Scientific discoveries reach the general public through schooling and news stories, though occasionally this kind of information gets filtered through the lens of pop culture. When it comes to dinosaurs, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a prime example of this. Insights and ideas gleaned from science can inform new and creative plot elements or action set pieces, though the same is true of scientific distortions and misunderstandings. Rather than nitpicking elements of a single film, this article will briefly highlight the areas in which our understanding of dinosaurs has evolved over the past few decades.
Making up around 75% of all animal species in the world, arthropods are are a vast phylum of the kingdom Animalia. The name comes from the Greek words “arthro”, meaning joint, and “podos”, meaning legs. While they all share segmented bodies with joined legs, members in this phylum vary wildly, from butterflies and millipedes, to scorpions and lobsters. They are also all invertebrates, which means that they do not have backbones. Instead, they use hard exoskeletons to protect themselves, which are made out of chitin. Because these exoskeletons are relatively inflexible, arthropods molt as they grow larger, which means they shed their exoskeletons.
Cougar. Mountain Lion. Puma. What do these animals all have in common? Believe it or not, they are actually all names for the same animal! Because this feline spans such a large area, different areas call it different names. As you might think, this could get confusing if scientists try to discuss the same animal, so what do they do? They use taxonomy.
Taxonomy is the science and process of organizing organisms into categories and naming them. Every species of animal has a unique taxonomic, or scientific, name. A species is a group of organisms that reproduce among itself and produce offspring. The scientific name is used by scientists all over the world for ease of communication. After all, it is very important to be specific in science. For example, the scientific name of the cougar/mountain lion/puma is Puma concolor. The name cougar/mountain lion/puma refers to the animal’s common name. Organisms can have many common names used by the public, but when scientists are referring to them, they use the scientific name. Domain Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species
Have you ever had the experience of suddenly hating the food you once loved? Well, it turns out there is a term for it: conditioned taste aversion. Conditioned taste aversion is a type of classical conditioning in which a person develops a strong resistance toward one specific food after experiencing sickness, nausea, or any type of negative emotion.
How did flightless birds evolve? How did the evolution of the shrinking cod come to be? In this lesson, we learn about the evolution of the flightless birds, such as cormorants, and the evolution of the shrinking cod in our biology selection case studies.
Lovely, isn’t she? (Yes, the furry one above.) She’s Your 65-Million-Year-Old Mother. Through modern computer analysis and evolutionary data, Maureen O’Leary a researcher from Stony Brook University and her colleagues discovered the last known common ancestor of placentals (Scientific American). Modern placentals include animals such as whales, bats, […]
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In this lesson, we explain an easy 5-step quick guide on the basics of how to interpret phylogentic evolutionary trees.
We explore natural selection in action with the evolution of Darwin’s Finches, Peter Grant and Rosemary Grant’s research on the Galapagos Islands
An Introduction to Evolution and Natural Selection: the history behind it with famous evolutionists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace