amnhnyc:

Meet Dimorphodon, the toothy pterosaur.
Discovered in the 1820s on the coast of southern England, by a young woman, Mary Anning, famed for her fossil-finding abilities, Dimorphodon earned its names for its distinctive dentition. Dimorphodon, the genus name, means “two-formed tooth” and refers to the animal’s two types of teeth: Long, curved fangs that jut from the front of the jaws, and a row of short pointed teeth that lies behind.
Learn more about this pterosaur.

amnhnyc:

Meet Dimorphodon, the toothy pterosaur.

Discovered in the 1820s on the coast of southern England, by a young woman, Mary Anning, famed for her fossil-finding abilities, Dimorphodon earned its names for its distinctive dentition. Dimorphodon, the genus name, means “two-formed tooth” and refers to the animal’s two types of teeth: Long, curved fangs that jut from the front of the jaws, and a row of short pointed teeth that lies behind.

Learn more about this pterosaur.

rhamphotheca:

The light-blue soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus, inhabits sandy beaches from Singapore and the Bay of Bengal to New Caledonia and Australia. These crabs spend much of their time buried in the sand but emerge to the surface during low tide. They are famous for traveling across the beach in large “armies.”

 Read more: http://eol.org/pages/4270726

Image by LiquidGhoul via Wikimedia Common

(via: Encyclopedia of Life)

libutron:

Misumena vatia | ©Dietrich Meyer   (Marly, Fribourg, Switzerland)

This lovely little (9 mm) spider is Misumena vatia (Aranea - Thomisidae), commonly known as crab spider because its body is short, wide, and flattened as a crab.

Crab spiders occur all around the world, but Misumena vatia is only found in North America and Europe. In Europe the species is known as Variable crab spider, and in North America it is called the Goldenrod crab spider or Flower crab spider.

[Source]

curiosamathematica:

Spread the word!

We just hate the way math is taught. “Sit down and shut up” does not make passionate students.

realmonstrosities:

Spirula spirula is a small, deep sea cephalopod related to squid and cuttlefish.
Their most unique feature is their spiralling shell which is so strong and buoyant that they often wash up on beaches, perhaps after drifting for miles on currents.
They also have a light-emitting photophore on their back end. Since their shell is so buoyant that they typically swim in a vertical position with their tentacles dangling beneath them, they’re basically wearing a light-up hat with wings!
Images: Dr. Steve O’Shea/Udo Schmidt/Fritz Geller-Grimm/Rachel Caauwe
realmonstrosities:

Spirula spirula is a small, deep sea cephalopod related to squid and cuttlefish.
Their most unique feature is their spiralling shell which is so strong and buoyant that they often wash up on beaches, perhaps after drifting for miles on currents.
They also have a light-emitting photophore on their back end. Since their shell is so buoyant that they typically swim in a vertical position with their tentacles dangling beneath them, they’re basically wearing a light-up hat with wings!
Images: Dr. Steve O’Shea/Udo Schmidt/Fritz Geller-Grimm/Rachel Caauwe
realmonstrosities:

Spirula spirula is a small, deep sea cephalopod related to squid and cuttlefish.
Their most unique feature is their spiralling shell which is so strong and buoyant that they often wash up on beaches, perhaps after drifting for miles on currents.
They also have a light-emitting photophore on their back end. Since their shell is so buoyant that they typically swim in a vertical position with their tentacles dangling beneath them, they’re basically wearing a light-up hat with wings!
Images: Dr. Steve O’Shea/Udo Schmidt/Fritz Geller-Grimm/Rachel Caauwe
realmonstrosities:

Spirula spirula is a small, deep sea cephalopod related to squid and cuttlefish.
Their most unique feature is their spiralling shell which is so strong and buoyant that they often wash up on beaches, perhaps after drifting for miles on currents.
They also have a light-emitting photophore on their back end. Since their shell is so buoyant that they typically swim in a vertical position with their tentacles dangling beneath them, they’re basically wearing a light-up hat with wings!
Images: Dr. Steve O’Shea/Udo Schmidt/Fritz Geller-Grimm/Rachel Caauwe

realmonstrosities:

Spirula spirula is a small, deep sea cephalopod related to squid and cuttlefish.

