Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Born This Day: E.O. Wilson

Wilson is an American biologist noted for founding the science of sociobiology. In his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) he argued that all human behavior, including altruism, is genetically based, and therefore “selfish.”

Wilson's On Human Nature (1978) won the Pulitzer Prize; Biophilia (1984) suggests that human attraction to other living things is innate; and Consilience (1998) urges wider integration of the sciences. Other books by Wilson are Insect Societies (1971), The Diversity of Life (1992), The Ants, with Bert Hölldobler (1990; Pulitzer Prize), and The Future of Life (2002).

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Born This Day: Francis Crick

From Today In Science History:

Crick (June 8, 1916 – July 28, 2004) was a British biophysicist, who, with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, received the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their determination of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the chemical substance ultimately responsible for hereditary control of life functions.

Crick and Watson began their collaboration in 1951, and published their paper on the double helix structure on April 2, 1953 in Nature. This accomplishment became a cornerstone of genetics and was widely regarded as one of the most important discoveries of 20th-century biology.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

A Lower Cretaceous Ichthyosaur Bone Bed from Chile

A Lower Cretaceous ichthyosaur graveyard in deep marine slope channel deposits at Torres del Paine National Park, Southern Chile. 2014. W. Stinnesbeck et al., GSA Bulletin. Published online 22 May 2014

image by Amadare90

Forty-six ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs (marine reptiles) have been discovered in the vicinity of the Tyndall Glacier in the Torres del Paine National Park of southern Chile. Among them are numerous articulated and virtually complete skeletons of adults, pregnant females, and juveniles.Preservation is excellent and occasionally includes soft tissue and embryos.

The skeletons are associated with ammonites, belemnites, inoceramid bivalves, and fishes as well as numerous plant remains. The enormous concentration of ichthyosaurs is unique for Chile and South America and places the Tyndall locality among the prime fossil Lagerstätten for Early Cretaceous marine reptiles worldwide. link