Posts from the ‘evolution’ Category


The genome of Monosiga brevicollis, the choanoflagellates photographed above, was recently sequenced.

Choanoflagellates,single-celled, aquatic, eukaryotic microbes are currently biological giants in unlocking the key to the evolutionary transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms, particularly in animals.

Sponges, or animals of the phylum Porifera , serve as the most primitive extant group of animals. (You can see this on this  previously posted phylogenetic tree of the history of life). Interestingly enough, aquatic sponges possess flagellated feeding structures  called choanocytes, which are nearly morphologically identical to the single-celled organisms we call choanoflagellates.

Photo Courtesy: National Science Foundation

A cool picture, that demonstrates an even cooler possibility: being able to eventually map the entire rise of modern life through genomic studies.

Bill Nye on the danger of not believing in long-term evolution.

Berkeley evolution page, with all sorts of great lessons and outlines and stuff. Check it out!

Evolution 101

When you hear the word evolution, you may think of iconic images of Darwin and the Beagle, representations of the “tree of life,” pictures of apes and the DNA double helix. But do you realize just how thoroughly the subject seeps into our everyday lives? To give a sense of this, we asked five experts in different fields to briefly describe an example. Listen in, and find out how evolution and the process of natural selection–the survival of those creatures that are best adapted to their environment–gives us dogs, makes us such good runners, and even helps us solve crimes.

Evolution in Your Life



I had some medical trouble this week that had me dreaming of upgrading my model. The photosynthetic critter is based on the sea slug Elysia chlorotica.

I just love the biology-influenced comics of Rosemary Mosco. Here’s some animal parts she wishes she had. Me too!

Another favorite, and the whole collection at Bird and Moon.

And is promptly countered by prominent science writer John Hogan, who argues that it is merely a cultural development. Both hold that we can overcome it. The difference? Hogan states that if we believe that we are meant for war, it perpetuates our going to war with the reasoning that “it’s in our nature.” Could we really become the planet’s dominant species without a temperament for killing others though? I personally tend to lean toward Wilson’s belief, and that aggressiveness was necessary for us to survive and now that we’re one top, we fight each other for various reasons. Mr. Hogan makes some good points also though, and has just released a book on it. What do you think?

The esteemed E.O. Wilson says war is inevitable for our species

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

Max Planck (via yournicheintheworld)