Evolution news

Upending Vertebrate Origins

At https://phys.org/news/2021-03-long-accepted-theory-vertebrate-upended-fo... ... the long accepted theory of mainstream vertebrate origins is taking a bashing by some paleontologists it would seem. This comes after the discovery of fossilised fish larvae - rather, lamprey larvae. It is dated 360 million years ago - even a long time in geological time scales. The research is published in the journal Nature - see https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03305-9 ..

More Similarities

At https://phys.org/news/2021-02-neanderthals-homo-sapiens-identical-nubian... ... Neanderthals and Modern Humans used identical Nubian stone technology we are told. Levallois flakes. Not only did they share a similar genome with Modern Humans [on the male side] but now it seems they were using the same techniques to manufacture stone tools. The dividing line is the Laschamp geomagnetic reversal event, it has been suggested. Were Neanderthals affected by increased radiation and mutate into modern humans?

Sea Dragons

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/02/boom-and-bust-for-an... ... the sea dragons in question are ichthyosaurs - fish like reptiles that filled an evolutionary niche in the oceans equivalent to modern dolphins and porpoise. They first appeared in the record of the rocks at 250 million years ago, it is said. They went on to diversify into a broad range of sizes and occupied a variety of marine ecologies. However, around 200 million years ago, we are told, there was a bottleneck through which only one lineage of ichthyosaurs survived.

Giant Trilobites

At https://phys.org/news/2019-06-king-fossils-kangaroo-island.html ... fossils of a long extinct group of sea creatures known as the trilobites have been found on Kangaroo Island which lies off the coast of South Australia. Presumably this is part of the Australian continental shelf system and formerly land that has been flooded post Pleistocene. In any event it is remarkable that marine fossils are found on what is still land - albeit an island. Not only that but the trilobites are described as having been smashed or crushed.

Dinosaurs and Birds

This post was sent in by Robert and must come under evolution rather than geology as it is speculative and from a Creationist attempt at rationalisation of recent claims that birds are directly descended from one branch of the dinosaurs. Go to https://crev.info/2019/03/why-is-china-the-leader-in-feathered-dinosaur-... ... and ignore the slant of the article which seeks to identify the Biblical flood with the demise of various life forms - including the dinosaurs. Are dinosaurs really the evolutionary predecessors of birds?

Dinosaur Dinners

At https://phys.org/print450700415.html ... a team of scientists grew dinosaur era palnts in an atmosphere with high co2 levels which is thought to reproduced the atmospheric conditions similar to those the sauropods lumbered around in. There is a bit circular reasoning going on here as the idea higher co2 levels = higher temperatures on earth is far from a proven fact. Be that as it may the research has proved interesting as they also created an artificial fermentation system to simulate digestion of the plant leaves.

Dinosaur Footprints

At https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/australia-s-jurassic-park-leave... ... at Walmadany in Western Australia there are dinosaur footprints - in their hundreds. They are preserved in the Kimberley sandstone. They have also been known to the local Goolarabooloo people for generations, regarding them as bird like tracks (giant birds). Not only are there footprints but impression of cycad plants. These are said to be the tail feathers of Marala, a being in Goralabooloo creation mythology, likened to an enormous emu.

Soft Tissue Fossils

This story is at https://phys.org/print437926257.html ... firstly, these kind of fossil are few and far between. The fossil record is mostly about the preservation of hard sections of the body - shells, bones, teeth etc. I was looking at some fossils of marine Pleisosaurs the other day and all that was dug out of the rock was the vertebrae and joint bones (although some smaller bones can be found). This is what we mostly know about dinosaurs - the skeletons. That is, until recently, when some of the soft parts have turned up.

Palaeolithic Farming

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-2017/article/crocodile-bites-a... ... which is much as many have suspected. Cut marks on animal bones do not necessarily imply the use of stone and bone tools by early hominids. Many examples of human tool use may have nothing whatsoever to do with humans, or their earlier ancestors (such as Lucy). Some may be giant bite marks - inflicted by crocodiles, or big carnivores. These are often explained as primary evidence of butchering of carcasses using stone and bone tools.

The Square and Compass

I expect many thousands of people have enjoyed a pastie and a pint at the Square and Compass public house in Worth Matravers on the Isle of Purbeck, over the years. Lots of walkers for example, as there is a nice walk on narrow paths with hedges thick with primroses and wild garlic in the spring, leading eventually to the cliffs and a fine view of the Jurassic Coast. The pub is also popular with geologists and it seems a new species recently found has been named after the landlord of the Square and Compass - a nice touch. See https://phys.org/print429258235.html ...