Friday, January 30, 2009

The REAL Reason Ursids Rubs on Trees

There have been several theories as to why ursids rub their backs on trees.  Some think that it's a means of marking territories.  Another, more recent, claim is that bears actually do this as a means of establishing a baseline "scent similarity."  This way, if a new bear enters the territory of another bear there will be less of a chance for conflict because the intruder may think something to the effect of, "Hey, I recognize that smell!  This must be his territory.  I should probably not fight this dude because he has a lot invested in this particular area of land."*  Alternatively, there is the scenario as described in the video; I feel particularly inclined to cast my lot with this theory.

Bear Explanation Video

*Bears definitely think in English.  Didn't you know?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

pseudo lizard sex

Joshua trees rock.

Photo by Jeremy Yoder.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another one

Thanks to Simone for the heads-up on this one.


Variation under domestication

As a reminder, we will be meeting at 4:00 pm tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 21) at One World Cafe to discuss chapter one of the Origin. In honor of this meeting, I thought I'd post this video of a really cool "accidental experiment" with silver foxes in Russia:


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scheduling with Doodle

Hi everyone,

I have created a Doodle poll for the Macroevolution class. The link is below:

Please go to that site and fill in the boxes for times that you CAN attend, and we'll try to find something that works for everyone. I'm also adding this link to the blog. Our first meeting will be next week (Jan. 19-23, whenever works for the schedule), so please "do the doodle" fast.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Class schedule

Week starting Topic

Jan. 19 - I. Variation under domestication
Jan. 26 - II. Variation under nature
Feb. 2 - III. Struggle for existence
Feb. 9 - IV. Natural selection
Feb. 16 - V. Laws of variation
Feb. 23 - VI. Difficulties on theory
March 2 - VII. Instinct
March 9 - VIII. Hybridism
March 16 - Spring Break
March 23 - IX. On the imperfection of the geological record
March 30 - X. On the geological succession of organic beings
April 6 - XI. Geographical distribution
April 13 - XII. Geographical distribution continued
April 20 - XIII. Mutual affinities of organic beings: morphology: embryology: rudimentary organs
April 27 - XIV. Recapitulation and conclusion

Welcome to Macroevolution, Spring 2009

I have created this blog as a forum for continuing discussions on Darwin to complement our discussions in class. Please use it! As you will learn, extensive correspondence is one of the hallmarks of Darwin's attitude towards science; this can be the modern version.

You can participate in the following ways:

1. Making posts; you will have to register with and get added to the contributor list for this blog (I will do that).

2. Make comments, either signed or anonymous is ok.

3. Follow the blog. You can set things up to get email alerts when there are new things posted, for example.