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Latest John A. Finarelli Stories

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2010-05-06 08:02:58

Travel from the tropics to the poles, and you'll notice that the diversity of mammals declines with distance from the equator. Move from lowland to mountains, and you'll see diversity increase as the landscape becomes more varied. Ecologists have proposed various explanations for these well-known "biodiversity gradients," invoking ecological, evolutionary and historical processes. New findings by University of Michigan researchers John A. Finarelli and Catherine Badgley suggest that the...

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2009-04-29 09:24:07

During a seminar at another institution several years ago, University of Chicago paleontologist David Jablonski fielded a hostile question: Why bother classifying organisms according to their physical appearance, let alone analyze their evolutionary dynamics, when molecular techniques had already invalidated that approach? With more than a few heads in the audience nodding their agreement, Jablonski, the William Kenan Jr. Professor in Geophysical Sciences, saw more work to be done. The...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'