Crocodylian Snout Shape, Mammalian Carnivora, and Hominins

Crocodylians have a long and complex evolutionary history. More importantly, we have a large number of crocodylian fossils. I bring this up because of a number of interesting papers I have read recently that all have a common theme. In this post I will take a look at a paper by Christopher Brochu published in 2001 in the American Zoologist (Crocodylian Snouts in Space and Time: Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Adaptive Radiation, Amer. Zool., 41:564-585 [2001]).

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Interesting Anthropology in the News

There are a number of interesting anthropology stories in the news. My picks below the fold.

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Open Lab 2008

Coturnix mentions that the deadline for submissions to Open Lab 2008 is fast approaching. Readers are encouraged to look through my posts – any written since 12/20/07 – and submit whatever posts they found to be informative and well written. As Coturnix says:

Then take a look at your favourite bloggers and pick some of their best posts – don’t worry, we can deal with duplicate entries. Do not forget new and up-coming blogs – they may not know about the anthology – and submit their stuff as well.

So get out there and give some recognition to excellent science writing!

In Lieu of Know Your Primate: Attenborough’s Life of Mammals Part Three

Below the fold, as usual. Enjoy!

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Book Review: The Origin of Races by Carleton Coon

Awhile back Kambiz wrote a post about a recent paper by Mark Stoneking, during the course of which, Carleton Coon’s book got mentioned. When first published The Origin of Races created considerable controversy and Coon was roundly vilified by a number of physical anthropologists.
About 12 years ago, while in college, I happened to buy a used copy of Coon’s book, read about 60 pages and got sidetracked by other things. The post by Kambiz (and this one by Dienkes) caused me to pull the book out and read it in its entirety.

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Obama Predicted the Vile Republican Tactics

When I saw this on Coturnix’s Blog I knew I had to post it as well:

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Bill Nye on Naked Mole Rats

I haven’t mentioned those adorable and beautiful creatures called naked mole rats lately. So to make up for it there are a few videos below the fold.

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American Anthropological Association Nods In The General Direction of Open Access

The American Anthropological Association has announced that it will give open access to the American Anthropologist and Anthropology News. There are limitations, however. Starting in 2009 the AAA will give free access to issues published between 1888 and 1973. Basically, there will be a 35 year wait time on an article before it becomes available via open access. This is an small step in the right direction, many important articles will become available, but, and this is a big but, the field has changed vastly in the last 35 years. Part of the need for open access, it seems to me, is for people to have access to start of the art articles, something not found in a 35 year window. I’m not sure why it can’t be six months or one year like a lot of other science journals.
One does have to wonder, though, when the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and American Antiquity are going to follow…

Virunga National Park Website: Please Donate to Help Save The Gorillas

Virunga National Park has a website check it out. You can find also sorts of neat stuff – such as the video of the silverback below. Or this post about two baby, orphan, mountain gorillas. The park needs your help and to that end there are various categories and levels you cans choose if you would like to help the park. Just follow the link above.

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What Killed The First Family?

Lucy is, arguably, the most famous australopithecine fossil in the world. So famous, in fact, that she overshadows the remarkable collection known as the first family. The first family was discovered in the third season at Hadar and consists of over 200 bones representing 13-17 australopithecines. The exact manner of their death is something of a mystery.

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