When Did Bipedal Locomotion Begin?

National Geographic and New Scientist are both reporting on a new study, in the journal Science, that provides an interesting angle on the question. The study is the result of over 3,000 observations on orangutan behavior in Sumatra (from New Scientist):

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Moths Add a New Wrinkle to the Mimicry Concept

I’m sure you are all familiar with mimicry, specifically the Batesian form where one species mimics the appearance of another, deadlier, species. Usually, mimicry is thought of in terms of color and color pattern, but a recent study in PNAS adds an interesting wrinkle – some moths mimic the sounds of poisonus or bad tasting moths to avoid predation by bats:

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Evolution of Animal Personalities

Seems like I’m living up to the “Evolution” part of my blogs name lately. Here is one more interesting evolution study. Science Daily is reporting on a study concerning the evolution of personalities in animals. As Science Daily points out:

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Mule Deer, White Tailed Deer and Distress Calls

Science Daily is reporting on an interesting study – published in Animal Behavior – comparing responses to fawn distress calls:

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Computer Scientists Studying Evolution

Science Daily reports on an interesting piece of research that explains the evolution of inflorescences. The lead author is a computer scientist (which I mention because IDists frequently invoke computer science to support their claims).

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Seed Magazine Science Essay Contest

Wouldn’t you love to have an extra $2,500 or $1,000? Well, now is chance to get it. all you have to do is write an essay for Seed Magazines writing contest. Rules are as follows:

The first prize is $2,500 and second prize is $1,000 for the best 1200-word essay on the following questions:
“What does it mean to be scientifically literate in the 21st century? How do we measure the scientific literacy of a society? How do we boost it? What is the value of this literacy? Who is responsible for fostering it?”

The submission deadline is July 1. Full details are here: http://seedmagazine.com/writingcontest/
Get to writing!

Is Bigfoot an Endangered Species?

If the Canadians have their way, the answer would be yes. According to Live Science a petition is being introduced into the Canadian Parliament that would place bigfoot under the protection of the Canadian version of the endangered species act. Says one member of parliament:

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Bullying in the Workplace: Afarensis Rants

Being an unwilling draftee in the army of corporate America, I am always interested in studies relating to the workplace. Science Daily reports on a study of workplace bullying:

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Chris O’Brien on T-Rex Teeth

Chris has an excellent post called More On Ham’s Creation Museum, Tyrannosaur Teeth And The Scientific Process that totally shreds the T-Rex coconut eater myth Ham is foisting off on unsuspecting visitors to his fantasyland. One wonders what some of the T-Rex specialists such as Erickson or Holtz would make of Ham’s argument. I haven’t checked yet, but I am sure there is an abundant literature on the morphology and function of T-Rex teeth.

Archaeology and Intelligent Design: The Lesson of the Awl

Shields Pueblo is located in southwestern Colorado. It was mainly occupied during the period running from 1050-1300 A.D. Excavations were carried out from 1997-2000. Among the items found were 207 whole or fragmentary bone awls (over 39,000 animal bones were recovered). Generally speaking, awls are considered multipurpose instruments and, consequently, it would be nice to narrow down the uses somewhat.

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