Their most unique feature is their spiralling shell which is so strong and buoyant that they often wash up on beaches, perhaps after drifting for miles on currents.

They also have a light-emitting photophore on their back end. Since their shell is so buoyant that they typically swim in a vertical position with their tentacles dangling beneath them, they’re basically wearing a light-up hat with wings!

Images: Dr. Steve O’Shea/Udo Schmidt/Fritz Geller-Grimm/Rachel Caauwe

brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 
brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 
"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.
Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.
The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”
Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.
Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH
Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).
There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.
I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 

brontozaurus:

archdrude:

The Amazing Connections Between the Inca and Egyptian Cultures 

"The ancient Egyptians (in Africa) and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas (in South America) evolved on opposite sides of the globe and were never in contact.

Yet, both cultures mysteriously possessed the same strikingly identical body of ancient art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion.

The Victorian era scholars, faced with this enigma, concluded that both cultures must have been children of the same Golden Age parent civilization, “Atlantis.”

Today, Egyptian/Inca parallels are not only being ignored by American and Western scholars, they’re being suppressed.

Many baffling and unsolved similarities link the ancient Egyptians and the ancient pre-Incas/Incas ― even though both cultures evolved on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans” Read More

UGH

Literally nothing on this list is evidence for connections between these cultures. It’s only coincidental, and really most of it is pretty common to cultures across the world (seriously, sun worship? EVERYONE DOES SUN WORSHIP).

There’s also the fact that the ancient Egyptians predated the Inca (and most other South American cultures referenced here) by thousands of years. Not only that, the Egyptians were renowned for being terrible sailors so there’s no way they could have crossed the Atlantic to hang out in South America.

I honestly don’t know why I devoted so much time to critiquing something that claims that Atlantis existed and that a conspiracy exists to hide the truth of our history. Probably cause I just can’t stand bullshit like this not getting called out.

Seriously. Pseudoscientific garbage pisses me off. People are just intent on looking like ignorant fools, I suppose. 

libutron:

Nemateleotris decora | ©Benjamin Naden   (Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia)

The Purple Fire Goby, Nemateleotris decora (Perciformes - Microdesmidae), also known as the Elegant firefish, Decorated firefish, Purple dartfish, Decorated dartfish, or Flame firefish, is, as its name suggests, a colorful fish from the Indo-Pacific region.

It is a reef-associated fish, found often in pairs (they are monogamous). Feeds on zooplankton, especially copepods and crustacean larvae. Darts into a hole when alarmed.

[Source]

sinobug:

Planthopper Nymph (Flatidae)

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese true bugs and hoppers on my Flickr site HERE…..

ooksaidthelibrarian:

n12_w1150 by BioDivLibrary on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Manuel d’actinologie ou de zoophytologie /.
Paris ;F.G. Levrault,1834-[1836]..
biodiversitylibrary.org/page/9321274

animalworld:

BLUE SOLDIER FLY
Family: Stratiomyidae
©artour_a

Shot in Guyana

The soldier flies (Stratiomyidae, sometimes misspelled as Stratiomyiidae. From Greek στρατιώτης - soldier; μυια - fly), are a family of flies (historically placed in the now-obsolete group Orthorrhapha). The family contains about 1,500 species in about 400 genera worldwide (I couldn’t find any as pretty as this one but it was photographed by artour_a in Guyana).

Adults are found near larval habitats. Larvae can be found in a diverse array of situations mostly in wetlands and damp places in soil, sod, under bark, and in animal excrement and decaying organic matter. They are diverse in size and shape, though they commonly are partly or wholly metallic green, or somewhat wasp-like mimics, marked with black and yellow or green and sometimes metallic. They are often rather inactive flies which typically rest with their wings placed one above the other over the abdomen.

