Posts Tagged With: Evolutionary Biology

#Bat Wings #Chiroptera /|\^o^/|\ (#Science #Biology #Anatomy #Evolution)

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This is some of the research that contributed to the recently released Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mysteryhttp://amzn.to/2k8qJgi. Bats have a major role in this books, also the people who try to protect them when they become a target of fearful people during the pandemic.

In mammals, teeth provide quick and easy information as to diet, and an endless source of argument as to whether homo sapiens sapiens (that’s you) are carnivores or herbivores. Of course, the answer to this argument is that we are omnivores.

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Sharp, pointed teeth indicate a carnivorous diet. In fact, most felines are obligate carnivores, so putting you pet cat on a vegan diet will kill it.

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Flat, grinding teeth indicate a plant based diet. This horse is a typical herbivore and loves a vegan diet.

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Often examining isolated characteristics can tell a lot about an animal’s environment, diet, and place in the food chain. Darwin famously famously supported his case for evolution be cataloging the beaks of finches.

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In the case of bats, wings provide instant information about environment, diet, and prey. Most bats are designed on the model of jet fighter for maneuverability. They use this to avoid obstacles when flying inside caves or through trees.

They also, like fighter jets, use sonar (radar) and agility to track and capture flying targets. These bats have relatively short wings. The same can be seen in birds that live in forest and jungle environments.

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Alternately wings might be long. Relative large wings optimize for distance flying.

Fruit bats have long wings appropriate for their stationary targets (fruit) and look more like cargo transports or bombers. Carrion birds like vultures and condors also follow this model.

So short, stubby wings: think jet fighter, and large, long wings think bombers. Evolution is warfare, and the right equipment in the right situation is victorious.

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Father’s Day – anachronism, atavism, or reason to celebrate?

Father's Day

The Last Father’s Day?

There are two theories about fathers. One represented by Women After All by Melvin Konner believes that at best fathers are unnecessary, but at worst they are a threat to civilization and humanity. The alternate theory represented by Do Fathers Matter? by Paul Raeburn expounds that fathers are important and salvation for the futures

A brief digression. The fable of regret, dread, and fantasy.

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Long ago there lived a very happy snake. Each day the snake awoke afresh with no memory of any day before. The snake was happy.

One day the snake met a wizard who granted the snake three wishes. With each day new, the snake had never wanted anything.

But on this day it looked around at man, “Like man I wish to remember the past.” As the snake recalled its past life, it experienced regret for the first time, for mistakes, errors, and missed opportunities.

It had so much regret, it wished to be able to think of the future and plan. With its second wish, the snake experienced dread and fear.

With this broad purview, the snake made its final wish, “I wish to be able to fantasize and escape my miserable life.”

Thus the snake had learned the secret of true misery: Collect regrets from the past, use them to fill the future with dread, and, most of all, ignore the present.

Fathers

Do Fathers Matter? by Paul Raeburn is like the snake before the three wishes. Raeburn reviews evolutionary biology and history of fatherhood with a snakelike focus on a father’s contribution during each phase of reproduction: pre-conception, conception, during pregnancy, and during the various post-natal stages. At each point he shows the importance of the father’s participation. Like the snake, each day is unique and wonderful.

As reported by Raeburn, parthenogenesis is impossible. Current science shows that both males and females contribute unique and vital genetic material, so a new life is not possible with contributions from both sexes.

Each day is Happy Father’s Day.

Women After All by Melvin Konner personifies the miserable snake after the three wishes.

Konner reaches back to the evolution of sex noting that life started with only females. With regret he reports the evolution of a second sex (males), but with a more cheerful note, he reports that there are some examples of species reverting to the single sex (female) mode.

He shows that primate females (including humans) were usually in charge or equal, with the exception of the last few thousand years. These recent millennia were marked by brutal female subjugation, violence, and rape. For several sickening chapters, Konner shows that sex trafficking, slavery, and rape is universally practiced.

Konner mixes this regretful past with the assurance that future science will solve all the problems with parthenogenesis, and in a few decades male humans will be superfluous. Bottom line: Men should dread the future where they will be unnecessary.

The message seems to be that fathers need to straighten out or be consigned to a life of regret and dread as they are phased out.

Today is Happy Father’s Day, enjoy it while you can.

Be careful what you wish for.

Categories: Father's Day | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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