Many of you have heard about the recent paper by Mark Witton and Scibling Darren Naish called A Reappraisal of Azhdarchid Pterosaur Functional Morphology and Paleoecology. The paper has received a large amount of press due, mainly, to the conclusion that the Azhdarchids were terrestrial stalkers like some species of modern stork and ground hornbills. Ordinarily, I would be blogging about the osteological aspects of the paper – and there are plenty of them – but I want to focus on something different (and just as important for the paper). In the meantime, if you want to know more about the osteology Greg Laden sums it up for you. What I would like to focus on is the paleoecological and taphonomical aspects of the paper.
Where have I heard this before?. Apparently a company in Utah wants to increase it’s drilling activity in Nine Mile Canyon from 100-110 active wells to approximately 700-800 active wells. According to PhysOrg.Com the impact could be dire:
Chris of Highly Allochthonous has, what I consider to be, the funniest post ever. Especially this bit:
When the editors went through the footage they found it was all about “glacial erratics”.
I about fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard. Loved the bit at the end about paleoanthropologists…
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PNAS has a couple of interesting articles in the most recent edition. The first, The evolution of imperfect floral mimicry touches on a subject that fascinated Darwin. I don’t have access to the paper, but here is the abstract:
Species: Cacajao calvus rubicundus
Common Name: Bald Uakaris
There are three subspecies of Cacajao calvus; Cacajao calvus rubicundus, Cacajao calvus ucayali, and Cacajao calvus calvus. Not much is known about either subspecies. In this post I focus on Cacajao calvus rubicundus, or the red uakari.
Is this something we should be worried about? I understand that foot-and-mouth disease is nothing to mess around with, but I find this story somewhat perplexing. For example, the caption to the photo says, in part:
The Bush administration relied on a flawed study to conclude that research on a highly infectious animal disease could safely be moved from an isolated island laboratory to sites on the mainland near livestock, congressional investigators concluded in findings obtained by The Associated Press.
Kambiz and Anthropology.net have successfully negotiated their first year on WordPress. If you are unfamiliar with the site, check it out, it is one of the premier site on the net for anthropology news and discussion. If you are a regular reader of the site, go congratulate Kambiz and take his survey (I did).
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Between 1996 and 2006 an estimated 99,000 Burmese pythons were imported into the US, of these an estimated 30,000 now live in the Everglades. Worse yet, they, along with released Boas, are now breeding.