Anatomy

Category archives for Anatomy

Size and Scaling in Hominid Evolution

Stephen Jay Gould and David Pilbeam wrote a paper in 1974 that was shown ten years later to be so totally wrong in its conclusions that it has fallen into an obscurity not usually linked to either Gould or Pilbeam. However, they were actually right in ways that they could not have anticipated. And even…

This finger needs a ring! (soure) … then it’s OK if the ‘woman’ is a guy in drag, right? The couple walked into a Norfolk courthouse on a spring day, exchanged a few words, and within 10 minutes, were seemingly husband and wife. It was an unremarkable ceremony – except that several weeks later, officials…

Deconstructed and Constructed, but not in the same sentence. Philip Guston’s “Sea,” a lithograph on handmade paper from 1980, the year the artist died. Students at Cornell have constructed an exhibit of the art of human body disassembled or otherwise rearranged called Exquisite Corpus: Interacting with the Fragmented Body which is on exhibit through June…

And don’t forget: Blood is NEVER blue!

The Boneyard XIII

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr…. Welcome to the Lucky 13th Edition of The Boneyard … the Web Carnival about Bones and Stuff. “The Boneyard is a blog carnival covering all things paleo, from dinosaurs to pollen to hominids and everywhere in between. It’s held every two weeks (the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month), traveling around to a…

There is an updated version of this post here: “Is Blood Ever Blue, Science Teachers Want To Know!“ According to one of the leading experts on the human circulatory system, blood flowing through veins is blue. I’m not going to mention any names. All I’ll say is this: A person I know visited a major…

The question is basic: Is evolutionary change largely random or is it more often shaped by selective forces? The former is linked to what is called Neutral Theory, and it has a lot of support, to the extent that it most likely true. The latter is part of what is sometimes known as the Adaptationist…

The ape human split is a bit of a moving target. In the 1970s and early 1980s, there were geneticists who placed it at very recent (close to 4 million years ago) and palaeoanthropologists, using fossils, who placed it at much earlier. During the 1980s, the ape-human split moved back in time because of the…

There is a new paper out suggesting that the Flores hominids, known as Hobbits, were “human endemic cretins.” From the abstract of this paper: … We hypothesize that these individuals are myxoedematous endemic (ME) cretins, part of an inland population of (mostly unaffected) Homo sapiens. ME cretins are born without a functioning thyroid; their congenital…

The Origin of the Human Smile

A colleague and grad student of mine, Rob, just sent me the following question, slightly edited here: A student in my intro class asked me a good question the other day to which I had no answer. When did smiling cease to be a threat gesture? I have a couple of ideas. One is that…