Pharyngula

The wisdom of worms

In my previous post about Paul Nelson’s weirdly ignorant view of nematode evolution, Kevin Anthoney made a prescient comment: Remember that Nelson’s got this bizarre linear view of evolution which starts with a single cell creature, which evolves into a creature with a few cells, which evolves into one with a few more cells, and…

Vast, dense swarms of migrating squid, all swirling about a boat. How can the sailors resist leaping into the water with them? I’m picturing millions of tiny beaks, each taking a tiny nip, and millions of tentacles, each stroking and rasping away a thin layer of skin, all in endless succession. And then as the…

There is, and today is it. This is World Tapir Day!

The latest fatuous obsession by Paul Nelson, Philosopher of Biology at the Discovery Institute, is a real corker. He has decided that nematodes could not possibly have evolved, because scientists (real ones, not creationist pseudoscientists) have produced an extremely detailed literature documenting their development; because Brenner, Horvitz, and Sulston (no creationists among them) won the…

Friday Cephalopod: Sexually voracious!

I am sure that’s exactly what you think when you see a picture of vampire squid. But it’s true! Where most cephalopods do the deed once, spawn, and die, Vampyroteuthis has multiple cycles of reproduction. Unfortunately, they’re also cold, gelatinous, and lethargic…which, if you think about it, is also what the undead vampire of myth…

This leafhopper is a myrmecomorph – it has sprouted lumpy dark extensions of its carapace that resemble an ant. It spends its whole life living in a costume!

They know how to use gadgets!

Beautiful and terrible

This is one of the loveliest fossils I’ve ever seen. They are the bones of a Neanderthal, found in a cave in southern Italy, and although they’ve been calcified by mineral-rich water trickling through the cave where they were found, it’s an almost complete skeleton, with the bones all intact. That’s the grisly part of…

Ken Ham is such a disappointment. He has this regular series of short radio-style bits of apologetics, and they are dreary and boring. I had hopes for this one, about “Carnivores Before the Fall (Leopard Seals)” — I expected some juicy stories about what these big, large-fanged predators ate before the Fall. This, for example,…