Fact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratiomyidae

Other posts:

Stalk-eyed Fly - pushing eye distance from the head to new limits (also video)

This Film Interference

Picture Winged Fly

ooblium:

Silurian Sea Life by Zdeněk Burian

Oil on canvas

s-c-i-guy:

The Long Arm of the Planktivore
The Cambrian oceans hosted a riot of evolutionary novelty. Over a seabead burrowed by penis worms and tread by living pincushions, multi-eyed invertebrates swung their schnozzles after prey and our closest, archaic relatives squirmed through the water. Largest of all were the anomalocaridids – cousins of arthropods that flapped through the water on segmented wings and were equipped with a pair of “great appendages” hanging below a pineapple-ring mouth. Their size and flexible, spiky arms have made them dead ringers for apex predators in the eyes of paleontologists, but new research has cast at least one of these mind-bending invertebrates as a filter-feeder that was only a threat to plankton.
The pioneering planktivore was Tamisiocaris borealis, a relatively new addition to the anomalocaridid family tree named by paleontologists Allison Daley and John Peel in 2010. That description was based on a sole great appendage found in the 520 million year old rock of North Greenland’s Sirius Passet.
Against the slow grind of paleontology publication, however, discoveries in the field can quickly turn up additional parts of organisms that are already on their way to press. Expeditions in 2009 and again in 2011 uncovered additional appendages of Tamisiocaris in an even better state of preservation.
Paleontologist Jakob Vinther, lead author on the new Nature paper that casts the creature as a suspension-feeder, was immediately excited by the finds. “I remember writing on the package with the fossil, ‘Great Appendage!!!!’,” Vinther says, and the delicate details of the new fossils brought up an intriguing possibility that had only been hinted at before. “The fine bristles, which I could see even in the field immediately,” Vinther says, “made me think that this is a filter feeder and I quickly started thinking about the evolution of baleen whales and whale sharks.”
At a glance, the great appendages of Tamisiocaris look to be tipped with long, nasty, backward-pointing spikes perfect for skewering squishy prey. In detail, however, each of the spines has a network of smaller filaments branching off to create what would have been a flexible net in life. This was not an arm for piercing prey, but an appendage for sifting small organisms from the seas.
Through digital reconstructions done by coauthor Martin Stein, Vinther and colleagues replayed how Tamisiocaris must have snagged little morsels. “We could see that upon contraction,” Vinther says, “the appendage would curl up and form a basket, which would concentrate the food particles and in the process of contraction the basket of goodies would be adjacent to the mouth.”
The question is how Tamisiocaris managed to eat those “goodies.” The filtering appendages weren’t able to directly deposit food into the critter’s mouth, and there’s evidence to suggest that anomalocaridids had additional limbs to help feed themselves. Instead, based on recent work by Allison Daley and Jan Bergström, Vinther hypothesizes that “the anomalocarid pineapple mouth was a suction apparatus, like a goldfish mouth.” Since no one has described the mouth of Tamisiocaris just yet, though, discerning the arm-to-mouth feeding method of Tamisiocaris relies on future fossil finds.
Just how a filter-feeder could have evolved from a line of predators is a little clearer.
Even though there has been some debate about just how rapacious classic forms such as Anomalocaris truly were, there were numerous anomalocaridids with spiky great appendages. Some, such as those ofAmplectobelua stephenensis and Stanleycaris hirpex, are the stuff that nightmares are made of. And among this array of anomalocaridids that likely snatched and punctured prey, Tamisiocaris shows how those traits could be tweaked into an entirely different sort of feeding apparatus.
“We see some forms which have slightly longer spines on their appendages,” Vinther says, “perhaps they could have swept up prey in midwater, and by making the spacing of the spines finer, then you would capture things that are smaller.” The netting of Tamisiocaris was a modification of what already existed.
Such transitions have happened multiple times in the history of life. Both filter-feeding sharks and baleen whales evolved from sharp-toothed ancestors, marking alternate routes for planktivores to evolve from predators.  And drawing from whales and sharks, artist NocturalSea imagined a speculative version of a filter-feeding anomalocaridid for the All Your Yesterdays art project. “We were all a bit weirded out that someone actually thought up this thing,” Vinther says, as “his reasoning is the same as ours.” A true case of Cambrian convergence.
source
s-c-i-guy:

