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Archive for the ‘Evolution’ Category

There’s a species of small fish from the Amazon called the Splashing Tetra fish, Copella arnoldi, which have an amazing spawning ritual. The males periodically jump from the water up into low hanging foliage to find the right leaves under which they can land on and stick to. They then guard them until a suitable female mate comes along with which to reproduce. They line up at the water surface and propel themselves in perfect synchrony out of the water, into the air, and stick onto the back of the leaf side by side. There they lay several eggs at a time before falling back into the water and repeating the process until they’ve laid and fertilised around 60 or so eggs.

And that’s not all folks… At this point you’re probably having a slight evo-gasm or adapta-spasm like I am, but it gets better. The males apparently stick around for the following few days whilst the eggs develop and periodically splash the leaf, and eggs, with fresh water so they stay moist and oxygenated. After about two days the small fry (yep, that’s where it comes from, baby fish are called ‘fry’) fall to the water that dad has splashed up to them.

Mind blow…!

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Man… I just don’t get how this sort of thing can happen today. Especially not in a relatively developed country.

A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. – Article

Ironically, I send all of my PCR reactions to the South Korean branch of the DNA sequencing company Macrogen located in Seoul for sequencing…

The campaign was led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which aims to delete the “error” of evolution from textbooks to “correct” students’ views of the world, according to the society’s website. The society says that its members include professors of biology and high-school science teachers.

Who is anyone to personally decide what is or isn’t “error” in the scientific realm, but for the realm of science itself not some group of religious idiots? I’d love to see a list of these ‘professors of biology’ and ‘high-school science teachers’, as well as a list of their IQs.

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Dear readers, friends, ex-lovers and freethought badasses! I’m heading off to Sulawesi, Indonesia, tomorrow on a scientific research expedition into the jungle. I’ll predominantly be focusing on the capture of rodents, but there’ll be many other people along for the journey with us chasing all forms of creepy crawlies, lizards, frogs, mammals and birds.

For those of you who don’t know, Sulawesi is the K-shaped island located in the middle of Indonesia. It looks to be a pretty epic tropical island with beautiful beaches, dense jungles and incredibly high mountains.

I will undoubtedly be taking a shit load of photos, notes on my experience and hopefully coming home with a few new species in hand. Until my return, here are some photos from Google of Sulawesi’s tropical beaches, mountains and dense jungle.

I might also add, this is the animal I’m most excited to see besides all the awesome rodents I’ll hopefully be catch, the Sulawesi Palm CivetMacrogalidia musschenbroekii.

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I’ve been watching a heap of dissection documentaries recently for free on YouTube via a user named EvolutionDocumentary. They’re from the series with Richard Dawkins named Inside Nature’s Giants. It’s a paid account so all the documentaries are full length (no irritating 10 minute splits) and they have no ads either. WIN!

It’s incredibly interesting stuff so I definitely recommend having a look, and to make things easier I’ll relink them all here in sequential order.

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The first ever hybrid sharks have been discovered in Australian waters and is believed to be a cross between two species of black tip shark, the Common black tip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) and Australian black tip shark (Carcharhinus tilstoni).

They’re two very closely related shark species within the same genus and have overlapping distributions along the northern and eastern coastlines of Australia. This isn’t an isolated event either as apparently 57 individuals have been sampled from 5 locations across a 2000km stretch of ocean along northern NSW and far north Qld.

If this hybridization continued to occur on a large scale it could lead to something called reticulate evolution where two species combine back into a single one.

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The text will probably be too small to read in the image below so go here for the full sized one and be ready to have a stroke after reading this ‘review’ of The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition.

It was undoubtedly written by either Ray Comfort or one of his creationist minions, following his dissemination of ignorant this garbage, which received much harsher reviews unsurprisingly.

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Tyler Rhodes, a student in the animation program at Virginia Commonwealth University, wanted to create an evolution animation that wasn’t simply linear, but instead represented the true ‘tree-like’ process. So he enlisted the help of elementary school students and involved them in a type of game. They made sketches based on one original sketch, and allowed the resulting diversity to dictate survival of the fittest to future generations. For a detailed explanation of the process, see Carin Bondar’s post.

For more info

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