Archive for January, 2012
In the sedimentary Golden Gate Highlands National Park rocks of South Africa in 1976 during road construction uncovered a paleontologist’s goldmine−a dinosaur nesting site.
The discovery eventually launched an international exploration the area the South African hills that started in 2006. This week, the results of the explorations were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Robert Reisz of the University of Toronto was the lead author. Continue Reading
A “treasure trove” of Charles Darwin fossils, rediscovered in a “gloomy corner” of the British Geological Survey (BGS) building where it lay unnoticed for more than 150 years, was one of this week’s media highlights. The story was covered by CBS, FOX, ABC, BBC, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Associated Press, and the Wall Street Journal.
In April 2011, British palaeontologist Howard Falcon-Lang at Royal Holloway, University of London, walking through the GBS building of earth sciences spotted an old wooden cabinet hidden in a forgotten corner and “pulled open the door without breaking it, and found a series of drawers containing hundreds of rock samples.”
Normal enough stuff, until he took one out. Continue Reading
In November 1859, Charles Darwin released the first edition of The Origin of Species. While an instant worldwide sensation – all 1250 copies sold on the first day – critics kept Darwin returning to the drawing board. Over the next thirteen years, Darwin edited, added and deleted major sections of The Origin of Species eventually leading to six editions. The Sixth Edition was published in February 1872.
Now, Ben Fry of Computational Information Design has retraced these evolutionary changes through Darwin’s six editions, chapter by chapter, highlighting the changes in a color-coded greeked version of the text at pixel-scale, as seen in the illustration. Continue Reading
“The origin of birds is a contentious and central topic within evolutionary biology” in the WIKIPEDIA opening line of the article entitled The Origin of Birds gives insight to the current state of the dinosaur-to-bird evolutionary debate.
Famous British evolutionist Richard Dawkins in Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science on the supporting side simply declares “Feathers are modified reptilian scales.” Continue reading