So Does This Mean Australopithecines Walked On Their Hands?

Those paleontologists are always one methodological and theoretical step ahead of paleoanthropologists. Consider this new discovery about dinosaurs:

“Basically they scooted around by grabbing nearby vines with their mouths and pulling their bodies. Almost like a snake. What we used to think were legs were actually big flippers that flapped about in the air, driving them forward. Incredible.” Kirch told reporters that when you think about it, paleontology makes a lot more sense now.

Good Lord! I Hope They Don’t Team Up With The Cows!

Apparently, Chi ckens have better color vision than humans:

Scientists mapped five types of light receptors in the chicken’s eye. They discovered the receptors were laid out in interwoven mosaics that maximized the chicken’s ability to see many colors in any given part of the retina, the light-sensing structure at the back of the eye.

“Based on this analysis, birds have clearly one-upped us in several ways in terms of color vision,” says Joseph C. Corbo, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and assistant professor of pathology and immunology and of genetics. “Color receptor organization in the chicken retina greatly exceeds that seen in most other retinas and certainly that in most mammalian retinas.”

The Science Daily article reports on this PLoS One paper – which is really quite interesting and applies to avians in general. Birds have five types of cone photoreceptors and the paper examines the way they are distributed in the retina. I’m still in the process of reading the PLoS paper, which looks quite interesting, so I can only say that I hope the chickens don’t team up with the cows!

Steve Martin: King Tut

Yes, I know but I can’t resist…

I’m reading the Jama paper so just keep watching the above until further notice…or until you go insane….whichever.

Here is another from the comments:

The Cowpocalypse Has Begun!

I, for one, welcome our new bovine overlords:

People probably can’t tip cows, but a cow tipped a person in Knoxville. Then it stepped on him. An ambulance was called to the University of Tennessee agriculture campus Friday morning. Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran told The Knoxville News Sentinel first responders found a 40 to 50-year-old man who said he was working with cattle in a pen when one knocked him down and stepped on his chest.

This is only the beginning! The cows will have their revenge! Run for your lives!

Or am I being needlessly hysterical?

Doing Science

This is great!

funny pictures of cats with captions

A Picture For Bob O’H

I CAN HAS SHOGGOTH?

(Source)

Dinosaurs and Destruction

Hawks has already linked to this Onion piece but I can’t resist because it is pretty silly. Hawks left out the funniest bit, but I won’t:

To many paleontologists, such as Richard Hollander of the University of Michigan, exploring the various ways dinosaurs might have been slaughtered with today’s military technology is a vital area of study.
“It’s part of human nature to wonder what it would be like to crash a fully fueled F-14 Tomcat into a 60-foot-long, razor-toothed spinosaurus and then eject just before impact to see the chunks of smoking flesh flying in all directions as one gently parachutes to the ground,” Hollander said. “And it is a tremendous loss for science that we’ll never be able to take one of the smaller ones, like maybe the epidexipteryx, and smash it into mush with a shovel.”
“Or a golf club,” added Hollander, shaking his head. “Or a
chainsaw.”

It’s the chainsaw bit at the end that had me laughing hysterically (which, incidentally alarmed – actually it terrified – my coworkers).

Update One: The links have been fixed.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good ape

Afarensis and the War on Christmas

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about really bad Chistmas songs. In my continuing war on Christmas I have decided to revisit the issue. I have yet to find a song worse than the three I mentioned in that post (although McCartney’s song has been covered, shocking I know), what say you? What Christmas songs do you really despise?

Pandering To The Wicked: ACORN And The Law Of Unintended Consquences

So, Congress has passed a law against ACORN. Apparently, they can no longer get federal funding. Republicans are jubilant and elated in such. Then some smart ass read the bill. Continue reading