Bird-From-Dinosaur Theory of Evolution Challenged: Was It The Other Way Around?

You remember being an inocent kid, right? You were told by mom and dad that dinosaurs are extinct and perhaps even that dinosaurs were reptiles. As a young adult, you might have learned that birds evolved from dinosaurs. It seems believable: feathers could be highly evolved scales, and dinosaurs (which could have been endotherms, rather than ectotherms). These topics of thermoregulation in dinosaurs and the question of whether or not birds evolved from dinosaurs have been topics of heated debates amongst paleontologists and scientists for at least the last three decades.

Pretty cool, huh? If you read it, you should consider the findings exciting! There is now more convincing evidence that birds did NOT evolve from theropods (i.e., dinosaurs). This has spurred some debate even among my close friends, and I would be interested in hearing what others have to say on the topic. Leave some comments below and subscribe to the comments to hear replies.

You can read more about feathered dinosaurs here and here.

Lizards Pull A Wheelie

I've recently discovered an incredible website, Science Daily. The incredible thing about this website is that the cumbersome task of finding interesting science news is changed to being an explorable adventure with new information always just around the corner. This has led me to find a bevy of fascinating articles I will be sharing over many of my next few posts.

One such article, Lizards Pull A Wheelie, piqued my inner cravings for understanding reptilian locomotion (we all  get them once and a while, trust me). I'll be brief, as this article is already a summarization of the research paper "Why go bipedal? Locomotion and morphology in Australian agamid lizards." Essentially, several studies performed by Christofer Clemente indicate that bipedalism (locomoting/moving on two limbs, like humans) has taken shape in many dragon lizard species because they are essentially pulling a wheelie - going so fast that they rear up on their hind limbs (!!!). Their ruling out of other explanations (e.g., evolved behavior, efficient energetics) was impressive, which is what I found most interesting about this article. Go give it a read and let us know what you think.

"The Ethologist" Site Maintenance

Trying out some new blog templates.

Should be up to speed shortly.

UPDATE:  Finished setting up the new look of the site.  Let me know if you encounter any dead links, weird errors, or poltergeists jumping out of your computer screen.

30 New Frog Species Found in Ecuador


As a follower of Save the Frog's "Frog Blog," I get interesting articles about amphibian conservation and news from the field of herpetology. One recent post concerned a summary of several newly discovered species recently found in Ecuador, including thirty new species of frogs.

You can read the article HERE.

It continually amazes me that there are so many species yet unknown to science. Maybe more impressive than that is the number of vertebrate species still unknown. If this article interests you, read a couple of posts I've written about my opinions on biodiversity here and here, and also about new species discovery.

Watch Cosmos for Free


More free stuff today. This isn't just any free stuff - it's Cosmos - the whole thing. You can watch it here on Hulu.

For those not in the know, if you were alive thirty years ago, Carl Sagan was a dinner-table celebrity. His narration of "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" touched the hearts of millions. Hundreds of millions, that is. According to one website, "His television series 'Cosmos' became the most watched show in public television history. It was seen by more than 500 million people in 60 different countries."

It reached so many people because it was so good (and also timely in the cold war era). If you've never seen it, you should give at least one episode a watch. Try it out.

Free Download - "Handbook of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Fauna"


It's been a busy school week, but I've got a lot to share with you guys. I'll try to keep posts succinct to maintain your viewership.

Up today is free stuff. We all like that, right? Cued in from the awesome folks over at Deep-Sea News I came across a free-to-download book, "Handbook of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Fauna." (fear not, although the website uses a hint of German, the book is entirely in English).

Why the heck should you care? Why shouldn't you? Perhaps this is the clenching proof in your life that you don't know everything and in fact, there are entire topics you know nothing about! I downloaded it just for a skim-read and to look at the beautiful pictures and illustrations, but I'd love to hear what other people would have to say about it.

Here are a couple of images blatantly copied from the book. You should download it if you want to see more incredible biodiversity:

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