Category Archives:

evolution

If fish evolved on land, where did they all go? Evolution and Biodiversity in the Ocean

Challenging the Conventional Narrative, Core Themes for 2012, evolution, Focus on Nuance, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceFebruary 8, 2012

When Carl Sagan described our planet as a “pale blue dot” he was invoking the fact that, despite being called Earth, our world is mostly Ocean. The surface of the Earth is a little more than 70% water and the ocean accounts for 98-99% of our total biosphere–the volume of the planet that can support […]

Updates from the Deep: New and Noteworthy in Hydrothermal Vent Research

Conservation, deep sea, ecology, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, oceanography, ScienceJanuary 10, 2012

From hairy-chested yeti crabs to the deepest known fields, hydrothermal vents have been enjoying a bit of science celebrity in the last few weeks. Beneath the headlines, there has been an eruption of vent-related research published in the scientific literature and some exciting new expeditions just left port. The Discovery of New Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Communities in […]

That sinking feeling: Hog lagoons, superbugs, and the proliferation of antibiotics in livestock

agriculture, biology, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceJanuary 2, 2012

The murky brown water was still, reflecting, perfectly, the drifting clouds above. Had I not known what it was, an acre-wide manmade pond almost a dozen feet deep filled to the brim with hog feces, I might be tempted to describe it as “beautiful”. Hog lagoons like this are a common sight in North Carolina, […]

Better Conservation through Cloning: this cock doesn’t crow

biology, Conservation, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceDecember 7, 2011

I awoke one morning early last spring to a noise I has been dreading for weeks, the first crow of a chicken that was not supposed to be a rooster. It took me several minutes to fully register what I was hearing. Rather that the classic cock-a-doodle-do we often associate with the rooster’s crow, the sound emanating from my […]

America’s lust for gigantic breasts leads to impotence: the population genetics of captive-reared turkeys

biology, Conservation, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceNovember 23, 2011

The noble turkey, a centerpiece of the American Thanksgiving supper. It looms large from its prominent position on the dining room table. The master of ceremonies – or, in my case, the guy who keeps slicing himself open with various sharp objects yet is inexplicably the one people call on when there’s knife-work needs doing […]

Misunderstood Marine Life # 7 – The Living Fossils

evolution, History of Science, Natural Science, Ocean of Pseudoscience Week, ScienceOctober 3, 2011

Horseshoe Crabs, Coelacanths, Seven-gilled sharks, hagfish. Throughout the oceans there are creatures whose primitive bodies hearken back to earlier days in our evolutionary history. They possess basal characteristics that are more akin to those of the ancestors of our contemporary phyla. Because we can look into these organisms and learn something about our own deep past, we […]

In sexual selection and thermoregulation, bigger is better, at least for fiddler crabs

biology, ecology, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceSeptember 21, 2011

Imagine yourself a fiddler crab. For this exercise, imagine yourself a male fiddler crab. Are you with me? Great. Check out your right claw, it’s a sleek, slender machine, perfect for picking through the sand as you sift out bacteria and other microorganisms for food. It also makes a handy shovel for digging nice deep […]

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