Tiktaalik, a fish-like creature that lived 375 million years ago, is a prime example of a transitional species — something between the ancient fish that swam in the seas and the ancient primitive amphibians that moved about on land. Discovered in Northern Canada in 2004, it represents the earliest example of front legs that we've found, so far, in the fossil record. Now, thanks to the discovery of some newer specimens that include the Tiktaalik's rear end, scientists also think it might be the earliest example of hind legs, too. Or, at least, proto forms of the hind leg. That's significant, because it suggests that animals were developing features that would become four legs before they actually started spending a lot of time on land. Previously, researchers had speculated that two-legged creatures might have been the first to move about on land. Now, it looks like the first land-fish were scooting about with their weight supported on back limbs as well as front.
How to celebrate the discovery of a more-complete Tiktaalik fossil and a view of the earliest back legs ever seen by human eyes? How about with an evolution-themed "Wrecking Ball" parody, starring biologist and science TV host, Carin Bondar.
It’s a commonplace that in the natural world, males attempt to mate with multiple females, while females attempt to entice males into being monogamous; this is attributed to the high cost of producing an egg and bearing children (or laying eggs) for females, and the low cost of sperm production for males.
Mathematician Stephen Wolfram and his company do a lot of consulting for Hollywood. But he doesn’t often do it on an urgent basis because a movie is about to shoot and they neglected to “tech the tech.” When I first started looking at the script for [Arrival], I quickly realized that to make coherent suggestions […]
Can you “hear” motion or light flashes? If so, according to new research from City University London, you may be experiencing a not-so-rare form of synaesthesia. Synesthesia is the fascinating neurological phenomenon whereby stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. For example, a synesthete might taste sounds or hear colors. (In this study, […]
Whether I’m trying to relieve some stress at work or entertain myself on the metro, Space Putty is there. You can bring this magical goo home and try it for yourself for just $9.99Like Silly Putty of yesteryear, this viscoelastic substance can be molded into different shapes and stretched around in your hands. Use it […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]