BIOLOGY



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EVOLUTION ANATOMY ANIMALS
Abiogenesis DNA & RNA Terrestrial
All Life Cells Birds
Human Viruses Insects
Epigenetics Sex Marine Life
Plants Survival Dinosaurs


Abiogenesis


6/18/15

Researchers find the first direct experimental evidence
for how primordial proteins developed the ability
to accelerate the central chemical reaction necessary to synthesize proteins ...

and thus allow life to arise


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6/1/15

The hypothesized "RNA world" was probably preceded by the ...

Peptide - RNA world


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5/12/15

Chemical evolution (9:14)




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4/27/15

The evolution from inorganic elements to organic chemical molecules
has been shown to be feasible in the environment of ...

undersea hydrothermal vents


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3/16/15

Scientists create nucleic acid precursors




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12/24/14

This video from Aron Ra on Abiogenesis
should be required viewing for every high school student in America (11:34)




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4/23/14

The RNA World Hypothesis




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9/13/13

Another abiogenesis breakthrough ... "Urzymes"

Scientists continue to zero-in on the origins of life,
and every time they do ... the Bible fades ever farther into oblivion.


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6/10/13

Early bioenergetic evolution

Their definition of life:
"The harnessing of chemical energy in such a way
that the energy-harnessing device makes a copy of itself
."

Most definitions of life do not take into account the evolutionary steps
that led from inorganic matter evolving into organisms that we recognize as alive.
This definition, however, recognizes that life is a process:
it is just one direction that the evolution of matter can take.


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6/3/13

Reactive phosphorus was an essential component to the creation of life

Where did early Earth get the phosphorus from?


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4/4/13

Yet another abiogenesis model enters the race: proteins before RNA

I emailed the author, Michael Blaber, and he clarified one statement in the article
regarding the contribution of green plant life to the Earth's atmospheric oxygen,
by adding that plants would have contributed to an 'increase' in atmospheric oxygen
which was already present as a result of the Great Oxygenation Event, 2 billion years earlier.


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2/28/13

Precursor molecules to life found in outer space




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11/9/12

The gaps, where God is inserted by Creationists, just keep getting fewer and fewer.

Precursor to RNA found in Cyanobacteria


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10/14/09

Here's another LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) candidate ...

a rock


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1953

When Stanley Miller created amino acids from inorganic compounds
in his lab in 1953, the religious world went nuts.
For over 60 years they have furiously and desperately fought back
with feeble and humiliating attempts to discredit his discovery.

Well, it's time for Ghost Worshipers to go nuts again.
In addition to Miller's work, they will now have to tackle this new discovery:
amino acids can also be created by comet and meteor impacts.

This is the best example you will ever get,
of the logical fallacy known as "Moving the Goalposts."
Creationists are forced to retreat ever further each time science advances.
The goalposts are no longer on the field; they have been moved into the stands,
out of the stadium, and are currently located somewhere outside the state.
Yet they will never give up.
They will go to their graves holding on to their childish, ancient fairy tales.

Pascal asked "what have they got to lose ?"

Nothing; if you don't mind living, the only life you will ever know ...

in Fantasyland

And in case you need to refresh your memory ...

Here's the original Miller-Urey experiment


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All Life


4/10/17

A long-standing debate over which was the first animal,
the sea sponge or the comb jelly,
seems to finally have been decided.
And the conclusion was a surprise to the majority opinion.



And crocodiles are more closely related to turtles than they are to birds.


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1/11/17

A huge new branch has been added to the Tree of Life




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12/21/16

Major evolutionary transitions (9:03)

Trigger Warning:
For you Conservative Christians who have not yet been able
to reconcile science with your bizarre religious beliefs,
you may want to come back after the video ends.
(give it about 10 minutes just to be on the safe side)
Suggested activities during your break time include praying
or throwing darts at pictures of gay people.




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5/5/16

A key gene, responsible for multicellularity in all creatures,
has been identified in algae




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3/21/16

Scientists play God ... and develop the smallest functioning genome




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12/1/15

The oldest animal has been definitively determined.
And the winner is ...

the sea sponge

And the Silver goes to ... the comb jellies

UPDATE - 2/22/16

More evidence supporting the theory
that the "Sea Sponge" was the Earth's first animal




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5/7/15

Scientists may have discovered ... The God Gene



Okay, they didn't actually call it that ... but they could have


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3/3/15

It's been a pretty rough day for the late, great, biologist Stephen Jay Gould

First, his famous theory of punctuated equilibrium takes a hit

Then his theory about the evolution of ecological function
undergoing an early burst during the dawn of animal life ...

gets dinged


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2/2/15

Is this a ray of hope for evolution deniers?

