Linnaeus’ Legacy #2


A crude evolutionary tree drawn by Charles Darwin in his first “transmutation” notebook around July 1837.

Welcome, dear reader, to the second edition of the taxonomically-oriented blog carnival Linnaeus’ Legacy, founded by fellow science blogger Christopher Taylor. Here’s the “view from the top” as to what science bloggers have been saying about taxonomy and systematics this month;

  • For quite a while now it’s been understood that birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs, but how flight first evolved and just how dinosaur-like or bird-like some of the transitional species were still yield a lot of unanswered questions. A DC Birding Blog helps fill in some of the gaps with a summary of a recent study on claws and cursorial habits.
  • Systematics and Biogeography Blog has a piece on Swiss systematism Adolf Naef, of which John Wilkins of Evolving Thoughts has a very thorough critique.
    • Christopher Taylor picks out a prize example from a veritable harvest of harvestmen for his Taxon of the Week segment on Catalogue of Organisms.
    • Darren Naish gives us the skinny on a whole new sort of sauropod, Xenoposeidon proneneukos, at Tetrapod Zoology. Don’t forget to check the always-interesting SV-POW! for a more detailed look at the vertebra that’s sure to shake things up a bit (starting with #1).
    • Taxonomy and systematics aren’t stale sciences that hold little relevance to the rest of biology; they are incredibly important, especially in a world where we’re losing species that have not been named or adequately studied. But you don’t have to take my word for it; just ask Hugh Downs.

    [Hat-tip to Stranger Fruit]

    The next edition will be hosted on January 5th by prolific blogger (and fellow Scibling) Greg Laden.


  1. #1 Michael D. Barton
    December 6, 2007

    Nice job, Brian… I like your using Darwin’s tree of life sketch…

  2. #2 Zach Miller
    December 6, 2007

    I like that tree of life, too. Reminds me of Full Metal Alchemist a bit. Of course, “transmutation” is in there, too…
    Okay, so we’ve got another blog carnival. That means I can’t just rely on those Eotriceratops posts to carry me through the Boneyard. Darn you, Taylor! Now I have to write TWO kick-ass posts every two weeks. 🙂

    But I like this carnival. I’m a bit of a taxonomist myself, so it’s good to see a carnival that focuses on that.

  3. #3 Christopher Taylor
    December 6, 2007

    And if you don’t get them written, Zach, I will have no choice but to look pityingly at you and sigh quietly, because you didn’t fulfil your part of the equivalent exchange (I don’t watch Full Metal Alchemist, but my partner does).

    Thanks for your work, Brian!

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