Science

The Origins Of Vertebrates Part 4: Domination

So, we have skeletons, we have a central nervous system, we have backbones, are we there yet? Well, first of all, we are, because we’re already vertebrates; in terms of in these blogs however… the skeletons are made of cartilage at the moment, but they’re still in the club. So, …

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Science

The Origins Of Vertebrates Part 2: Acting Like Animals

Okay, we’re moving out of the realm of the single celled organisms this week! After mitochondria became a staple of complex life our eukaryotic ancestors diverged into fungi, protists (previously known as protozoa), the archaeplastida (algae and plants to you and me) and the gloriously underrated slime molds that I …

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Science

The Origins Of Vertebrates Part 1: Let There Be Life

Have you ever wondered where we came from? Have you ever wondered where we and our other friends with backbones, lungs, arms and legs all started? If the answer’s yes you might know a little bit about this yourself, at least enough to know that I can’t very accurately begin …

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ScienceScience Sunday

Science Sunday: Battle Monkeys!

OK, so this post doesn’t really have anything to do with battle monkeys except in the loosest sense, as Hank Green from Crash Course explains in yet another kick-ass video explaining science concepts. The discussion in this video is about evolutionary development, including the basics of regulatory genes, hox genes, …

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Awesome Sauce Music Friday

Awesome Sauce Music Friday! Nat-ur-al Sel-ec-tion Edition

It’s important to expose young children to scientific concepts and critical thinking, lest they grow up to believe in UFOs and anti-vax propaganda. The CBBC (which I guess stands for Children’s BBC? Maybe?) produces a show called Horrible Histories, based on the popular book series. The title really says it …

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Pop CultureScienceSpace

Dinosaurs In Space: Why The Hell Not?

I wonder how many of you remember what the ‘advanced alien dinosaurs from space’ story was actually about. I must confess to having a slight problem with remembering what the actual science was, and with good reason, because the science of the story had absolutely nothing to do with Argonians, …

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InterviewsScience

TEEN SKEPCHICK INTERVIEWS: DR MERRILL VAN DER WALT

This post is part of the Teen Skepchick Interviews series, where TS writers talk with amazing women scientists, skeptics, and feminists about life, the universe, and everything. Dr Merrill Van Der Walt is a palaeontologist at the Origins Centre at WITS University in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied many fields including evolution …

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Science

How to Classify an Occlupanid

Biologists and paleontologists are tasked with a major challenge: looking that the diversity of life, and classifying it into groups based on morphology and genetics, in an attempt to determine what is related to what. While the details of this process, known as taxonomy, can be quite complex, it can …

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