Current Anthropology Volume 53, Supplement 6

Current Anthropology Vol 53 Supplement 6 is open access. For those who haven’t seen it, it was published in December of 2012, the articles come out of a Wenner-Gren Symposium titled “Human Biology and the Origins of Homo.”

Bacteria Made Of Star Stuff

One of the best at explaining science was Carl Sagan. One recurring theme in Sagan’s works can be seen in the quote below:

And we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos we’ve begun, at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff, contemplating the stars organized collections of 10 billion-billion-billion atoms contemplating the evolution of matter tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet Earth and perhaps, throughout the cosmos.

Or consider the video below: Continue reading

In Memoriam: Ray Harryhausen

According to the LA Times Ray Harryhausen has passed away. He will be missed.

Dinosaur Eggs: Troodon formosus

The other day I mentioned an interesting study on dinosaur embryos, a day or so later a study on incubation strategies in Troodon was published in Paleobiology. I don’t have access to this article so I will have to rely on the the abstract and the press release on Science Daily. Continue reading

Joshua Tree National Park Closures and Social Media: This Sucks!

Parts of the Joshua Tree National Park have been closed due to vandalism in both canyons and to some archaeological sites. The Inquisitr has more:

In addition to allowing park workers time to repair some of the damage, the Joshua Tree closures will give them an opportunity to investigate the crime. The park officials strongly suspect the vandals are involved in a social media campaign which involves sharing photos of their graffiti on Facebook.

However, they haven’t revealed if they’re looking at specific Facebook pages or if they have any leads on specific criminals. They did ask if you see something to report it to park workers.

Yeah, you read that right vandals are, possibly, sharing pictures of their destruction via social media. I can’t imagine what there is in these acts of destruction that would be worth bragging about via Facebook, but, in the words of Vonnegut “Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”

Interesting Video: Mesa: Hohokam Civilization in the Salt River Valley

This is pretty cool!

Dinosaur Embryos: Lufengosaurus

I’m currently working my way through the Australopithecus sediba articles mentioned in the previous post. In the meantime, in wandering around the internet there are a number of things make a science story jump out and say “write about me!” First, if it uses a methodology that answers the question “how do we know?” Second, if it is about life history. Third, if it combines the first two with dinosaurs.

Science Daily (World’s Oldest Dinosaur Embryo Bonebed Yields Organic Remains) points us to a research paper that has all three (plus more). The paper, Embryology of Early Jurassic dinosaur from China with evidence of preserved organic remains, was published in Nature. I don’t have access to the Nature paper so I will have to rely on the Science Daily press release. Continue reading

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