crabs, carcinization, and crappy headlines

This is a post of two parts: the interesting tale of convergence involving crab-like creatures, and the very poor – nay, crappy (because I like the alliteration) – headline on a popular article about it. Part 1: the history of carcinization in crustaceans, described in this 2017 paper in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society […]

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first steps: jerry desilva on the evolution of bipedalism

This morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my notes into this post, to […]

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a fishy story: midas cichlids in nicaraguan lakes

https://pixabay.com/photos/astronotus-fish-cichlid-aquarium-3528098/

Midas cichlids (Amphilophus spp.) are a popular aquarium fish, but in the wild they’re found in South America, ranging from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. The 2018 Schol Bio paper included a really interesting question about a Nicaraguan ‘species complex‘ of these fish, based on a paper in Nature Communications. and a monograph in Cuadernos de […]

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neandertals’ genetic legacy extends into africa

For the last few years it’s been pretty much received wisdom that African populations shared only a tiny proportion of their genes, if any, with Neanderthals. In contrast, other non-African sapiens populations had a small but significant admixture of Neanderthal genes. The underlying reason for this, it’s been assumed, is that Homo sapiens and neandertalensis only bred with […]

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