\ Visualizing Evolution: Linkfest: Hiatus-break!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Linkfest: Hiatus-break!

It's time to break this blogging hiatus, so I'm going to start with something easy: a Linkfest!

Link 1: Manuel Lima of Visualizing Complexity was kind enough to send me this link to a featured project, a visualization of "The Evolution of the Origin of Species." The diagrams model each edition of the book as a "literary organism," illustrating changes from one edition to the next down to sentence level! The results are highly organic, beautiful, and undeniably reminiscent of complex phylogenies:
Click the link to see how it all works... the morphs from one edition to the next are worth seeing and make the entire thing clearer.

Link 2: From National Geographic.com: Ancient Birds had Iridescent Feathers!
As someone who desperately wants to be a paleo-artist, any hint of evidence about what color fossil organisms may have been just tickles me pink! Or rather tickles me iridescent black! (On the other hand, part of what has always attracted me to paleoart is the relatively high amount of artistic liberty it can offer, but those are selfish, selfish thoughts!)

Link 3: From BBC Earth News: Axolotle verges on wild extinction.
This is truly depressing. I worked with these guys for two years as an undergrad and they are the coolest critters. Amphibian extinctions around the world have to be one of the scariest and saddest environmental problems we currently face.


Harrison said...

Maybe most prehistoric creatures only had 'color' in the ultraviolet or infrared zone and they all looked the same dull color to our boring eyes.

I'm going to miss the mudkips :( We need to hurry up and finish building the giant gene ark in the north.

Heidi Richter said...

It's possible that some extant creatures have 'color' in ranges we can't see and don't know about! I even read a hypothesis somewhere (??) about bats and the possibility that they could have 'colors' and patterns on their fur that can only be 'seen' using echo location. Then interpreted to the bat as colors and designs.

Dang, I wish I could reference that!

And yeah the mudpuppy thing is sad. But there are plenty in labs and they probably stand a better chance at reintroduction later than a lot of amphibian species threatened with extinction. : /

Harrison said...

awww colorful bats :3

Janel said...

Beachy's friend, Joe Mendelson, is at Zoo Atlanta and is working with other scientists to try to figure out a way to slow/ stop the amphibian declines or to control the chytrid fungus that is causing the majority of the decline.
When Heather and I talked to him at the Herp and Ich meeting in New Orleans, he said they were trying to get as many species as they could in labs for breeding purposes for possible reintroduction later. So... there's hope... little, but still better than nothing...