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
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?
Lynn Margulis classified the Chaetognaths, known as arrow worms, as deuterostomes. Deuterostomy is characterized by several developmental characteristics including radial, indeterminate cleavage, a posterior position of the blastopore (deuterostomy=”second mouth”), enterocoelous coelom formation and a tripartite adult body plan with a post-anal tail. At least this is what I was taught “growing up”. Three . . . → Read More: What in Darwin’s Name Are Chaetognaths?!
A potential new species of nudibranch (white box) on a bubblegum coral You might have noticed that my posting frequency is down recently. Why? 1. Kevin Z convinced me to start Tweeting. There seems to be an inverse relationship to my writing for DSN and posting Tweets. Previous attempts to integrate our Twitter content into . . . → Read More: What’s New With the Dr. M and the Oceans?
Nicely narrated by Henry Gee! See the paper here: Paczolt KA, Jones AG (2010) Post-copulatory sexual selection and sexual conflict in the evolution of male pregnancy. Nature 464:401-404. doi:10.1038/nature08861
This awesome design is a t-shirt you can buy from Zazzle!! (click on image) As part of Darwin Day on Friday, I gave a brief talk at Duke Marine Lab during happy hour about Darwin and his beloved barnacles. I was going to post the slides but didn’t think they did the 201 year legacy . . . → Read More: Ex Omnia Conchis: Darwin and His Beloved Barnacles
Larval eel jaw diversity from Michael Miller 2009 ASMB 2(4): 1-94. There are all sort of eels in this world. Big ones, small ones, gulper eels, morays. But the most tastiest are the Japanese freshwater eel. Nothing says Ohayo Gozaimasu like fresh eel sushi topped with a mountain of pickled ginger and lightly spackled . . . → Read More: Deep-Water Origin of Freshwater Eels
The largest, Blue Whale and smallest, Hector Dolphin, cetaceans. From wikimedia commons The question is not why are whales big but why are whales not bigger? The blue whales reached weights of 150 tons prewhaling. To appreciate how massive a blue whale is, consider it would take 15 school buses, around 10 tons in weight . . . → Read More: Why Are There No Super Whales?
It’s just a few short weeks until the final deadline for your submission! To recap, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center is offering two $750 travel awards for bloggers with the best posts covering new and emerging evolutionary science. To apply for an award, writers should submit a blog post that highlights current or emerging evolutionary . . . → Read More: ScienceOnline 2010 Travel Awards: The Entries So Far
…removal of waste represents over 550 million years of evolutionary adaptation to solve one of life’s most basic problems.