“‘This means that if fungi are already present around 900-1000 million years ago, so should animals have been,’ he told AFP.” If so, not nearly as much time from the Big Bang onward for all that complexity to just sort of slosh into existence…
Well, they will just have to keep looking for that early, really simple bedbug, below which there is nothing but sub-bedbugs.
Life forms trapped in amber—hardened resin from conifers—can show remarkable examples of stasis: No real change from one ten-million-year span to the next one.
He offers a Darwinian explanation that “individuals who just happen to have sesamoid bones at their knees” happened to run better and thus left more offspring. More and more, that sort of explanation begins to sound like what we say when we don’t really have more specific information. Especially now that we are starting to get more specific information.
“It’s a perfect scenario for cooking up new species,” he said. What? Wait! This isn’t a “new species.” This is a holdover from 50 million years ago, during which it’s always been an obvious frog.
From ScienceDaily: Bats fly, whales swim, gibbons swing from tree to tree, horses gallop, and humans swipe on their phones — the different habitats and lifestyles of mammals rely on our unique forelimbs. No other group of vertebrate animals has evolved so many different kinds of arms: in contrast, all birds have wings, and pretty […]
Win a $50 VISA gift card for the deemed best answer to this question: Given the pervasive pattern of “sudden appearance” and “stasis” in the fossil record, does science need a Theory of Stasis or Theory of Conservation to better explain how nature actually functions. Explain. How would such a theory help to strengthen an […]
That wasn’t what we expected to hear, of course. But it makes sense that there would usually be as many animals of interdependent types as could physically support themselves in the environment.
We’ve often heard that there were billions of boring years in the history of life (the Boring Billion). Maybe not so boring.
The previous “earliest” record was from a fossil dated to 15 to 20 million years ago but what we don’t yet know is, did the mosquito then have the relationship it now has with the malaria parasite plasmodium? It’s a complex relationship, apparently. That could shed light on theories around evolution and strategies around malaria.
Evolution doesn’t happen the way they told us in school, “daily, hourly,” “silently” “adding up” (the Darwinian claim). Things seem to come about rather suddenly and stay pretty much the same way for a long time, perhaps suddenly changing again. Is there an explanation? Probably, but it seems we don’t have it yet.
Researcher: Transitions between land, sea, and freshwater were more frequent than we thought, and the transitions were not always land-to-freshwater or freshwater-to-marine. [Once they were really big, they could take over what they wanted to.]
It takes a smart robot to mimic a reptile When researchers built a robot to sprawl like a prehistoric reptile, they were in for a surprise Early Permian era Orobates’ skeleton was “exquisitely preserved,” which created an excellent opportunity for researchers in paleontology to try to figure out how the lizard-like animal moved. And reverse […]
The vertebrate family tree is all shook up, we hear, by a fossil hagfish (right: Cretaceous hagfish fossil, 100 mya/Tetsuto Miyashita, University of Chicago). From ScienceDaily: Paleontologists at the University of Chicago have discovered the first detailed fossil of a hagfish, the slimy, eel-like carrion feeders of the ocean. The 100-million-year-old fossil helps answer questions about […]
Four hundred and thirty million years ago, according to ScienceDaily: The discovery made by FAU palaeontologists Dr. Sebastian Teichert, Prof. Dr. Axel Munnecke and their Australian colleague Dr. William Woelkerling has far-reaching consequences. ‘Our finds mean that we must now look at the fossil record in a completely new way’, explains Dr. Sebastian Teichert. Up […]