kevan + evolution   99

BBC - Future - The animals thriving in the Anthropocene
"It is not clear why cephalopods are proliferating. One possibility is that we are fishing the animals that prey on them."
evolution  squid 
august 2017 by kevan
Street dogs in Moscow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"About 500 dogs on average live in its stations, especially during colder months. Of these dogs, about 20 are believed to have learned how to use the system as a means of commuting. The strays move to the city center during the day in search of food and return to the suburbs at night."
dogs  russia  evolution 
february 2014 by kevan
Black honeybees rediscovered in Britain | Environment | The Guardian
"[The] black honeybee could hold the key to reversing the dramatic decline in honeybee colonies in Britain because it is more adapted to the UK climate than the southern European honeybee subspecies used by many UK beekeepers."
bees  evolution 
april 2012 by kevan
Giant squid, what big eyes you have. All the better to spot sperm whales with, my dear. | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine
"Nilsson and Warrant showed that its huge eyes could pick up [the light of bioluminescent creatures dispersed by a whale] from 120 metres away, and they can scan a huge sphere of water for those tell-tale flashes."
squid  light  evolution 
march 2012 by kevan
Return of the super ants : Nature News & Comment
"By dabbing larvae with methoprene, a chemical that mimics juvenile hormone, Abouheif and his team could induce supersoldiers in species that normally lack them."
ants  genetics  evolution  war  via:ole 
january 2012 by kevan
Wolves May Not Need to be Smart to Hunt in Packs | 80beats | Discover Magazine
"[As] long as each wolf obeys a couple simple rules, the seemingly complex behavior emerges naturally, without any need for higher intelligence."
mammals  emergence  evolution  via:zarba 
october 2011 by kevan
BBC - Earth News - Adaptable urban birds have bigger brains
"[The] centre of a modern city is a novel and rather harsh environment for most species and the ability to sustain a varied diet or develop novel foraging techniques and perhaps utilise non-standard nesting places, can be beneficial."
cities  birds  brains  evolution 
april 2011 by kevan
Look-out drongos 'twank' to advertise presence (Wired UK)
"We think that drongos have evolved to alert babblers to their presence because helping the group forage more effectively leads to more frequent opportunities for theft."
birds  sound  evolution  lies 
november 2010 by kevan
A reducibly complex mousetrap
"Here I show how one could start with a single piece of spring wire, make an inefficient mousetrap, then through a series of modifications and additions of parts make better and better mousetraps, until the end result is the modern snap mousetrap."
evolution  design  technology  mice  via:adrianhon 
august 2009 by kevan
Urban life is stressing out our songbirds | Environment | The Observer
"Songbirds in cities are damaging their health, exposing themselves to predators and weakening their gene pool by trying to be heard above the din of urban life. [...] Some birds, including robins, are choosing to sing at night instead of during the day." I always assumed that was purely a light pollution thing. Sad.
cities  birds  evolution  sound  pollution 
march 2009 by kevan
The Loom : A New Step In Evolution
"[There] were no other bacteria in the experiment, and the evolved bacteria remain plasmid-free. So the only explanation was that this one line of E. coli had evolved the ability to eat citrate on its own."
bacteria  evolution  science 
june 2008 by kevan
Review: Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin | By genre | guardian.co.uk Books
"Our brain stems, inherited from amphibian ancestors, still spurt out odd signals producing hiccups that are, according to Shubin, essentially the same phenomenon as gill breathing."
fish  evolution  books 
february 2008 by kevan
Japan in culinary offensive to stop spread of US fish | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
"The keepers of Japan's biggest lake have called on the public to join in one final push to eat the bluegill fish - possibly the most reviled creature in Japan - into extinction before it does the same to threatened native species."
japan  fish  food  evolution 
november 2007 by kevan
RevolutionSF - Back Lots of the Lost: The Implausibility of the Cliched "Lost World"
"If dinosaurs live in the Congo today, they had to have migrated there from somewhere else, and again, no definitive dinosaur bones or other remains have been discovered past the K-T boundary."
dinosaurs  history  secrets  evolution  world  via:leonard 
august 2007 by kevan
Seven Deadly Colours: The Genius of Nature's Palette and How It Eluded Darwin - Andrew Parker
Seven different colours in nature, seven different mechanisms of colour generation, and seven predator-fooling examples of why eyes aren't so perfectly evolved after all. Good worldview-changing science, with some nice flourishes.
