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  • July 7, 2011
  • 12:01 AM
  • 2,417 views

Forests and Water, part 2: Razing Arizona...

by Matthew Garcia in Hydro-Logic

As I post this, the 2011 Wallow Fire in the the Apache National Forest in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico (pictured in part 1) has become the largest wildfire in Arizona's history (~540,000 acres) and is finally under a significant level of containment. The Wallow Fire was started, it seems, by people; it was fueled, however, by an ongoing southwestern drought and nearly a century of forest and wildlands mismanagement that have left massive quantities of vulnerable tinder in place. ........ Read more »

  • July 6, 2011
  • 03:17 PM
  • 2,539 views

To Visualize Dinosaurs, Scientists Try Paint-by-Numbers

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Now that we know some dinosaurs had down or feathers instead of the scales we used to imagine, there are intriguing new questions to be answered. Did forest-dwelling species use patterned feathers for camouflage? Did other dinosaurs use flashy colors for communication or courtship, like modern birds do? Using new imaging techniques, scientists are beginning to color in their dinosaur outlines. In previous studies, researchers have scoured fossils of dinosaurs and early birds for melanosomes........ Read more »

Wogelius, R., Manning, P., Barden, H., Edwards, N., Webb, S., Sellers, W., Taylor, K., Larson, P., Dodson, P., You, H.... (2011) Trace Metals as Biomarkers for Eumelanin Pigment in the Fossil Record. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1205748  

  • July 6, 2011
  • 10:46 AM
  • 1,934 views

Has a Tiny Tyrant Been Dethroned?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

A 2009 discovery of a new tiny tyrant has been called into question by a recently released study... Read more »

  • July 5, 2011
  • 04:11 PM
  • 1,719 views

The Tertiary: Birds, Whales, Humans and Climate Change

by Marc in Teaching Biology

For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] In this talk, the lack of structure that I mentioned earlier is very apparent, as we go through three not-directly-related topics. First, we will look at two select examples of vertebrates that underwent spectacular changes in the Tertiary. Second, we [...]... Read more »

Uhen, M. (2010) The Origin(s) of Whales. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 38(1), 189-219. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-earth-040809-152453  

Thuiller, W., Lavergne, S., Roquet, C., Boulangeat, I., Lafourcade, B., & Araujo, M. (2011) Consequences of climate change on the tree of life in Europe. Nature, 470(7335), 531-534. DOI: 10.1038/nature09705  

  • July 5, 2011
  • 10:15 AM
  • 1,722 views

Nectocaris: What the heck is this thing?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

On May 27th, 2010 paleontologists Martin Smith and Jean-Bernard Caron announced that they had found a spectacular solution to one of the fossil record’s long-running mysteries. Since its description in 1976, the 505 million year old fossil Nectocaris pteryx from British Columbia’s famous Burgess Shale had vexed scientists. Known from a single specimen – appearing [...]... Read more »

  • July 5, 2011
  • 07:51 AM
  • 2,474 views

The truth, the hole truth…

by thesoftanonymous in the.soft.anonymous

In October 2009, an otherworldly cloud formation appeared over Moscow. The Sun (the newspaper, not the yellow ball in the sky) promptly announced the appearance of a ‘mystery UFO halo’ and, before too long, internet message boards were awash with … Continue reading →... Read more »

Heymsfield, A., Thompson, G., Morrison, H., Bansemer, A., Rasmussen, R., Minnis, P., Wang, Z., & Zhang, D. (2011) Formation and Spread of Aircraft-Induced Holes in Clouds. Science, 333(6038), 77-81. DOI: 10.1126/science.1202851  

  • June 29, 2011
  • 10:58 PM
  • 2,699 views

The Ocean Mood of Saturn

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

From Wikimedia Commons: Dramatic plumes, both large and small, spray water ice out from many locations along the famed "tiger stripes" near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Original source: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Sixty two moons orbit Saturn.  The sixth largest of these at just 300 miles in diameter is Enceladus named after . . . → Read More: The Ocean Mood of Saturn... Read more »

  • June 28, 2011
  • 10:20 PM
  • 1,862 views

The Origin of Modern Biodiversity: Coevolution of Flowers and Insects

by Marc in Teaching Biology

For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] This talk is split into two major parts: the first will look at the general fossil record of insects, and the second will introduce the flowering plants and their interactions with insects. Due to the constructive feedback received in the [...]... Read more »

