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 […]
One wonders whether the larval tubes (as opposed to clubs or bumps) relates to different plant species providing the camouflage, hence different portage methods used. Otherwise, this is a lovely example of stasis (for very long periods of time, evolution doesn’t seem to happen), trapped in amber
The report backdates the origin, not only of podocarps (the evergreens), but of seed ferns and cycad types of plants. Those are millions of years of natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism) that these plants did not turn out to have. If Darwinism seemed unbelievable before, what do you think now?
From ScienceDaily: Over 450 millipedes, fossilized in 100-million-year-old Burmese amber, were recently discovered by a research team. Using micro-CT technology, the scientists identified 13 out of the 16 main groups of modern millipedes amongst them. For half of these groups, the findings also represent the oldest known fossils. … According to the scientists, most of […]
“Researchers were not certain where and how flowers came into existence because it seems that many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere,” explains lead author Qiang Fu” It now looks as though they just popped into the Jurassic from nowhere.
It certainly is “amazing,” as Professor Benton says, that a complex array of features appeared 250 million years ago, rather abruptly, just as life was recovering from the Permian extinction. Would anyone have predicted that? Talk about “fossil rabbits in the Cambrian.”