OK, gang, I know we’re on a shorter than normal interval here, but still — you haven’t been submitting enough stuff for the Tangled Bank. Write a science post right now and send a link to me. You can do it.
This issue was delayed because I neglected to ride herd on it while I was off in the Galápagos, but the next edition, at En Tequila Es Verdad, will be on schedule next week, on 3 September. So get inspired by the latest and send in links to your science writing pronto!
Uh-oh. We were scheduled to have a Tangled Bank while I was off gallivanting in the southern hemisphere, and I guess it didn’t happen. Shall we have a belated carnival at Science Notes on Wednesday, the 27th? Send in the links and we’ll try to pull it together.
The Tangled Bank was scheduled to appear on the Blue Collar Scientist this week, but as many of you already know, Jeff was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, and obviously he has more important issues to tend. So let’s leap into some science right here right now!
We’ve got two articles on the recent work by Rabosky and Lovette: Evolution of the Wood Warblers and DNA Reveals Tempo and Chronology of Speciation for Dendroica Warblers. This clade reveals evidence of a rapid burst of speciation events that slowed as they new species filled available niches.
If you want the big picture of bird evolution, it seems the molecular data is causing some major renovations of that branch of the family tree: Early Birds Shake Up Avian Tree of Life. It’s a good thing I don’t know much about avian phylogeny, since it sounds like I’d have to relearn a lot of it.
For a narrower view, here’s an unusual bird: Hybrid Thrush Found in Vermont. It was spotted because it sang a song that was part Bicknell’s Thrush and part Veery, and blood tests confirmed that it really was a hybrid.
Field trip! Follow the Ramblings of a Field Biologist as he follows some nesting Northern Rough-Winged Swallows, as well as anything else that flits before his eyes.
Our sole entry from the vast field of botany is a short one, on La Zucca. I think you’d better go visit this member of the mesoamerican trinity so it doesn’t feel too lonely.
At least we’ve had the recent discovery of a transitional flatfish to stir up some interest in The Mysterious Origin of the Wandering Eye.
Wait, what, really? Obviously, one place you shouldn’t get your science is from Cereal Box Science — this one begins with an amazingly bad statement straight from a box of Kellog’s Mini-Wheats, which leads into a useful discussion of decent experimental design.
While I think there’s a germ of interesting science in evolutionary psychology, it’s also prone to excesses, and through no fault of its own, is also easily mangled by the media. In Girls gone guilty: Evolutionary psych on sex, we get a criticism of the premises, interpretations, and media abuse of work on women’s attitudes towards sex.
No discussion of the abuses of science would be complete without the Discovery Institute, and their new cause, animal rights. Weird, I know, but it’s somehow all part of the perceived plot by evilutionists to dehumanize humanity, built on the DI’s poor understanding of logic. Check out Animal Rights, Evolution, and Morality: Who’s Afraid of the Slippery Slope?
Here are a couple of catalogs of useful resources: The Best Sites To Introduce Environmental Issues Into The Classroom, and for when your teaching fails, The Best Websites For Learning About Natural Disasters.
This might seem to contradict the lessons of those last links: I would think a great way to start a cataclysmic natural disaster would be to prolong human lives. But then, we are selfish, and I’m sure not planning on disappearing in the near future. Besides, these articles are about Stressor-specific hypersensitivity in the mole rat and Recent progress in yeast aging research. In my immortal future, I want lots of scurrying sausages with teeth, and beer.
We were supposed to have a new edition of the Tangled Bank this week, at the Blue Collar Scientist — but has more serious real-life issues with which to contend, so unsurprisingly it has not made it up yet, and I haven’t heard back from my email query. If I don’t hear anything by this afternoon, I’ll put something together myself — no blame to the BCS, of course, and please do give him your support.