Rust, J., Singh, H., Rana, R., McCann, T., Singh, L., Anderson, K., Sarkar, N., Nascimbene, P., Stebner, F., Thomas, J.... (2010) Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of a diverse paleobiota in amber from the early Eocene of India. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(43), 18360-18365. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007407107  

Friedhelm Eichmann. (2003) Aus dem Leben im Bernsteinwald. Arbeitskreis Paläontologie Hannover, 31(4), 89-94. info:/

  • June 28, 2011
  • 04:49 PM
  • 1,729 views

Mesozoic Vertebrates

by Marc in Teaching Biology

For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] We will now look at the aftermath of the P-T Extinction on terrestrial vertebrate life, in other words look at what the vertebrates of the Mesozoic were like. The most famous representatives are, of course, the dinosaurs, so we will [...]... Read more »

Sander, P., Christian, A., Clauss, M., Fechner, R., Gee, C., Griebeler, E., Gunga, H., Hummel, J., Mallison, H., Perry, S.... (2011) Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism. Biological Reviews, 86(1), 117-155. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2010.00137.x  

  • June 27, 2011
  • 04:35 PM
  • 2,379 views

Update: Christchurch aftershocks

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

As the aftershocks of the Darfield quake continue, where do the future seismic dangers lie? Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 27, 2011
  • 04:08 PM
  • 650 views

Bloodsport in Australopithecus africanus?

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

A few months ago in a post about the ilium and cannibals, I relayed a quote by Dr. Raymond Dart who was the first to recognize (and name) the hominid genus Australopithecus, back in 1925. I'd also mentioned that he was described [in a reference that escapes me] as "blood-thirsty." This macabre descriptor came to mind again, as I'm reading his (1948) description of the MLD 2 mandible, of a juvenile A. africanus from Makapansgat cave in South Africa (figure is from the paper):"[Individuals represe........ Read more »

Dart, R. (1948) The adolescent mandible of Australopithecus prometheus. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 6(4), 391-412. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330060410  

  • June 25, 2011
  • 04:22 PM
  • 1,856 views

Terrestrialisation

by Marc in Teaching Biology

For PDFs of this entire talk series, click here! [17.62MB rar file with 6 PDFs] Due to the inherent time constraints of having to compress what is usually a semester’s worth of knowledge into 4.5 hours, we will now move away from the oceans permanently and look at the rest of the history of life [...]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2011
  • 01:18 PM
  • 4,273 views

When a tree falls in a stream, there’s always something around to make use of it.

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Allochthonous may have some obscure usage related to rocks, but in ecology, allochthonous material is a major concept that underpins thinking about nutrient cycling and food web dynamics. In its most general definition, allochthonous material is something imported into an … Continue reading →... Read more »

Vannote, R., Minshall, G., Cummins, K., Sedell, J., & Cushing, C. (1980) The River Continuum Concept. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 37(1), 130-137. DOI: 10.1139/f80-017  

  • June 23, 2011
  • 08:00 PM
  • 1,654 views

Forests and Water, part 1: Where there's smoke...

by Matthew Garcia in Hydro-Logic

Global climate change and regional drought, coupled with population growth and traditional forest resource management policies, have led to land cover changes and resource challenges across the southwestern U.S. Scientists, researchers, and natural resource managers seek to understand the hydro-ecological impacts of climate variability while the needs of the community, the spread of invasive species, and the threat of catastrophic forest fires persist...... Read more »

Swetnam, T.W., & J.L. Betancourt. (1998) Mesoscale disturbance and ecological response to decadal climatic variability in the American southwest. Journal of Climate, 3128-3147. info:/

Radeloff, V., Hammer, R., Stewart, S., Fried, J., Holcomb, S., & McKeefry, J. (2005) THE WILDLAND–URBAN INTERFACE IN THE UNITED STATES. Ecological Applications, 15(3), 799-805. DOI: 10.1890/04-1413  

Seager, R., Ting, M., Held, I., Kushnir, Y., Lu, J., Vecchi, G., Huang, H., Harnik, N., Leetmaa, A., Lau, N.... (2007) Model Projections of an Imminent Transition to a More Arid Climate in Southwestern North America. Science, 316(5828), 1181-1184. DOI: 10.1126/science.1139601  

Adams, H., Guardiola-Claramonte, M., Barron-Gafford, G., Villegas, J., Breshears, D., Zou, C., Troch, P., & Huxman, T. (2009) Temperature sensitivity of drought-induced tree mortality portends increased regional die-off under global-change-type drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(17), 7063-7066. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0901438106  

van Mantgem, P., Stephenson, N., Byrne, J., Daniels, L., Franklin, J., Fule, P., Harmon, M., Larson, A., Smith, J., Taylor, A.... (2009) Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United States. Science, 323(5913), 521-524. DOI: 10.1126/science.1165000  

