The largest measured giant squid eye is 27 centimeters (10.63 inches), roughly the size of a large dinner plate. Whereas all giant squids don’t have goliath fine china size eyeballs, most are between 5-15 centimeters (~2-6 inches), their peepers are huge. The swordfish has roughly the same body size as a giant squid, yet . . . → Read More: Why the giant squid eye?
The bubbles around me clear and as I regain my visibility my first thought is how wide is the mouth coming for me. Five feet? Six Feet? Will my whole body fit in there? As the whale shark closes the distance between us mouth first, I’m focused entirely on the size of the beast. It’s . . . → Read More: Whale Sharks and Giant Squids: Big or Bu!!$hit?
All snails and their ancestors, the Gastropods, share a common feature. We people with fancy Ph.D.’s in biology call this a synapomorphy, a word derived from the Greek words for “together with”, “away from”, and “shape”, namely syn, apo, and morphe. You might think the shell is a common feature of snails, but Gastropoda also . . . → Read More: How the Gastropod Got Its Twist
[View the story "Darwin Day Road Show: Day 4" on Storify]
I seem to develop these weird, unfounded hatreds of various things. For example: I hate blue dinnerware. Not every shade of blue dinnerware (I LOVE prussian blue glassware), but I severely dislike those particular gray-blue shades reminiscent of country Americana. I can’t explain it–the mere sight of plates like these makes me angry. I would . . . → Read More: I hate plants, but seagrasses are awesome
A couple weeks ago I was alerted to a newspaper article from the Brunswick Beacon, serving the Brunswick County next door to me in beautiful coastal North Carolina. The school commissioners there seemed to feel that evolution was “the biggest lie that’s ever been perpetrated on mankind.” Indeed, Chairman Bill Sue is “tired of my . . . → Read More: From the Editor’s Desk: Sorry Brunswick County, ID STILL Not Science
This post was based on a talk I gave for Darwin Day last year at the Duke Marine Lab. Reposting in honor of Darwin Day. Enjoy your day and make sure you take a walk in the woods and enjoy nature’s splendor in honor one of biology’s main men today! —————————————- As part of Darwin . . . → Read More: Darwin Day Repost – Ex Omnia Conchis: Darwin And His Beloved Barnacles
The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center is trying an experiment this year for Darwin Day. In 2011 we are taking Darwin Day on the road. We will be sending our scientists to small towns and communities (i.e., places that wouldn’t otherwise have Darwin Day celebrations) around the United States to share their research and talk to . . . → Read More: Darwin Day Road Show
Lepas anatifera from Washington state, USA. Photo credit: David Cowles 1997. Barnacle evolution was recently rewritten by a large effort of Perez-Losada and colleagues in 2008. Using a combination of genes and morphological traits they rejected some of the ideas that were foundational to barnacle biology and taxonomy, while giving new support for other . . . → Read More: Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates
145 million years ago, in the Cretaceous, the air was warm and the seas were high and rum flowed freely. On land, mammals were oppressed under dinosaur Republican rule. Massive reptiles and ammonites, long since extinct, dominated the oceans. Under the reign of these giants, the lizardfishes were mere fledglings. Today, the 256 known lizardfishes . . . → Read More: Of eyes and sex in lizardfishes