The Long Arm of the Planktivore
The Cambrian oceans hosted a riot of evolutionary novelty. Over a seabead burrowed by penis worms and tread by living pincushions, multi-eyed invertebrates swung their schnozzles after prey and our closest, archaic relatives squirmed through the water. Largest of all were the anomalocaridids – cousins of arthropods that flapped through the water on segmented wings and were equipped with a pair of “great appendages” hanging below a pineapple-ring mouth. Their size and flexible, spiky arms have made them dead ringers for apex predators in the eyes of paleontologists, but new research has cast at least one of these mind-bending invertebrates as a filter-feeder that was only a threat to plankton.
The pioneering planktivore was Tamisiocaris borealis, a relatively new addition to the anomalocaridid family tree named by paleontologists Allison Daley and John Peel in 2010. That description was based on a sole great appendage found in the 520 million year old rock of North Greenland’s Sirius Passet.
Against the slow grind of paleontology publication, however, discoveries in the field can quickly turn up additional parts of organisms that are already on their way to press. Expeditions in 2009 and again in 2011 uncovered additional appendages of Tamisiocaris in an even better state of preservation.
Paleontologist Jakob Vinther, lead author on the new Nature paper that casts the creature as a suspension-feeder, was immediately excited by the finds. “I remember writing on the package with the fossil, ‘Great Appendage!!!!’,” Vinther says, and the delicate details of the new fossils brought up an intriguing possibility that had only been hinted at before. “The fine bristles, which I could see even in the field immediately,” Vinther says, “made me think that this is a filter feeder and I quickly started thinking about the evolution of baleen whales and whale sharks.”
At a glance, the great appendages of Tamisiocaris look to be tipped with long, nasty, backward-pointing spikes perfect for skewering squishy prey. In detail, however, each of the spines has a network of smaller filaments branching off to create what would have been a flexible net in life. This was not an arm for piercing prey, but an appendage for sifting small organisms from the seas.
Through digital reconstructions done by coauthor Martin Stein, Vinther and colleagues replayed how Tamisiocaris must have snagged little morsels. “We could see that upon contraction,” Vinther says, “the appendage would curl up and form a basket, which would concentrate the food particles and in the process of contraction the basket of goodies would be adjacent to the mouth.”
The question is how Tamisiocaris managed to eat those “goodies.” The filtering appendages weren’t able to directly deposit food into the critter’s mouth, and there’s evidence to suggest that anomalocaridids had additional limbs to help feed themselves. Instead, based on recent work by Allison Daley and Jan Bergström, Vinther hypothesizes that “the anomalocarid pineapple mouth was a suction apparatus, like a goldfish mouth.” Since no one has described the mouth of Tamisiocaris just yet, though, discerning the arm-to-mouth feeding method of Tamisiocaris relies on future fossil finds.
Just how a filter-feeder could have evolved from a line of predators is a little clearer.
Even though there has been some debate about just how rapacious classic forms such as Anomalocaris truly were, there were numerous anomalocaridids with spiky great appendages. Some, such as those ofAmplectobelua stephenensis and Stanleycaris hirpex, are the stuff that nightmares are made of. And among this array of anomalocaridids that likely snatched and punctured prey, Tamisiocaris shows how those traits could be tweaked into an entirely different sort of feeding apparatus.
“We see some forms which have slightly longer spines on their appendages,” Vinther says, “perhaps they could have swept up prey in midwater, and by making the spacing of the spines finer, then you would capture things that are smaller.” The netting of Tamisiocaris was a modification of what already existed.
Such transitions have happened multiple times in the history of life. Both filter-feeding sharks and baleen whales evolved from sharp-toothed ancestors, marking alternate routes for planktivores to evolve from predators.  And drawing from whales and sharks, artist NocturalSea imagined a speculative version of a filter-feeding anomalocaridid for the All Your Yesterdays art project. “We were all a bit weirded out that someone actually thought up this thing,” Vinther says, as “his reasoning is the same as ours.” A true case of Cambrian convergence.
source

s-c-i-guy:

The Long Arm of the Planktivore

The Cambrian oceans hosted a riot of evolutionary novelty. Over a seabead burrowed by penis worms and tread by living pincushions, multi-eyed invertebrates swung their schnozzles after prey and our closest, archaic relatives squirmed through the water. Largest of all were the anomalocaridids – cousins of arthropods that flapped through the water on segmented wings and were equipped with a pair of “great appendages” hanging below a pineapple-ring mouth. Their size and flexible, spiky arms have made them dead ringers for apex predators in the eyes of paleontologists, but new research has cast at least one of these mind-bending invertebrates as a filter-feeder that was only a threat to plankton.

