Recently Chris Mah, that most passionate advocate of all things with pentaradial symmetry (i.e. echinoderms: urchins, starfish etc.), wrote an excellent blog post about how starfish tube feet don’t work the way you think they do. He was right, at least in my case; I had always assumed that they were suckers, and that the . . . → Read More: A sucker for convergent evolution
Graphic used with permission. Daniel D. Brown, LaughingMantis.com. Echinoderms are one of the most highly derived groups of animals with many species as significant components of several marine communities. They’re classified by three fundamental shared characteristics: 1) pentaradial symmetry, 2) skeleton made of three-dimensional calcitic elements, and 3) the presence of a water . . . → Read More: Veins of Water: The Evolution of the Echinoderm Water-Vascular System
Why don’t animal’s use wheels in locomotion? Why aren’t blue whales bigger? Why are there no freshwater starfish? Why are there no tree dwelling cephalopods? Why can’t my dog make a decent cocktail? These are the kinds of questions that intrigue me. Apparently I am not alone. Geerat Vermeij’s new paper “Sound reasons for silence: . . . → Read More: If Molluscs Could Communicate What Would They Say?
A blog war is starting to develop again. No I am not talking about this one. I am talking about the Great Invertebrate Wars. Everything was quiet until someone had to stir the pot. GIW I took many causalities with molluscs taking the clear win. Which invertebrate group will take GIW II? If polls are . . . → Read More: Molluscs, now with 100% more awesum
If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development. –Aristotle To understand the biogeography of the modern deep sea, we must examine the history of the ocean floor and the establishment of deep-sea fauna. The paleoceanography of the deep-sea is an account of intense fluctuations in temperature, oxygen, and circulation. In the past . . . → Read More: The Origins of Deep-Sea Fauna