Ancient Catastrophic Drought Leads to Question:... →
From Science Daily: ...Worse than anything we’ve seen in written history, according to results of a study recently appearing in the journal Science.
New England, Mid-Atlantic Beaches Eroding, Losing... →
From Science Daily: Scientists studied more than 650 miles of the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts and found the average rate of coastal change — taking into account beaches that are both eroding and prograding — was negative 1.6 feet per year. Of those beaches eroding, the most extreme case exceeded 60 feet per year.
Oldest Fossils of Large Seaweeds, Possible Animals... →
From Science Daily: …The fossils suggest that morphological diversification of macroscopic eukaryotes — the earliest versions of organisms with complex cell structures — may have occurred only tens of millions of years after the snowball earth event that ended 635 million years ago, just before the Ediacaran Period. And their presence in the highly organic-rich black shale...
April 10th can’t come fast enough.
Pollution Triggers Genetic Resistance Mechanism in... →
From Science Daily: Although this kind of reaction has been seen when insects develop resistance to certain insecticides, and bacteria to antibiotics, “This is really the first demonstration of a mechanism of resistance in any vertebrate population,” said Isaac Wirgin of NYU’s Department of Environmental Medicine and leader of the study I know that my philosophy here is to...
An Arachnid Alphabet
After over a week of searching, I could find no arachnid genus that begins with the letter “J.” Hence our friend down there, a specimen so poorly designed, it pains the heart to see it. Yes, it is well adapted for life in the Squiggly Forest, but we’re losing that at a rate of 100 bucket-fills per minute. At least it has been provided with tear ducts, that it might mourn its...
Active Harpy Eagle Nest Found in Maya Mountains of... →
From Science Daily: Jamie Rotenberg, UNC Wilmington assistant professor of environmental studies, along with researchers at the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE), is studying what is thought to be the first active Harpy Eagle nest ever recorded in Belize, where the predatory birds were previously thought to be extinct.
Wishing everyone a lovely and productive [belated] Darwin Day (I was too busy with this to post in a timely manner). “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin
Simple Marine Worms Distantly Related to Humans →
From Science Daily: Two groups of lowly marine worms are related to complex species including vertebrates (such as humans) and starfish, according to new research. Previously thought to be an evolutionary link between simple animals such as jellyfish and the rest of animal life — the worms’ surprising promotion implies that they have not always been as simple as they now appear.
Why Leatherback Turtles Linger in South Pacific... →
From Science Daily: Leatherbacks. They are the Olympians of the turtle world — swimming farther, diving deeper and venturing into colder waters than any other marine turtle species. But for all their toughness, they have still suffered a 90 percent drop in their population in the eastern Pacific Ocean over the last 20-plus years, largely at the hands of humanity.
An Arachnid Alphabet
Note: No photo appears in this installment of the Alphabet, as I could not find an image of this species, (or any other member of the Iomachus genus), licensed under the terms of either the GNU Free Documentation License, or Creative Commons, and I have not yet had the opportunity to photograph the animal myself. For reference, this flickr account features some lovely examples of I. politus. I -...
My Top 5 Artists (Week Ending 2011-2-6) →
Chris Isaak (29) The Decemberists (20) My Brightest Diamond (14) 16 Horsepower (14) Tom Waits (11) Imported from Last.fm Tumblr by JoeLaz
Secrets of Antarctica's fossilised forests. →
From BBC News: “We take it for granted that Antarctica has always been a frozen wilderness, but the ice caps only appeared relatively recently in geological history.”
NASA Finds Earth-Size Planet Candidates in... →
From Science Daily: NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in the habitable zone, a region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Five of the potential planets are near Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of smaller, cooler stars than our sun.