The pioneering planktivore was Tamisiocaris borealis, a relatively new addition to the anomalocaridid family tree named by paleontologists Allison Daley and John Peel in 2010. That description was based on a sole great appendage found in the 520 million year old rock of North Greenland’s Sirius Passet.

Against the slow grind of paleontology publication, however, discoveries in the field can quickly turn up additional parts of organisms that are already on their way to press. Expeditions in 2009 and again in 2011 uncovered additional appendages of Tamisiocaris in an even better state of preservation.

Paleontologist Jakob Vinther, lead author on the new Nature paper that casts the creature as a suspension-feeder, was immediately excited by the finds. “I remember writing on the package with the fossil, ‘Great Appendage!!!!’,” Vinther says, and the delicate details of the new fossils brought up an intriguing possibility that had only been hinted at before. “The fine bristles, which I could see even in the field immediately,” Vinther says, “made me think that this is a filter feeder and I quickly started thinking about the evolution of baleen whales and whale sharks.”

At a glance, the great appendages of Tamisiocaris look to be tipped with long, nasty, backward-pointing spikes perfect for skewering squishy prey. In detail, however, each of the spines has a network of smaller filaments branching off to create what would have been a flexible net in life. This was not an arm for piercing prey, but an appendage for sifting small organisms from the seas.

Through digital reconstructions done by coauthor Martin Stein, Vinther and colleagues replayed how Tamisiocaris must have snagged little morsels. “We could see that upon contraction,” Vinther says, “the appendage would curl up and form a basket, which would concentrate the food particles and in the process of contraction the basket of goodies would be adjacent to the mouth.”

The question is how Tamisiocaris managed to eat those “goodies.” The filtering appendages weren’t able to directly deposit food into the critter’s mouth, and there’s evidence to suggest that anomalocaridids had additional limbs to help feed themselves. Instead, based on recent work by Allison Daley and Jan Bergström, Vinther hypothesizes that “the anomalocarid pineapple mouth was a suction apparatus, like a goldfish mouth.” Since no one has described the mouth of Tamisiocaris just yet, though, discerning the arm-to-mouth feeding method of Tamisiocaris relies on future fossil finds.

Just how a filter-feeder could have evolved from a line of predators is a little clearer.

Even though there has been some debate about just how rapacious classic forms such as Anomalocaris truly were, there were numerous anomalocaridids with spiky great appendages. Some, such as those ofAmplectobelua stephenensis and Stanleycaris hirpex, are the stuff that nightmares are made of. And among this array of anomalocaridids that likely snatched and punctured prey, Tamisiocaris shows how those traits could be tweaked into an entirely different sort of feeding apparatus.

“We see some forms which have slightly longer spines on their appendages,” Vinther says, “perhaps they could have swept up prey in midwater, and by making the spacing of the spines finer, then you would capture things that are smaller.” The netting of Tamisiocaris was a modification of what already existed.

Such transitions have happened multiple times in the history of life. Both filter-feeding sharks and baleen whales evolved from sharp-toothed ancestors, marking alternate routes for planktivores to evolve from predators.  And drawing from whales and sharks, artist NocturalSea imagined a speculative version of a filter-feeding anomalocaridid for the All Your Yesterdays art project. “We were all a bit weirded out that someone actually thought up this thing,” Vinther says, as “his reasoning is the same as ours.” A true case of Cambrian convergence.

source

scipak:

Study Indicates Royal Ferns are “Living Fossils”

Researchers have discovered a 180-million-year-old fossil fern with pristinely preserved subcellular structures, including its nuclei and chromosomes, which closely resemble those of today’s cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum. The ancient fossil, which was found at Korsaröd in southern Sweden, suggests that the size of the ferns’ genome has not changed for hundreds of millions of years, and it strengthens the reputation of royal ferns (those belonging to the Osmundaceae family) as “living fossils.”

Read more about this research from the 21 March issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Benjamin Bomfleur. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

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