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Latest Joshua B. Plotkin Stories

New Technique Fills In Fossil Record Gaps
2011-09-20 04:53:20

  University of Pennsylvania evolutionary biologists have resolved a long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples. Cataloging the diversity of life on earth is challenging enough, but when scientists attempt to draw a phylogeny – the branching family tree of a group of species over their evolutionary history – the challenge goes from merely difficult to potentially impossible. The fossil record is...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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