Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Science

Almost old news now, but Ardipithecus is likely to be important-- she is so old (4 million years plus) and a forest creature, so we have to rethink bipedality. It isn't for running on the plains, looking over the grass etc. And we are not as close to chimps as we thought-- the split goes WAY back.

Another link here.

Dinos,very much including T. Rex, were close enough to birds to suffer some of the same pathogens. Lesions on Tyrannosaur jaws, including on the famous "Sue" were once thought to be wounds from battle. But they are apparently necrosis from the organism Trichomonas gallinae. I have seen it kill hawks, in which it bears the pleasant- sounding medieval name "frounce", and pigeons. Since the hawks catch it fom pigeons, it would seem logical that T. Rex prey species had it too. Bob Bakker's description of Tyrannosaurus as "the roadrunner from Hell" seems ever more apt. HT Eric Wilcox

Finally, a vegetarian spider, with the delightful (and rather carnivorous) Kiplingite name of Bagheera kiplingi. It is the only such spider known, and it lives in the already- rather- complicated ecology of acacias and ants.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ardipithecus--Awright! Some fossil evidence that my conclusions, after having lived with wild chimpanzees in the African forest for a couple of months, were SUPERIOR forms of primate to most of the humans I was acquainted with!....L.B.