booklog  evolution  light  paint  illusions  birds  frogs  fish  insects 
june 2007 by kevan
Early Europeans unable to stomach milk - New Scientist
"[Thomas] believes that the mutation for lactose tolerance [in adulthood] spontaneously arose in Europe within the past 7000 years and quickly became prevalent through natural selection."
evolution  drinks  mutation  cows 
february 2007 by kevan
frameshift .:. unweaving the rainbow .:. progrock records
A Dawkins-inspired prog rock album. "This is what this album is about. Understanding where we come from, who we are related to and how this vast, complex gene machine works does not make us less human or special."
dawkins  music  lunacy  genetics  evolution  science  education 
december 2006 by kevan
At the Water's Edge - Carl Zimmer
How life made it from the water onto land, and how a few species decided to go back; great evolutionary weirdness. A history of both the creatures and the people who've studied them in the past 150 years.
booklog  evolution  water  fish  mammals  history  bones  air 
november 2006 by kevan
The complete work of Charles Darwin
"[Containing] more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images of both publications and handwritten manuscripts. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled."
books  evolution  libraries  history  science 
october 2006 by kevan
qLab» Blog Archive » the blimps are alive
"I've spent the last three months (off and on) hand tweaking the blimps to try to avoid these dangers. Well I just realized I've been being silly. There is a much better way. Natural selection."
simulation  evolution  air  via:found 
october 2006 by kevan
Imagine Earth without people - New Scientist
"It will only take a few tens of thousands of years [before] almost every trace of our present dominance has vanished completely. Alien visitors coming to Earth 100,000 years hence will find no obvious signs that an advanced civilisation ever lived here."
apocalypse  evolution  future  pollution  science  world  via:joh 
october 2006 by kevan
Discover - Through the Eye of an Octopus
Octopus intelligence and personality. "The cephalopods that survived [the Triassic] were the zoological counterrevolutionaries that turned the vertebrates' weapons against them."
octopuses  evolution  science  brains  psychology  sleep  via:foe 
august 2006 by kevan
Modern Mechanix » How Nuclear Radiation Can Change Our Race
Enthusiastically muddled article about the genetic fallout of nuclear war, from 1953. "Will a new race, spawned out of the hellish radiation of a world-wide Atomic War, go on to challenge mankind's supremacy on Earth?"
science  evolution  genetics  war  future  mutation 
august 2006 by kevan
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Bees get a buzz from warm flowers
"Bees need to warm up to fly, they need to have body temperatures of at least 30C. [...] In that sense, seeking out flowers with warmer nectar is a direct metabolic reward; it supplies them with energy that they would otherwise have to invest."
bees  plants  food  evolution 
august 2006 by kevan
PhysOrg: Japan rivers could spawn drug-resistant bacteria
"Major rivers in Japan are so contaminated with ingredients of antibiotics and other medicines that they may spawn drug-resistant strains of bacteria, a team of Japanese scientists said."
bacteria  evolution  medicine  japan  apocalypse 
july 2006 by kevan
Wired 9.12: The Geek Syndrome
"One provocative hypothesis that might account for the rise of [autistic] spectrum disorders in technically adept communities like Silicon Valley, some geneticists speculate, is an increase in assortative mating."
children  genetics  evolution  psychology  brains  medicine  via:rwhe 
july 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | The eyes have it for making people behave more honestly
"Signs that say 'CCTV cameras in operation' should, perhaps, be accompanied by a pair of eyes instead of a picture of a camera. We've not evolved to pay much attention to cameras."
eyes  evolution  surveillance  brains 
june 2006 by kevan
Discovery Channel :: Immaturity Levels Rising
Psychological neoteny. "A 'child-like flexibility of attitudes, behaviors and knowledge' is probably adaptive to the increased instability of the modern world. Formal education now extends past physical maturity, leaving [minds] that are 'unfinished'."
evolution  children  psychology  science 
june 2006 by kevan
The Case of the Midwife Toad - Arthur Koestler
Great, detailed profile of Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer and his controversial experimental work in the 1920s which seemed to show evidence for Larmarckian inheritance. Amphibians are weird.
booklog  frogs  evolution  science  cheating 
june 2006 by kevan
New World Notes: God Game
"If I was to turn off the clouds the whole system would die in about six hours. Turn off the bees and [the plants stop] growing, because nothing gets pollinated. And it's the transfer of pollen that signals the plants to drop seeds."
