\ Visualizing Evolution: March 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Linkfest: Trunked sauropods = no. Feathered sauropods = maybe?

Link 1: Tetrapod Zoology: Junk in the Trunk: why sauropods did not possess trunks. Too bad though, that would have been awesome.
Robert Bakker

Link 2: A feathered ornithischian dinosaur? No, really!
Tianyulong confuciusi Illustration by Li-Da Xing

The implications of a feathered Ornithischian are that 'feathers,' or rather some sort of fibrous proto-feather, was ancestral to all dinosaurs. What's next, feathered Triceratops? It's too much!
from Zheng X-T, You H-L, Xu X, Dong Z-M (2009)
An Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur
with filamentous integumentary structures. Nature 458:333-336.

Link 3: The spiraling shape will make you go insane! Actually, this is the most awesome representation of the geologic time scale I've seen since Prehistoric Zoobooks, which also used a spiraling landscape. Thanks for the link, Nomad!

Link 4: Carl Sagan's Cosmos is now available to view on Hulu. Watch it! Watch it over and over and over again!

Link 5: Coldplay.com has a flashy new discography with all the lyrics, cover art, sound clips, and even videos!
It's not really relevant. I just had to tell someone... Watch the Lovers in Japan video if you need a pick-me-up.

edit: Aha, I just thought of a way to justify link #5. If you flip through the cover art you can see the evolution of Coldplay's style over time. See how the cover art changes over time, from that loose photographic style of Parachutes, to the technical 3D renderings of aRoBttH, to the highly restrained coded word art of X&Y, to a very loose painterly style for VLV. And the songs follow these transitions, too! Parachutes is fresh but timid, aRoBttH is confident and experimental, X&Y is over synthesized and at times tries too hard to be grand, and VLV is free, unworried artistic expression that is beautiful and as easy to listen to as the art is to look at!

So, all right then!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ultimate Ungulate

I just found the coolest website ever! UltimateUngulate.com!
In addition to being really well designed (every time you refresh you get a new unglate photo in that main circle,) it also has a nice interactive cladogram, in which you can zoom in on say, the Bovids, and then the famliy Hippotraginae...
And look at some oryx pictures, why not!
There's also plenty of information on ecology, behavior, distribution, etc. Check it out if you're a fan of hoofed mammals!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Poetry - Ode to a Microbe

Poetry? On a Monday again?

Well, this Craig Gosling poem sort of goes along with the youtube link I posted in the last entry.

Ode to a Microbe

Consider the poor little microbe an animal very odd
infecting its way through life with the blessing of God.
Not having to worry about death and if there’s a heaven or hell,
superbly designed to infect, and make sure people don’t live well
It doesn’t care if you are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or Jew.
It doesn’t care if you prayed, any warm body will do.
It doesn’t give a damn if its victims live or they die.
It does what it was designed to do, enough to make anyone cry.
It laughs at pitiful tears flowing from suffering eyes
cause it doesn’t have a conscience and loves to ruin innocent lives.
Consider the poor little microbe, an animal very odd.
Perfectly designed as a killer by a merciful God.

-Craig Gosling

And something I made a couple years ago for the Bozeman AMI student... raffle... thing...