., A Giant Dinosaur from the Earliest Jurassic of South Africa and the Transition to Quadrupedality in Early Sauropodomorphs, Current Biology

Sibusiso Biyela

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