Giraffe Neck Blood Flow

Giraffe neck blood flow problem investigated, according to a report in ScienceNOW 16 June 2006 and Journal of Experimental Biology vol. 209, No. 13, 1 July 2006. Biologists have long speculated about how giraffes manage to keep the blood flow to their brains when their heads can be more than 2 meters (6 ft) above […]

Read More

Darwin’s Vestigial Year

As a contribution to the 2009 Charles Darwin anniversary, the website Live Science has a series entitled “Top 10 Useless Limbs (and Other Vestigial Organs)” which it introduces as follows: “In Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) and in his later works, he referred to several “vestiges” in human anatomy that were left […]

Read More

Convertible Shark Teeth

Convertible shark teeth described in Science vol. 303, p950, 13 February 2004. Sharks have sharp pointed teeth that are good for spearing fish, squid and other soft bodied prey but not very good for crunching and grinding food encased in tough shells such as crabs and lobsters. Some sharks do eat crabs and other crustaceans […]

Read More

Big Eyes Caused Neanderthal’s Demise

Big eyes caused Neanderthal’s demise, according to articles in ABC News in Science, BBC News and New Scientist 13 March 2013. Eiluned Pearce and Robin Dunbar of Oxford University have compared 13 Neanderthal skulls with 32 Homo sapiens skulls and found the Neanderthals had larger eye sockets, by an average of 6mm as measured from […]

Read More

Backwards Backbone

Backwards backbone reported in BBC News 14 Jane 2013, ABC News in Science 15 January 2013 and Nature, vol. 494, 226 doi:10.1038/nature11825 14 January 2013. A new study using high energy x-rays of the spine of a fossil creature name Ichthyostega has revealed that previous reconstructions of the animal’s spine got it back to front. […]

Read More

How Do Flamingos Stand on One Leg?

How do flamingos stand on one leg? Now we know, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News 23 May 2017, BBC News 24 May 2017, National Geographic 27 May 2017 and Biology Letters, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0948, 24 May 2017. Flamingos are large birds with narrow spindly legs, but they often stand quietly for long periods and […]

Read More

Why Dinosaurs Ran on Two Legs

Why dinosaurs ran on two legs, and why most mammals didn’t, according to articles in ScienceDaily and Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2017; 420: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.02.032, published online 27 February 2017. Palaeontologists Scott Persons and Philip Currie of University of Alberta, Canada, have proposed a theory to explain why many dinosaurs became bipedal, i.e. standing […]

Read More
Sauropod Head Neck

Getting to Grips with Dino Neck Bones

Getting to grips with dino neck bones reported in Science (AAAS) News 27 February 2017. Sauropods, such as the iconic Brontosaurus and Diplodocus, were enormous dinosaurs with extremely long necks. The weight of the neck and the forces generated by moving it put enormous strain on the vertebral bones, especially while the vertebrae were still […]

Read More
Steel Sheets

Bone Inspired Steel

Bone inspired steel made, as described in Science (AAAS) News and New Scientist 9 March 2017 and Science doi: 10.1126/science.aal2766, 10 March 2017. Metal fatigue is the weakening of a metal structure when it is repeatedly subjected to forces (“load cycling”), leading to the formation of microscopic cracks, as happens where aeroplane wings move up […]

Read More
Laetoli Footprints

More Laetoli Footprints

More Laetoli footprints found, according to reports in BBC News, and Nature News 14 December 2017, and eLife 5:e19568. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19568, 14 December 2016. In 1976 Mary Leakey and colleagues found fossilised footprints in a layer of volcanic tuff (solidified volcanic ash) in Tanzania dated as 3.66 million years old. In spite of their human-like […]

Read More