What, No Olduvai George Or Carel Brest van Kempen?

I stumbled across this interesting article on the history of artistic representations of our hominin ancestors written by Richard Milner and Ian Tattersall.

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Stonehenge Builders Village: The Video

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…

Four Stone Hearth Later Today

The Four Stone Hearth should be up later today at Northstate Science. Be sure and watch for it…

This Is What Happens When You Let Idiots Run The Country

From here. The President apparently didn’t head the “Do not operate heavy machinery” warnings on his medication(s).

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Stealing Toad Toxin

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.

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I Wonder If Martin Knows About This: First Irish Viking Ship

I’m sure Lynch would be interested as well, since it concerns Ireland. Yahoo News is reporting on what may be the first Viking vessel ever discovered in Ireland. The ship was found while dredging the River Boyne.

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Homo floresiensis: The Chamber Beneath Ling Bua

The Australian is reporting on a chamber beneath the Ling Bua cave where LB1 was found. According to the article the chamber was found last year:

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Homo floresiensis Again

National Geographic is reporting on a new study of microcephalics by Dean Falk.

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Revealing the True Me to John Davison

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….

Basics 101: Prologue to Dating Techniques

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.

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