Suspense is a way of (arrested) Life

The idea that the earliest forms of life arrived on Earth from elsewhere in the universe and then “took off” here, is not mine. It is not even new and some learned “savants” subscribe to it. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe once suggested that this kind of “seeding” still occurs and life on Earth has a cosmic ancestry. Irrespective of whether that’s the case, let’s examine which multicellular organisms, now present on Earth, could perhaps survive space travel. —>

biology zoology birds dinosaur paleontology

Do Dinosaurs Still Exist?

You bet: Dinosaurs still exist!

Three years ago I visited with my grandchildren a dinosaur exhibition in Singapore. On that occasion I asked the guide very politely and with a serious face whether dinosaurs still existed today. And equally politely and seriously the guide answered “No, Sir, they died out years ago.” But have dinosaurs really become extinct a long time ago, is “Nessie” of Loch Ness in Scotland perhaps a survivor of the distant past or just a figment of imagination? (I am sure it’s the latter). —>

biology zoology insects blog

Can the environment affect an animal’s colour? Of course it can!

Of course !Environment can affect animal’s colour

A few days ago there was on item on the BBC news about a new hair-dye for humans; a dye that apparently changed colour depending on ambient temperature. I immediately thought what’s so special about that? I know many examples in which environmental temperature affects the colour of an animal and chameleons and some Australian desert reptiles came to mind, which are quite dark in the cold of the morning and become increasingly pale as the temperature rises towards noon. And there are amphibians too that respond to temperature changes with colour changes. However, I then realized that the changes I was thinking of depended on hormones that controlled the colour change, but which themselves were affected by the temperature they were operating under. What I needed to look in connection with the hair dye were direct effects of temperature on the pigmentation of an organism, but such effects, especially in combination with humidity levels are also common. —>