VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Cambrian Mollusk: Does It Help Animal Evolution Story?

A soft-bodied mollusk named Odontogriphus known from the Burgess Shale, placed in the Middle Cambrian, has been described in more detail in Nature.1  If the Middle Cambrian is well after the Cambrian explosion, how can the authors claim this pushes the story of animal evolution far back into the Precambrian, before the explosion?  A reporter […]

Rockfish Prefer Oil-Rig Real Estate

Environmentalists may complain about offshore oil platforms, but the rockfish in the Santa Barbara channel aren’t paying attention.  According to a study announced by UC Santa Barbara, rockfish are finding better living through human chemistry.  The platforms provide security and prime nursing habitat, such that their numbers, once dangerously low, are now resurging.  The artificial […]

Bioneers Update: International Conference Held on Animal-Inspired Design

Georgia Tech came out with a press release about progress at their Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID) that opened last year (see 10/29/2005).  At a two-day conference May 11-12, international representatives from 20 institutions shared their inspirations on how nature can “help them solve some of the most complex problems of the day,” just […]

Q: Who Fights With Supercharged Harpoons?  A: Jellyfish

Weak, transparent, limp, and drifting in the water – who would have thought these creatures possess one of the most powerful weapons in the animal kingdom?  Jellyfish and hydras have stinging cells called nematocysts that fire so fast, no one has been able to catch the action of their microscopic harpoons – till now.   […]

Sea Monster Found Under Davy Yones’ Locker

The deepest dinosaur bone ever found, a part of a Plateosaurus, has been found by Norwegians 1.4 miles under the North Sea floor. This sets a new depth record for a dinosaur fossil. According to Live Science, “Researchers said it’s quite possible there are many more fossils down there.” More on National Geographic News, News@Nature […]

Fish-o-pod ‘Missing Link’ Discovered: Media Goes Nuts

Evolutionists could hardly feel more relieved.  Just when anti-evolutionary sentiment is on the rise, a new fossil has been announced that gives pro-evolutionists a missing link to run up the fishpole, and boy, did the media salute.  Neil Shubin (U of Chicago) and two partners found a “tetrapod-like fish” fossil on a Canadian island.  It […]

Experimental Biologists Look to Animals for Inspiration

Whether insects, fish, birds or mammals, animals have a lot to teach scientists and engineers.  Here are some recent stories that begin to answer, “How do they do that?” with hopes that humans might be able to mimic their feats. Hard sponges:  Aimee Cunningham in Science News (03/25/2006; 169:12, p. 184) described the astonishment Joanna […]

Undersea Lost World Found in Caribbean

No sooner had news spread about a treasure trove of animals in the jungles of Papua (see 02/07/2006 story) than scientists announced another in Neptune’s realm.  The BBC News and MSNBC reported that “An underwater mountain with some of the richest diversity of marine life in the Caribbean has been found by scientists.”     […]

Marine Unicorn Tusk is a Precision Sensor

Unicorns exist – in the north sea.  Not horses, these are marine mammals, called narwhals, a kind of whale that sports a unique spiraling tooth that gives them the appearance of a unicorn.  Scientists have puzzled for centuries over what these tusks are for.  Leading theories were that males used them for joisting to defend […]

News from the Cretaceous

Here are some recent stories about extinct reptiles and bird-like creatures from the age of dinosaurs. T. Rex Smelled Good:  A story in Science1 listed evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex had a large olfactory bulb, giving it a good sense of smell.  Analysis of the visual and auditory parts of the skull suggest that it also […]

Sea Monsters Were For Real

A large fossil crocodile-like sea monster with a bullet-shaped snout has been reported in Science.1  See MSNBC News for a summary.  For an artistic rendering of what Dakosaurus andiniensis might have looked like, see National Geographic News, which states that the discovery will be the December cover story of their magazine.  Dubbed “Godzilla” by its […]

Genome Complexity No Measure of Evolution

Do genes show an increasing pattern of complexity from lower to higher organisms?  Not necessarily, reported Elizabeth Pennisi in Science Now.  Cnidarians, including sea anemones and corals, for example, show almost as much complexity in their genomes as humans, whereas fruit flies and worms, seemingly more complex than cnidarians (06/25/2005, 2nd par.) appear to have […]

Emperor Penguins Get More Respect

A handsomely-dressed emperor penguin made the cover of Science News this week.  Gerald Kooyman of Scripps Institute is gratified over the success of the documentary March of the Penguins; “I’ve been telling people they’re remarkable for years,” he said.  In the article, Susan Milius brought out several additional amazing facts not mentioned in the film. […]

Ancient Reptiles Exceed Textbook Explanations

Each new fossil from China’s Liaoning province seems to force a rewrite of the textbooks.  National Geographic News reported on fossils of pterosaurs with “much higher diversity… than one could possibly expect.”  Two species found in the Jehol area (02/21/2003) had long beaks with sharp teeth, and wingspans up to 8 feet.  “It was once […]

Shark Glows in the Dark

The “Eye-in-the-Sea” infrared camera (see 08/26/2004) found all kinds of exotic life in the Gulf of Mexico, reported EurekAlert with pictures.  The submersible with its dark-light camera is able to sneak up on organisms without scaring them.  The team from Harbor Branch had to dodge Hurricane Katrina, but scored on its second annual mission with […]
All Posts by Date