Biology news

Budgerigar

Some photos of budgerigars at a water hole just outside Alice Springs in Australia. Something different. Go to www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4975654/Rare-photo-shows-10-00-budgies-... ....

 

Dinosaur Soft Tissue

At https://phys.org/print426835053.html ... Dinosaur blood - new research urges caution regarding fossilised soft tissue. It seems that previous claims showing the preservation of keratic protein in dinosaur fossils are likely to be false. Note the word likely. Electron microscopy was used after widely publicised claims of dinosaur blood in fossil bones were shown in the research to be 'likely'  untrue.

Wallacea

Wallacea, between the SE Asia and Australia plates, consists of a number of mainly small islands, such as Sumba, Flores, Komodo, and Gili Matoy etc. Komodo is famous for the Komodo Dragon (a large lizard), for example, and Flores for the discovery of the small archaic human known as the Hobbit (in populist terms). See https://phys.org/print425201379.html ... Wallacea likely holds evidence of a wide range of unknown extinct creatures as it has barely been explored for its fossils. Possibly other human relatives too.

Cockatoos and Wild Dogs of ...

At https://phys.org/print423838388.html ...  a clever cockatoo. It was able to bend a pipe cleaner in order to retrieve a small out of reach basket with a handle from out of a glass tube out of reach of its claws or beak.

Dinosaur Colours

A well preserved nodosaur with skin scales, shoulder spikes, and skin colour has been written up at www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(17)30808-4.pdf (or www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(17)30808-4 )... and www.cell.com/cms/attachment/210607284/2081442662/mmc1.pdf

The links were sent in by Robert who also included another one at www.icr.org/article/10194 ... which is a condensed version of the story from a Creationist angle ...

Dogs and Humans

Something off the beaten track. At https://anthropology.net/2017/07/18/modern-dogs-evolved-from-a-single-po... ... but a track that leads back to a catastrophist explanation - missing from the research. The author picked up on a paper published in Nature Communications last week (July 2017) but something similar was aired a couple of months ago (possibly as a pre-publication version).

Troodontids

At https://phys.org/print413016938.html ... we have a new species of troodontid with what appears to be an asymmetric feather construct, found in China. It looks a bit like a large pheasant, although the investigators liken it to a chicken. The research is published in Nature Communications (May 2017) and the specimen is dated at 125 million years ago. It seems to be a bird that may have been able to fly - but this has not been verified certainly. It may have flown in short bursts like a modern pheasant. Do chickens fly?

Bayesian Maths

The Conversation is a news journal well known for publishing gobbledegook articles. It also publishes incisive articles too. I'm not sure what bracket this one goes under - go to https://phys.org/print412240382.html. It seems to be an argument in favour of modelling over common sense. It also seems to criticise science prior to the modern era, even perhaps prior to the 21st century AD. We can see why Bayesian methodology has been used in dating archaeological event as it averages out a raft of C14 dates and settles on particular date.

Hydrogen on Enceladus

The BBC was highly excitable on Thursday evening - hours of debate on the prospect of life on Enceladus, a moon of the planet Saturn. The presenters had seemingly read little or anything about the subject prior to their auto cue reader being set in front of their noses, but hey, they were out to educate the public. Analysis of data from NASAs Cassini Mission spacecraft indicates hydrogen gas in the plume of material erupting from Enceladus. Hydrogen, it says, is best explained by chemical reactions between the moon's rocky core and warm water from its sub-surface ocean.

Teleocrater Rhadinus

Teleocrater rhadinus is the name of a critical animal that lived during an important transition - from reptile to dinosaur (and eventually birds). It is a cousin of the dinosaurs, yet has many reptilian traits. Therefore it has been positioned on the tree of evolutionary development at an early stage - prior to the dinosaurs proper. There is of course one reason for this - it lived in the Triassic (before the dinosaur age took off). In positioning in late Triassic it provides a mechanism for evolutionary development. This is particularly relevant in neo-catastrophist evolution.