simulation  emergence  evolution  weather  mmorpgs  plants  bees  via:wonderland 
june 2006 by kevan
New Scientist - Evolution gets busy in the urban lab
"Evolution is operating with a vengeance in the urban environment as animals struggle to adapt to novel conditions and cope with 'evolutionary illusions'."
evolution  mammals  birds  cities  illusions  via:collision 
may 2006 by kevan
Octopuses have trick elbows - LiveScience - MSNBC.com
"Researchers recorded muscle activity in octopus limbs, and found that an arm generates two waves of muscle contractions that propagate toward each other. When the waves collide, they form a part-time joint."
octopuses  limbs  evolution  via:collision 
may 2006 by kevan
Hikoza'n-CHI X - Games - Warning Forever
Intriguing but unconvincing boss-only shoot-em-up where the boss of each level adapts to compensate for the weaknesses shown by its predecessor.
download  games  evolution  via:raven 
april 2006 by kevan
Circadiana: What is a 'natural' sleep pattern?
"[We] have compressed our natural sleep into artificially short nighttimes, but [some] people, who may just have very strong circadian rhythms, still have this primitive bimodal sleep that they confuse with a sleep disorder."
sleep  history  brains  evolution  via:mindhacks 
march 2006 by kevan
Parasite Rex - Carl Zimmer
A brilliantly wide-ranging look at the life cycles of dozens of parasites, the effects they have on their hosts, and the historical rise of parasitology from initially dismissive degeneracy theories. Very worldview-changing.
booklog  science  evolution  genetics  history  nano 
march 2006 by kevan
Los Angeles Times: Their Own Version of a Big Bang
"Evangelist Ken Ham smiled at the 2,300 elementary students packed into pews, their faces rapt. With dinosaur puppets and silly cartoons, he was training them to reject much of geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology as a sinister tangle of lies."
religion  evolution  children  education 
february 2006 by kevan
The Loom: The Wisdom of Parasites
"The wasp does not paralyze the cockroach. In fact, the roach is able to lift up its front legs again and walk. But now it cannot move of its own accord. The wasp takes hold of one of the roach's antennae and leads it [to its burrow to feed its young]."
wasps  insects  evolution  brains  via:plasticbag 
february 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | By 2025, hedgehogs will have died out
"[The hedgehog's generalism and] inability to cope with very large, chemically denuded arable fields - in other words its fondness for the private, the scruffy and the marginal - all make it a measure of the state of the landscape's health as a whole."
mammals  apocalypse  evolution  cities  transport 
january 2006 by kevan
... and God Created Squid ...
"Invoking Occams's razor together with our Creation hypothesis leaves us with only one reasonable explanation. The world was created as a habitat for the giant squid. Humans were put here to control the large predators that would otherwise bother [them]."
squid  religion  evolution 
january 2006 by kevan
This Whale's (After) Life
"For more than a decade, Smith has been pursuing the idea that whale corpses (called whale falls when they fall to the bottom of the ocean) serve as biological stepping stones for a host of exotic deep-sea animals."
water  death  fish  mammals  bones  evolution  via:erik 
january 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Belief systems
"French anthropologist Pascal Boyer thinks that the problem of explaining religious belief is essentially the problem of explaining superstition. If we knew why people believe in things that aren't there, we would have solved it."
religion  history  psychology  brains  evolution 
january 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Mental illness link to art and sex
"On the face of it, Darwinism would suggest that the genes predisposing to schizophrenia would eventually disappear from the gene pool." But being a bit schizophrenic is artistic and sexy, so gets passed onto children more than it should.
art  sex  brains  evolution 
november 2005 by kevan
Times Online: Scientists show we've been losing face for 10,000 years
"Research into people's appearance over the past 10,000 years has found that our ancestors' heads and faces were up to 30% larger than now. [...] The presumption is that people must have chosen mates with smaller, shorter faces."
evolution  faces 
november 2005 by kevan
SFGate: Kansas School Board OKs Evolution Language
"In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena."
science  education  politics  evolution  america  via:sumana 
november 2005 by kevan
Hotheads - Steven Pinker
A Penguin 70s Pinker chapter on the physiology of happiness, grabbed to read over a coffee. "Ice Age people would have been wasting their time if they had fretted about their lack of camping stoves, penicillin, and hunting rifles."
booklog  depression  psychology  brains  evolution 
october 2005 by kevan
Washington Post: Scientists Finding Out What Losing Sleep Does to a Body
"[Appetite issues fit] with the theory that humans may be genetically wired to be awake at night only when they need to be searching for food or fending off danger - circumstances when they would need to eat to have enough energy."