Organism discovered that hasn't evolved in 2 billion years

Nah. Just another ... in a long line of neverending defeats.


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12/11/14

And the discoveries of science just keep getting weirder and weirder

Evolution ... in reverse


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11/6/14

The evolution of multicellularity

How utterly embarrassing for humans:
even single cells figured it out (working together) ...

but we can't


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9/30/14

Bird's wings are the result of an evolutionary reversal ...

from dinosaur arms


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9/28/14

The evolutionary arms race doesn't just exist between species.
It also exists inside ...

each of us


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9/17/14

How fast can evolution happen in multicellular creatures?

Pretty damn fast

I think the lights will be burning deep into the night at ...
The Discovery Institute


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7/9/14

So ... in addition to being indebted to green algae for giving us plants

We also owe sex to green algae

There are some debts ... that we will just never be able to repay


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6/5/14

Bromine is essential for all animal life (3:58)




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5/28/14

Extinction of the world's megafauna has often been blamed on climate change.

So who is really to blame?

Yep, the usual suspects ... humans


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12/12/13

An extreme example of "punctuated equilibrium"




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12/12/13

This is the new candidate for "First Known Animal"




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9/17/13

How, and when, did birds get their wings?




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9/2/13

Need a reply to those pesky Creationists
who argue that evolution promotes only vicious competition?

Tell them to stay current on the latest research ...
to avoid further embarrassment



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3/27/13

One of the worst days in Earth's history

The day the dinosaurs got hit

But out of that tragedy, there arose survivors (our ancestors)
who would benefit from the dinosaur's demise, and change the world forever.


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1/16/13

Fire ants come in two varieties ... defined by their DNA

Fire Ant evolution


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11/26/12

Genes ... explained (4:56)




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10/23/12

Remember the recent discovery of a new form of life at Mono Lake in California?
(A discovery that scientists have not embraced)

Well this would make a better candidate.




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Human Evolution


6/7/17

The evolutionary beginning of modern humans
"may be" much earlier than we thought ...

over 300,000 years ago


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6/1/15

Time to rewrite the textbooks:

Vessels that directly connect the brain and the lymphatic system do actually exist.




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8/28/14

If you are hoping to have sex tonight,
make sure that you and your significant other,
do not read this until ... after.




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7/2/14

How did Tibetans evolve the ability to survive at low-oxygen elevations?

Their ancestors "partied" with a different species of human


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4/30/14

Carl Woese, a scientist few have ever heard of, is to biology ...
what Einstein is to physics.
The 16SrRNA gene led Woese to the discovery of our ancestors ...

the Archaea

"I didn't come from no monkey !"

That's right Bubbles ... the truth is far worse than that


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12/18/13

With each new discovery, human origins get more complicated ...

but better defined



Family tree of the four groups of early humans
living in Eurasia 50,000 years ago
and the gene flow between the groups due to interbreeding.
(The tree is easier to understand if you read it upwards from the root)


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12/4/13

In the quest to unravel ancient human history, scientists examine ...

300,000-400,000 year-old DNA


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11/5/13

Misleading article claims that a new knee ligament has been discovered.



Actually, the ligament had been discovered long ago;
but researchers only recently discovered the "purpose" of this ligament.


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8/1/13

Worldwide analysis of the Y-chromosome
yields a date range for the last common human male ancestor.

and it is remarkably close to the estimated range
for the last common human female ancestor


No. This doesn't mean Adam and Eve were real.


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3/1/13

The date for the emergence of modern humans
may have been pushed back from 200,000 to 338,000 years,
as molecular biology fills in the gaps in the fossil record.



The x-chromosome (female) is the large one;
the y-chromosome (male) is the small one.


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12/1/12

How many "senses" do humans possess?

