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Antipatharia: The Black Corals
The black coral Antipathes, copyright Jez Tryner.One piece of trivia I've learnt while looking stuff up for this post: the genus name Antipathes, from which the whole group of the Antipatharia derives its name, was coined to refer to the supposed ability of black coral to cure illnesses and protect against evil. It almost goes without saying that I found no indications that this evaluation was warranted.The black corals of the Antipatharia are a group of colonial, sessile cnidarians that are […]
RNA-mediated ecological adaptation is not evolution
Prehistoric Critters Change View of Mammal Evolution Three extinct squirrel-like species were identified from Jurassic-era fossils in China. By Molly Sharlach | September 12, 2014 Excerpt 1): “The fossils suggest that the slender animals spent time in trees, and had...Read more
Ig Nobel winner (Chickens Prefer Beautiful Winners) on dog breeds
BiblioChile reports on a new paper by Ig Nobel Prize winner (“Chickens Prefer Beautiful People“) Stefano Ghirlanda. Here’s an auto-translation of the beginning of that report: How dogs movies have influenced the alteration dog breeds in the world “Chickens prefer the pretty people” headlined an amazing scientific study published in 2002. At work, led by […]
Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur: Spinosaurus
Scientists today unveiled what appears to be the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water some 95 million years ago, providing the most compelling evidence to date of a dinosaur able to live and hunt in an aquatic environment. The fossils … Continue reading →
Mammals may have originated much earlier than thought
Paleontologists have described three new small squirrel-like species that place a poorly understood Mesozoic group of animals firmly in the mammal family tree. The study supports the idea that mammals — an extremely diverse group that includes egg-laying monotremes such as the platypus, marsupials such as the opossum, and placentals like humans and whales — … Continue reading →
Drivers of rich bird biodiversity in Neotropics identified
New research challenges a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America. The study suggests that tropical bird speciation is not directly linked to geological and climate changes, as traditionally … Continue reading →
Paleontologists discover new species of titanosaurian dinosaur in Tanzania
Paleontologists have identified a new species of titanosaurian, a member of the large-bodied sauropods that thrived during the final period of the dinosaur age, in Tanzania. Although many fossils of titanosaurians have been discovered around the globe, especially in South America, few have been recovered from the continent of Africa. The new species, named Rukwatitan … Continue reading →
Exploding genomes and chromosomal rearrangements via RNA-mediated events
Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes This is an open access article reported as: Gibbon genome sequence deepens understanding of primates rapid chromosomal rearrangements Excerpt: The number of chromosomal rearrangements in the gibbons is remarkable, Rogers...Read more



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