You know me, I’m not one to brag. But…
One of several interesting things I did over the weekend was attend a special cinema screening (in Clapham, London) of the giant squid special episode of Inside Nature’s Giants. It was great, and the showing was followed by a Q&A session with David Dugan (ING writer/producer), presenter Mark Evans, and anatomist Joy Reidenberg. It was great to meet and chat with Joy – here’s photographic proof. I gave her a copy of Tetrapod Zoology Book One*.
* Or… should that be Tetrapood Zoology Book One? The publishers are aware of the mistake and will be re-issuing the book. So, if you own a first impression, it’s soon to become a valuable collector’s item.
There’s loads of good news on ING to come, none of which I can share! But I will say that DVD releases are planned. One of many things covered in the Q&A session concerned the phenomenal amount of planning involved in the giant squid episode (and some of the others): hats off to Tom Mustill and all the others for their behind-the-scenes work on what is definitely one of the most remarkable television events in history. Also interesting are the differences between the British screening and American one: in the USA, the series is called Raw Anatomy. It lacks the Richard Dawkins bits, and (so I understand, please correct if I misunderstood) doesn’t feature any of the stuff on ecology and behaviour, nor the introductory segments featuring Mark Evans. You poor, poor Americans.
Thanks to Joy and everyone else involved for making the evening what it was. Among other things, we spoke about camel necks, turtle growth rates, pharyngeal pouches, data sets and big phylogenies, and the ‘Milinkovitch et al. hypothesis’ of cetacean phylogeny (where sperm whales are closer to mysticetes than to other odontocetes [shown here, from Milinkovitch (1995)]: if you want to check it out, see Milinkovitch (1995) and Milinkovitch et al. (1993, 1995). The hypothesis is definitely not parsimonious). Rose-Heather Mik of The Armchair Zoologist and John Conway of pterosaur.net and Ontograph Studios were also there. John and I drank some really weird drinks.
By the way, we’re not done yet on Caperea. My focus on skeletal anatomy has caused me to neglect some other very interesting things about the animal; I’ll get to them in time.
For articles on ING and mentioning Joy and her work, see…
- Inside Nature’s Giants: a major television event worthy of praise and accolade. Part I!
- Inside Nature’s Giants part II: whale guts and hindlimbs ahoy
- Enough mammals for the time being: crocodiles on Inside Nature’s Giants (part III)
- Inside Nature’s Giants part IV: the incredible anatomy of the giraffe
- Inside Nature’s Giants, series 2: does Carcharodon bite?
- Monster pythons of the Everglades: Inside Nature’s Giants series 2, part II
- Dissecting lions and tigers: Inside Nature’s Giants series 2, part III
Refs – –
Milinkovitch, M. C. 1995. Molecular phylogeny of cetaceans prompts revision of morphological transformations. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 10, 328-334.
– ., Ortí, G. & Meyer, A. 1993. Revised phylogeny of whales suggested by mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. Nature 361, 346-348.
– ., Ortí, G. & Meyer, A. 1995. Novel phylogeny of whales revisited but not revised. Molecular and Biological Evolution 12, 518-520.