Barnett, T., Pierce, D., Hidalgo, H., Bonfils, C., Santer, B., Das, T., Bala, G., Wood, A., Nozawa, T., Mirin, A.... (2008) Human-Induced Changes in the Hydrology of the Western United States. Science, 319(5866), 1080-1083. DOI: 10.1126/science.1152538  

Pierce, D., Barnett, T., Hidalgo, H., Das, T., Bonfils, C., Santer, B., Bala, G., Dettinger, M., Cayan, D., Mirin, A.... (2008) Attribution of Declining Western U.S. Snowpack to Human Effects. Journal of Climate, 21(23), 6425-6444. DOI: 10.1175/2008jcli2405.1  

Marlon, J., Bartlein, P., Walsh, M., Harrison, S., Brown, K., Edwards, M., Higuera, P., Power, M., Anderson, R., Briles, C.... (2009) Wildfire responses to abrupt climate change in North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(8), 2519-2524. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0808212106  

Williams, J., Jackson, S., & Kutzbach, J. (2007) Projected distributions of novel and disappearing climates by 2100 AD. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(14), 5738-5742. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0606292104  

Adams, D., & Comrie, A. (1997) The North American Monsoon. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78(10), 2197-2213. DOI: 10.1175/1520-0477(1997)0782.0.CO;2  

  • June 21, 2011
  • 01:09 PM
  • 1,377 views

The oceans rise, even as they decline... so long, fish!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Two interesting, alarming reports this week about what's happening (no small thanks to us) to the dominant habitat on this watery planet. First, that habitat is becoming even more dominant: a paper...

... Read more »

Kemp, A., Horton, B., Donnelly, J., Mann, M., Vermeer, M., & Rahmstorf, S. (2011) Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015619108  

  • June 21, 2011
  • 12:28 PM
  • 938 views

The oceans rise, even as they decline... so long, fish!

by Madhusudan Katti in a leafwarbler's gleanings




Two interesting, alarming reports this week about what's happening (no small thanks to us) to the dominant habitat on this watery planet. First, that habitat is becoming even more dominant: a paper in PNAS meticulously reconstructs global sea-levels over the past two millenia to show that the oceans have been steadily rising, in concert with climatic changes, and that their rise has accelerated in recent years. This figure ought to worry you:




via realclimate.org
Meanwhile, though........ Read more »

Kemp, A., Horton, B., Donnelly, J., Mann, M., Vermeer, M., & Rahmstorf, S. (2011) Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015619108  

  • June 21, 2011
  • 12:28 PM
  • 977 views

The oceans rise, even as they decline... so long, fish!

by Madhusudan Katti in a leafwarbler's gleanings




Two interesting, alarming reports this week about what's happening (no small thanks to us) to the dominant habitat on this watery planet. First, that habitat is becoming even more dominant: a paper in PNAS meticulously reconstructs global sea-levels over the past two millenia to show that the oceans have been steadily rising, in concert with climatic changes, and that their rise has accelerated in recent years. This figure ought to worry you:




via realclimate.org
Meanwhile, though........ Read more »

Kemp, A., Horton, B., Donnelly, J., Mann, M., Vermeer, M., & Rahmstorf, S. (2011) Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015619108  

  • June 21, 2011
  • 12:05 PM
  • 1,181 views

Carbon dioxide could fight global warming

by Charles Harvey in Charles Harvey - Science Communicator

Carbon sequestration and geothermal energy could be combined together in a system that could produce electricity with a negative carbon footprint.... Read more »

  • June 20, 2011
  • 06:52 PM
  • 1,967 views

The Frustrating Legacy of “Plasterosaurus”

by Laelaps in Laelaps

For one of the most impressive seagoing predators of all time, Kronosaurus queenslandicus did not receive a very auspicious introduction in the scientific literature. Today the creature’s name immediately conjures up the image of a massive marine reptile with a cavernous maw arrayed with big, conical teeth, but in 1924, when Kronosaurus received its formal [...]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2011
  • 10:56 AM
  • 1,479 views

Peloroplites: That’s One Big Ankylosaur

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

The "monstrous heavy one" was stout, armored and may have supported huge spikes on its neck and shoulders... Read more »

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