extinction

Why the Tasmanian tiger went extinct – new insights

It’s one of those situations where everything we knew about the tiger’s (thylacine wolf’s) extinction is true, but some new information rounds out the picture. From “Tasmanian Tiger’s Jaw Was Too Small to Attack Sheep, Study Shows” (ScienceDaily, Aug. 31, 2011), we learn: Australia’s iconic thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, was hunted to death in the Read More…

Evolution extinction

Geologist-artist’s 1998 work presages later changes in view of dinosaurs

In “Alternative Evolution” of Dinosaurs Foresaw Contemporary Paleo Finds” (Scientific American August 10, 2011), Brian Switek surveys the great changes that have taken place in how dinosaurs are viewed, many of which may have been foreseen by Dougal Dixon, who thought he was writing a fantasy about how dinosaurs would have evolved, had they survived. Read More…

Evolution extinction

Unlike the furtive ants, stick insects really have, allegedly, gone a million years without sex

In “Stick insects survive one million years without sex” (BBC Nature, 19 July 2011),  Ella Davies reports. Timema genevievae is a female-only species of stick insect “All the evidence points to Timema tahoe and Timema genevievae having persisted for over one million years without sex,” Dr Schwander told BBC Nature. “Our research adds to the growing Read More…

Evolution extinction

Antz, what do you mean, she told you she was asexual … and you BELIEVED her?

Parents strongly cautioned: ant sex discussed At The Scientist (July 18, 2011), Tia Ghose explains, “Asexual Ants Have Sex”, which will take some explaining, but here goes: Some populations of ants long thought to be asexual get a dose of genetic diversity by having sex. On paper, asexuality seems like a winning strategy. Sexless creatures Read More…

extinction

Is “living fossils” an apt term?

Recently, Brandon Keim, presenting “11 Animal Wonders of Evolution” (June 28, 2011) at Wired says no, After all, their lineages haven’t survived ice ages and warm spells and every natural upheaval just to be visualized in amber by some upstart hairless ape. A better term is “evolutionarily distinct.” They’re simply, impressively unique. One could say Read More…

extinction Intelligent Design

How little we know about the only planet known to be teeming with life …

In “A Home Before the End of the World” (Design Observer Group, 06.09.11), Adelheid Fischer reminds us, To date, only about two million species of plants and animals have been identified and described. An estimated 10 million species still await discovery, description and naming. But this taxonomic handshake is just the beginning and tells us Read More…

extinction

Snail presumed extinct turns up again

This ScienceDaily piece, (June 3, 2011) “Mass Extinction Victim Survives: Snail Long Thought Extinct Isn’t” looks at a recent local extinction of snail species (limpets) of which, it turns out, there was a survivor: … a major mass extinction took place in North America in the first half of the 20th century, when 47 species Read More…

Biology Cambrian explosion Darwinism Evolutionary biology extinction Natural selection

Dinosaurs from birds?

How well neoDarwinian evolution is established and the universal “consensus” over it is demonstrated by: Bird-from-Dinosaur Theory of Evolution Challenged: Was It the Other Way Around? ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2010) — A new study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides yet more evidence that birds did not descend from Read More…