sleep  food  evolution  science 
october 2005 by kevan
diyjoe.com - Artificial Insultigence
"Greetings, you twunting flange. I'm an artificially intelligent computer and I'm learning to swear. Could you help me by rating my insults or putting some filthy words in the boxes below?" Evolving the optimum two-word insult through user feedback.
language  evolution  via:arbroath 
september 2005 by kevan
New York Times: Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back
"At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, [staff] often encounter groups from B.C. Tours, which for 15 years has offered tours of the museum based on literal readings of the Bible." [...] "It's your job not to slam the door in the face of a believer."
religion  science  evolution  museums  war  via:mcios 
september 2005 by kevan
The Observer | How the penguin's life story inspired the US religious right
"[The penguins outside a group] are struggling to get in and those on the inside are trying to stand their ground: it's a classic Darwinian struggle. The idea that the life of a penguin is any more beautiful than that of a malaria virus is absurd."
birds  evolution  religion  films 
september 2005 by kevan
AIGA - Logos by the Numbers
A logo genome: "In 1983, in order to allow for easier trademark searching, the USPTO created a coding system for trademarks in its records. Using this system, six-digit codes are assigned to trademarks in order to represent their graphical content."
advertising  design  art  evolution  business 
september 2005 by kevan
In Praise of Tweaking: A Wiki-like Programming Contest
Open Source as Wiki as natural selection: "When one of these big shifts occurs, it also opens up fresh opportunities for tweaking, and swarms of curious competitors descend upon and begin tightening up the new leader."
programming  evolution  emergence  wikis  via:leonard 
september 2005 by kevan
New Scientist - Parasites brainwash grasshoppers into death dive
A newly-studied behaviour-altering parasite. "Somehow mature hairworms brainwash their hosts into behaving in way they never usually would - causing them to seek out and plunge into water."
death  evolution  water  brains 
august 2005 by kevan
BBC NEWS | Art-loving bees prefer Sunflowers
"About 11% of approaches to the flower paintings ended with a landing, compared to just 4% with the other paintings, the study found."
art  bees  plants  evolution  eyes  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Popular Science: Can This Fruit Be Saved?
"After 15,000 years of human cultivation, the banana is too perfect, lacking the genetic diversity that is key to species health. What can ail one banana can ail all."
bananas  apocalypse  genetics  evolution  pestilence  famine  via:holly 
july 2005 by kevan
New Scientist - Beauty is in the nose of the beholder
Not a new idea, but interesting to contrast; that visual attractiveness selects for similar genetic structure and scent selects for opposite, and we muddle through somewhere in the middle.
evolution  smell  eyes  faces 
july 2005 by kevan
Times Online: Dawkins on Creationism - God's gift to the ignorant
"The creationists' fondness for 'gaps' in the fossil record is a metaphor for their love of gaps in knowledge generally. [...] You don't know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don't understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent!"
dawkins  religion  brains  evolution  via:yoz 
may 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Life lessons
Scientists list things that we should all understand, or that we should buy their books about. "Science is not a catalogue of facts, but a search for new mysteries. Science increases the store of wonder and mystery in the world; it does not erode it."
science  education  evolution  maths  memetics 
april 2005 by kevan
UW News: Did Use of Free Trade Cause Neanderthal Extinction?
"Through trade and specialization, humans could have conquered their niche even if the incumbent party was somewhat stronger, better adjusted to its environment and equipped with a larger brain volume."
money  history  brains  evolution  society  memetics 
april 2005 by kevan
GameSpy: Will Wright Presents Spore... and a New Way to Think About Games
Preview of his increasingly-preposterous evolutionary game. "Wright pointed out that the yellow creatures he was snacking on were actually created by other players and pulled off of a shared creature database."
games  evolution  emergence 
march 2005 by kevan
New Scientist - Pay up, you are being watched
A photo of a robot can affect generosity. "We can manipulate altruistic behaviour with a pair of fake eyeballs because ancient parts of our brain fail to recognise them as fake."
brains  eyes  money  evolution  psychology  robots  photos 
march 2005 by kevan
EducationGuardian.co.uk | Sexy yawns
Strong evolutionary pressure: "The yawn and the associated stretch of the 'stretch-yawn syndrome' have been linked to desire and even of being in love, figuring in the courtship process both in the West and in passages in ancient Indian literature."
