Darwin at the museum

Well, I've finally made it up to Auckland, to go to the 'Darwin' exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum. And it's as good as I'd hoped.  If you live in Auckland, or you're visiting, do try to go & see it. It's a wonderful walk through Darwin's life and through his development of the theory of evolution.

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“Punk eek” and speciation

The concept of punctuated evolution – bursts of evolutionary novelty separated by long periods of stasis – was first proposed by Stephen Jay Gould & Niles Eldredge in 1972. Since then, there's been an ongoing debate among evolutionary biologists about how significant ‘punk eek' could be in the evolution of new species. (Remember that they aren't […]

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The risks of sex (well, one of them, anyway)

That got your attention, didn't it? Being male can be a risky business. In a butterfly called Hypolimna bolina, there's a rather nifty bacterial parasite called Wolbachia that has unfortunate effects on male butterflies. It's carried down the maternal line and kills off male embryos. Just the males. This can result in some pretty skewed sex ratios. (And presumably an […]

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