Pharyngula

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Our HHMI students are going to the Morris Theater tonight to watch Finding Dory (fish are biological, so it fits). You’re all welcome to join us at 7!

Conodontia

Conodonts are strange and extinct animals that left behind lots of fossils: their teeth. Practically nothing else but teeny-tiny, jagged, pointy teeth. I remember when the animals themselves were total mysteries, and no one even knew what phylum they belonged to — it was only in the 1980s that a few eel-like soft tissue fossils…

This is kind of awesome: cephalopods only have one kind of photoreceptor, so it was thought that they would be only able to see the world in shades of gray. Those amazingly clever camouflage tricks they pull? That was just matching intensities and textures, fooling our eyes. But now someone has figured out a way…

Gene activity in the dead

Now you’ve got another paper you can file with that dead salmon fMRI paper: one that analyzes the transcriptome, or excuse me, the thanatotranscriptome, of dead zebrafish and mice. You should not be surprised to learn that when a multicellular organism dies, it’s not as if every single cell is abruptly extinguished: the integrated, functional…

Meanwhile, in Kentucky…

This week, Nature has an article on the reconstruction of global tectonics during the past 200 million years. In Science, we can read about a thorough analysis of a site where a mastodon was butchered by North American hunter-gatherers 14,550 years ago. And of course, the big news, scientists have put a probe in orbit…

The theme of this year’s con is “…and how do we GET there”, which means we really should have a session on octopus locomotion.

It takes a fool to deny the obvious

Neil Shubin reports that Bible tracts have begun appearing in copies of his book, Your Inner Fish, in bookstores. He even has photographic evidence. This is remarkable news. We now know how bible tracts are made: they are degenerate forms descended from more complex and sophisticated texts, and they appear spontaneously when two pages, who…

Friday Cephalopod: Dangerously fecund