Hint: it's a lot more than 5


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2/14/07

DNA evidence conclusively links humans to apes (4:23)

chromosomes 2 and 13 fused


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Epigenetics & Lamarckism


6/4/15

Methylation reprograms our epigenetic switches ...

and can be passed on to our offspring


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4/7/15

Richard Dawkins explains "The Baldwin Effect" (6:07)

He also explained why the learned behavior being inherited by the offspring
was not Lamarckianism.


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4/6/15

Scientists are learning how to control the gene enhancers and promoters ...

that make up our epigenetics


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3/3/15

Contrary to what we have always been told ...

Height is not solely determined by genetics


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2/4/15

As some recent studies have suggested,
it has now been proven that ...

DNA is not responsible for ALL inherited traits


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9/18/14

How epigenetic memory is passed across generations

"Epigenetic modifications do not affect the DNA sequence of genes,
but change how the DNA is packaged and how genes are expressed.
"


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12/18/13

The fear of certain smells is passed on by mice to their offspring

Maybe science shouldn't have been so harsh to Lamarck

Lamarckism

But before passing judgment, it might be wise to weigh this opinion from

Richard Dawkins

It looks like this debate is far from over


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Plants


8/10/16

The fig

A most interesting ... fruit? ... vege? ... flower?




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8/4/16

Why sunflowers "follow the sun" (1:14)




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12/11/13

Scientists discover another way that carnivorous plants lure prey




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6/24/13

No, this is not a joke. Science gets more amazing every day.

Plants calculate using division

This means that Creationists have now been moved farther down the Tree of Life.
They are currently listed just above ... carrots


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10/30/12

How do tall trees get water up to the top?

Tree biology (7:23)


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DNA & RNA


1/23/17

The first stable semisynthetic organism has been created.

Can you spot the error in this story?
(hint: it's right at the beginning)


The first paragraph ignores the fact
that 5methylcytosine is part of the genetic code.
So now we're up to 5 bases.
They also ignored the fact
that RNA is also part of the genetic code.
RNA substitutes uracil in place of thymine.
So that is a 6th base that they ignored.


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11/25/14

Scientists see, for the first time, DNA being damaged by oxidative stress.




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9/14

Want to change the world?

But you're not big enough; strong enough; smart enough; or brave enough?

You gonna let that stop you?

Here's one way ... you could  make a difference

Here's my page

(I got as high as #252 before quitting in Sep. 2014)


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5/7/14

Those wacky scientists. Now look at what they've done:
They've gone and expanded the genetic code ...
and just when I had finally gotten those 5 bases memorized.




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1/31/13

Four-stranded ‘quadruple helix’ DNA structure proven to exist in human cells




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Cells


4/27/16

A brain and nervous system are not requirements for learning

Scientists find a single-celled organism capable of learning


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4/17/16

The structure of the cell's DNA gatekeeper has been solved




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2/9/16

Meet the new "Toughest guy on the block"




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12/3/13

Cell type changed in a single process.

Transcription Factor ELT-7


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12/17/12

New type of cell division discovered




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Viruses


9/21/15

For those of you who don't believe that viruses should be classified as life

"Life" is merely one direction that the evolution of matter can take.
There is no boundary line between life and nonlife,
other than the arbitrary one created by humans for our convenience.


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2/4/15

Scientists crack viral code




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9/13/12

Those who claim that viruses are not part of the Tree of Life
take a huge hit from science.

Tree of Life Continues To Be Refined


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Sex


3/3/15

Results from the one of the most recent, large, scientific studies of ...

Penis Size

I thought it was interesting that their choice of a visual aid
was not one of an erect penis ... but of a tape measure.
I think that is called "Playing it safe."


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2/9/12

Genesis 3:16 - To the woman He said,
"I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth,
in pain you will bring forth children ....
"

I think a Hyena must have stolen fruit from God's favorite tree


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1/14/12

Laci Green explains the clitoris (3:51)




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Survival


1/25/17

Death is more complicated than we imagined.
Some genes continue to try to repair the body ...

even days after the heart stops


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12/1/15

Scientists discover that interferons
are not our first line of defense against viruses and bacteria ... but our second

(note: the story is in a pop-up window - so don't dismiss it)


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1/21/15

Scientists develop biological safety lock for genetically modified organisms




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12/11/14

A war that has been raging for 40 million years




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5/10/14

Three 16-year-old girls win Google's global science competition

They discovered a naturally occurring bacteria in soil called Diazotroph.
They determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up
the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent,
potentially helping to fulfill the rising demand for food worldwide (4:45)




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9/27/12

Everything eats everything ... that's just the way it is.