air  love  sex  evolution 
march 2005 by kevan
Flickr: Chinese Whispers
Resurrected as a Flickr group. "Just look at the most recent photo in the pool - it's the leftmost one - and add a photo of your own that you consider to be similar to it."
photos  random  evolution  coincidences 
february 2005 by kevan
Evolving an Optimum Keyboard Layout
"The layouts in the initial pool are entirely random. In each generation, they all race to "type" a word list, and their per-word times are multiplied by the word frequencies in the input sample."
evolution  technology  writing  simulation 
february 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Why I'm a wolf man
Reintroduce large predators into the UK, says Monbiot. "People who live in unstimulating places are more likely to become depressed, and [...] kill themselves. Dramatic but mildly dangerous lifeforms [...] might even save lives."
death  evolution  mammals  monsters  society  depression 
december 2004 by kevan
Textbook disclaimer stickers
Alternative anti-evolution stickers for American textbooks. "This book discusses gods. The existence of entities with supernatural powers is controversial."
books  evolution  religion 
november 2004 by kevan
EurekAlert: In a tiny squid, bacterial toxin governs organ development
Cute Hawaiian bobtail squid use disease-causing molecules to produce light. "Until now, molecules of a virulent nature have not been recognized as having essential roles in development."
bacteria  evolution  light  squid 
november 2004 by kevan
Telegraph | Villagers speak of the small, hairy Ebu Gogo
Local cultural references to Homo floresiensis, which stole food and mimicked speech, according to legend, and may have been alive as recently as the 19th century.
bones  evolution  history  mysteries  society 
october 2004 by kevan
Beautycheck
Morphing ideally beautiful faces for symmetry and neoteny.
evolution  faces  psychology 
september 2004 by kevan
New Scientist | Babies prefer to gaze upon beautiful faces
"In a baby's mind, these beautiful faces may represent the stereotypical human face [...] which they have evolved to recognise."
brains  children  evolution  faces 
september 2004 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | Life | Walking back to genesis
Extract from Dawkins' new book; rare and common examples of convergent evolution. "Jet propulsion may have evolved twice."
books  dawkins  evolution 
september 2004 by kevan
nature.com | Lop-sided features linked to temper
"Researchers speculate that people with ill-matched external features may also have small defects in their nervous systems, which impair their ability to control aggressive impulses."
brains  evolution  faces 
august 2004 by kevan
An Autonomous Self-Replicating Robotic System (PDF)
A rather disappointing Lego robot that can build a copy of itself out of four pre-built chunks. Laid out in marked positions. But still quite fun.
evolution  lego  robots  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2004 by kevan
Conceptual Artist to Genetically Engineer God in Laboratory
Annoying concept-art evolution of algae into God. "I prepared four petri dishes, and then, for seven days and nights, exposed three of them to pre-recorded prayer."
art  evolution  lunacy  religion  science 
august 2004 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | It's moving at a snail's pace - but it may be evolution in action
"The Leeds team has established genetic differences between the colonies and evidence that "divorce" is imminent."
evolution  snails 
july 2004 by kevan
The New York Times > Phenomenon: The Roach That Failed
The rise and fall and rise of the cockroach. "...while roaches have still not developed resistance to hydramethylnon, even after 20 years of heavy use, some have evolved to avoid bait containing certain sugars or additives."
evolution  insects  war 
july 2004 by kevan
American Scientist Online - Experimental Lamarckism
"Learning is a valuable survival skill every day of your life, whereas Lamarckism helps only on the first day."
evolution  simulation 
july 2004 by kevan
Yahoo! News - Monkey Apes Humans by Walking on Two Legs
A monkey starts walking on its hind legs, possibly as a result of near-death brain damage. Great photo.
brains  evolution  limbs  monkeys  walking 
july 2004 by kevan
Fainting Goats
A breed of goat that faints when startled. "Shepherds often kept the goats in with their flocks as insurance in case of predator attacks."
evolution  goats 
july 2004 by kevan
New Scientist: Releasing Nemo a disaster for native fish
"Individuals are releasing their pet fish with the best of intentions, but in the wrong ocean."
evolution  fish  world 
july 2004 by kevan
generation5 - Interview with Al Biles
"I think that GAs are a terrific approach to searching large, ill-defined spaces, in this case the space of 'nice' melodic ideas."
emergence  evolution  interviews  music 
july 2004 by kevan
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