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Swifts Don’t Just Dream of Flying…

…they fly while dreaming.  Did you know that swifts, the aerial acrobats of the air, sleep on the wing?  That’s not all, they adapt their wing shape to turn on a dime.  Science Daily summarized the cover story of Nature this week (April 26) that examined “wing morphing” in swifts – their ability to change […]

Time for Mammals

Three recent news stories about mammals involve time.  Does nature time things well, or do evolutionists tell swell things about time?  Time will tell. Placental mammals – Watch those assumptions:  How much can you trust dates that can vary by 50%?  A report in Science Daily says the new “consensus” date for the appearance of […]

Scientists Track Homing Pigeons with GPS

How do homing pigeons find their way?  Scientists are still not sure.  They know that the birds use a sun compass and magnetic fields, but what other cues guide them back to the specific roost they know as home?  A new study shows they are smarter than we thought.  They use multiple cues and weigh […]

Spider Silk Admired, Not Duplicated

Spiders still maintain the edge in a technology humans want: a material that absorbs huge amounts of energy without breaking.  The dragline silk spun by spiders is extremely robust – ounce for ounce stronger than steel, yet more flexible than Kevlar.  If a web the size of a football field could be erected in the […]

Cave Chimps Suggest Cave Men

Some chimpanzees have been found in Senegal using caves for shelter from the heat.  Jill Pruetz (Iowa State) took note of this and is publishing a paper about it in Primates.  National Geographic speculated that this sheds light on human origins: The adaptations of savanna chimpanzees are particularly interesting to researchers because early humans are […]

Preprocessed Sound Produces Tone Map in the Brain

Most of us know that our ears involve three domains: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.  We learned in school how the eardrum transmits the sound to tiny bones that transmit it to fluid in the cochlea, which stimulates hair cells that send the impulses down the auditory nerve to the […]

Evolution to the Rescue for Abused Ape

The UK Guardian reports that Austrian courts are being asked to grant human status to an ape to allow it to sue a company for importing it into Austria for medical research.  In 1999, New Zealand granted “non-human hominid” status to apes to protect them from maltreatment, but this case attempts to give full human […]

Box Jellyfish Sees and Reacts with “Human-Like Vision”

Who would expect a jellyfish to have complex eyes?  Updating what we reported previously about complex optics in the 24 eyes of the box jellyfish (see 05/15/2005), Live Science says the most complex eyes are found on the top and bottom of the cube-like “head” of the animal, “giving it an extreme fish-eye view, so […]

New Dinos Found; What Do They Mean?

There is often a wide gap between the bones that are found and the stories that are told about them.  As new dinosaur bones come to light, some reporters cannot resist imagining all kinds of things about their lifestyles.  Here are two recent examples.  As a bonus, we’ll add a non-dinosaur reptile story or two. […]

Missing Link, or Just Jawboning About Ear Evolution?

Tetrapod vertebrates (four-footed animals with backbones) comprise a dizzying array of species, both living and extinct.  When is it justifiable to arrange different forms into an ancestral evolutionary sequence, especially when some members are extinct and others are still alive today?  On what basis can scientists claim that a discovery demonstrates evolution?  Some Chinese scientists […]

The Amazing Pigeon Techno-Beak

How do homing pigeons find home?  Scientists at University of Frankfurt may have found the answer: magnetic minerals in their beaks.  A press release from Springer Publications describes the amazing pigeon techno-beak: In histological and physicochemical examinations in collaboration with HASYLAB, the synchrotron laboratories based in Hamburg, Germany, iron-containing subcellular particles of maghemite and magnetite […]

Is a 100-Year Misunderstanding about Plants Solved?

Part of “one of the biggest misunderstandings in botanical history,” a plant has moved from an upper part of the family tree down to the bottom.  Trithuria submersa, an underwater flowering plant from India and Australia that was thought to be a monocot is really not a cot at all, says Science Daily reporting on […]

Evolutionary Predictions Fail Observational Tests

Lately, some expectations by evolutionists have not been fulfilled.  Here are several recent examples of evolutionary upsets: Dinobird genes cook up scrambled eggs:  Scientists expected that the dinosaurs presumed ancestral to birds would show a decreasing genome size.  The thinking was that the cost of maintaining a large genome takes its toll on flight.  In […]

Turtles Hurtle Through the Sea Magnetically

Experiments on sea turtles have shown that they follow the earth’s magnetic field to the exact beach where they were born to lay their eggs.  “It is almost as if they were equipped with a compass pointing towards the beach in question,” says an article on EurekAlert.  “So they can correct any deflection they are […]

The Moth in Spider’s Clothing

National Geographic News has a picture story about a moth that mimics a jumping spider.  It appears to work.  Scientists staged a battle royale between contestants of mimics and non-mimics in the ring with their jumping spider enemies, and the mimics won hands down.  The spiders went for the normal moths 62% of the time, […]
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