I stumbled across this interesting article on the history of artistic representations of our hominin ancestors written by Richard Milner and Ian Tattersall.
National Geographic has video of the neolithic village found at Stonehenge
Amusing quote from the video:
These are people who knew how to party.
Fascinating stuff that also includes footage of Durrington Walls…
Filed under: Archaeology | Comments Off
Some of you may remember my post on chemical warfare in the insect world. In that post, I mentioned:
Chrysomeline (Leaf) beetles, for example, have chemical defense glands. Originally, they synthesized the chemicals themselves. During the course of their evolution, however, the became dependent on plant hosts to acquire the chemicals they use for defense (in other words, they incorporate the host plants toxins into their own defense system).
Fireflies illustrate another, creepy, way insects can acquire chemical defenses. Female fireflies of the genus Photuris imitate females of the genus Photinus. Once they attract a male of the genus Photinus they eat him! Photinus species have a chemical called lucibufagin (similar to a chemical found in the chinese toad) which are extremely noxius to the insects that prey on fireflies (mainly jumping spiders). So female Photuris acquire the chemical by ingesting male Photinus. Then when attacked they engage in what is called reflexive bleeding and the chemical in their blood drives the predator away. They also incorporate the chemical into eggs when they lay them so their offspring is protected.
Today I have another example of both these phenomena, this time among vertebrates.
Davison was on a previous thread whining about the fact that I am a pseudoanonymous blogger. As you listen to this, just change the word “men” to “afarensis” and the letter “m” to the letter “a” (Davison is good at changing letters so this should be easy for him).
Now that I have revealed that I am part of AIB (thats Afarensis in Black) to you all, expect someone to show up with a mindflash thingy to give you new memories….
As you are no doubt aware, ScienceBlogs has started a new multiblog series on science basics. Several people have suggested I do a few posts on dating techniques, such as radiocarbon, which I am happy to do. Before I get started on that (I was planning on doing several other techniques as well) I would like to throw this out for your consideration.