Soil Bacteria Prey on E-coli


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8/28/11

No matter how big or how small you are ... life is brutal.

Amoeba attacks 2 paramecium (0:44)


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5/20/06

Only 1 creature was injured in the filming of this video (0:29)




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Terrestrial Animals


4/20/17

Naked mole rats are amazing little critters



But personally, and this is just me,
I would rather live with the cancer risk and fear of suffocating
than live in the dirt and look like that.


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11/9/16

The Peregrine Falcon holds the world record in the animal kingdom
for the highest speed ever attained in the skies (over 200 mph).
However, that speed occurs when the bird is diving (gravity-assisted).
So which animal holds the record (over 100 mph) for horizontal flight speed?

Hint: it ain't a bird


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10/6/16

The more we learn about our fellow great apes ...

the more we discover just how smart they really are


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8/22/16

Even chimps understand that cooperation is preferable to competition.



Based on human history and current events,
a strong case could be made that the iconic procession of images
from chimp-like creature to an upright walking human ...

might be backwards


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12/16/15

In another embarrassment for Ayn Rand's Objectivists ...

even dogs demonstrate altruism

What could be more humiliating than being outperformed by a dog in a test of ...

being human


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6/6/14

Creationists would rather commit hara-kiri
than admit that humans evolved from apelike mammals.
But after reading the story below,
I think it's the chimps who should be offended ...

at being compared to humans

And I don't even want to try to imagine
how bad the chimps would have humiliated Creationists.


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2/15/13

Altruism in Meerkats

What an embarrassment for Objectivists: even lowly Meerkats get it.


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1/14/13

An embarrassment for many humans ...

even chimps pass 'fairness test'


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11/12/12

And the winner of the 2012 biggest "Duh" research award is ...

Captive animals show signs of boredom


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11/8/12



After reading the story, now you can ...

watch this snake in action (5:00)


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9/25/12

Why it won't be so easy to regenerate limbs like salamanders do.




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4/10/12

Measuring traits in animals which are usually associated only with humans



What's embarrassing is how many of these animals are more human ...

than many humans


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Birds


3/3/15

Scientists have learned that crows
are among the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom.
(I would dare to add: smarter than some people)

Now we have evidence that they also possess a strong moral sense ...

(I would dare to add: more than many people)


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5/1/14

African "drongos" (black birds) imitate dozens of different warning sounds

to trick animals into abandoning their food


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2/4/14

You won't believe how smart this crow is (3:19)




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1/9/14

An eagle ... fishing (2:52)




Now - imagine if this eagle met this guy ...



Place your bets lady and gentlemen.

Incredible science videos like that last one can give a skeptical thinker pause;
which brings up an interesting side note:

Many years ago, a magazine that I trusted "Discover"
ran a story about "Hotheads."
They were carnivorous mole rats who gathered beneath people and animals
who were traversing thin ice in the arctic.
The group could produce enough heat with their heads
(hence the term "Hotheads")
to melt the ice and deliver their dinner to them.

It turned out to be an April Fools prank.
But they didn't bother to note that after the story.
Based on all the incredible things that I've learned about the animal world
(like the bird-catching fish above),
I tended to accept even bizarre stories when they were from reputable sources.

It was quite embarrassing to find out later that I had been fooled.

Hotheads


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8/29/13

Terror bird may have been a herbivore




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9/12/07

The "Einstein" of parrots has passed away (2:40)




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Insects


3/9/17

Amazing evolution on display
as beetles have evolved the ability
to blend into a ravaging army ant horde
in order to prey upon the ant's brood.




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10/13/16

Spiders can hear you coming (6:08)



Like they needed to be any scarier


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11/24/15

We have a new GMO: genetically modified ...

mosquitoes


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4/15/15

As if it weren't already difficult enough to study the distant past
now we find out that we also have to contend with ...

bone-eating worms


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6/18/14

What else do spiders catch and eat?

Would you believe ... fish?




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11/26/13

Science has yet to explain the attraction
that some girls have to "Bad Boys."
Heck, they still haven't figured out how to explain
the often fatal attraction that some guys have to ...

"Bad Girls"




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10/8/12

Preserved in amber: a spider attacking a wasp captured in its web ...
100 million years ago.




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9/26/12

Enslaved ants rebel against their masters




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9/26/12

Ever wondered what an insect looked like ... 300 million years ago?




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8/3/12

Here is a fascinating story of interspecies dependency and competition:
the picture below shows an Azteca Ant attacking a beetle
which is preying upon the 'green coffee scale' insects on which the ants depend.




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4/25/11

File this under "Animals are aMAZing"

How fire ants survive a flood


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Marine Life


9/21/16

Scientists are unlocking the secrets to the Tardigrade's incredible powers.
Also known as "Water Bears" these hardy survivalists can withstand
boiling temperatures; temperatures near absolute zero;
and even survive outside spacecraft while being bombarded by radiation.




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6/24/16

It's amazing how smart fish can be ... even without a cerebral cortex




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4/4/16

The most powerful bite in the animal kingdom ... explained




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10/9/15

Check out this guy:

The Good News: It can live forever
The Bad News: It defecates through its mouth ... forever




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3/4/15

Do fish drink water?
(2:26)




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3/20/15

Okay, because it is so tiny, maybe you weren't all that impressed
when I told you about an animal that could theoretically live forever
(the hydra)

But how about one that could live forever, and ...

grow to the size of a whale




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12/19/14

Scientists discover a fish that lives below 8,000 meters
(a new world record)

Watch it swim (3:00)


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11/27/14

After "The Great Dying" (252 million years ago)
life may have recovered sooner than we thought.




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11/16/14

I thought humans were the only creatures depraved enough
to attempt to have sex outside of their biological class.

But apparently ... we are not alone in our depravity


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8/11/14

Earth's earliest animals




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12/4/13

The more science delves into the intelligence of animals ...
the smarter we find that they are.
What's the latest animal to be removed from the moron list?

Crocodiles


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10/1/13

Imagine an intelligent alien with a brain that is distributed throughout its many arms.
Well that alien lives right here on Earth ... right now.




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6/12/13

Men can store their sperm, thus giving life after they are gone

Guppies can do the same thing ... without all the technology


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6/6/13

Sea slugs exhibit cognitive ability.




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2/26/13

This video will test your gag reflex (2:35)




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2/7/13

Salmon are amazing creatures




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11/13/12

Science proves the Bible wrong again.



The existence of the hydra is scientific proof
that Jesus Christ is not the only path to eternal life.


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9/5/12

No, this is not a menu.
These crabs see in ultraviolet light.




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6/09/12

Discovery of a century-old penguin study shocks scientists.
They exhibited many of the same criminally sexual behaviors found in police stories.

Perverted Penguins

I thought the most interesting part of the story was when they discussed the fact
that it was not published in order to "preserve decency."
How does hiding the truth about animal behavior preserve human decency?

Your guess is as good as mine.
Besides, since World War 1 began the next year,
I would offer that human decency could only go in one direction ...
even if it mimicked penguins.


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Dinosaurs


10/18/15

Dinosaur extinction



Whatever the reason for their extinction - we should thank our lucky stars


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5/17/14

The largest dinosaur ever discovered weighed as much as ... 14 elephants




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11/22/13

These were the guys who kept the early T-Rexes in line.
(before T-Rexes grew enormously in size)
Once these guys went extinct, the T-Rexes were free to grow
and replace them as the top predator.




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11/6/13

New T-Rex cousin discovered in Utah



Utah, like China, is now a hotbed of fossil discovery.


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9/12/13

The ability to bring back dinosaurs (as in the movie 'Jurassic Park') has been ...

disproven


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10/18/12

Why did it take millions of years for life on Earth
to recover from the worst extinction event in history?

Extreme Global Warming


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10/3/12

Heterodontosaurs



As you can tell by the name,
this dinosaur has been approved by both Christians and Muslims
who have made it "the official dinosaur for traditional marriage."

Creationists are also thrilled because they believe
that this is further proof that tyrannosaurs were gentle tofu eaters.
The fact that, even today there exist fanged deer and sharp-toothed fruit bats,
has no effect on any discovery that they think they can use
to trick the intellectually naive.


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2/29/12

T-Rex had the most powerful bite of any animal in history




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