Articles

Origin of the Mongoloid Peoples

Mongoloid, a term from physical anthropology, refers to the skull shape typically found among East Asians and many American Indians. Skull shape figured prominently in racial theories of the nineteenth century, which erroneously linked skull type with behaviors or abilities deemed characteristic of certain races. Modern craniometry, or skull measurement, is almost purely descriptive and has nothing to say about behavior. It depends on examining a large number of detailed anatomical features of...

Problems Of Life On Land

Shoulder Girdle Fish

The first tetrapods faced major problems in moving from the water on to the land. Air breathing was in fact not the key hurdle to cross, but rather weight and structural support. New modes of locomotion had to evolve, as well as new ways of feeding, of sensing prey and predators, of water balance and of reproduction. When all these problems of life on land are considered may seem surprising that vertebrates ever left the protection of the water. One classic theory e.g. Romer 1966 was that...

Plant Adaptations for Living on Land

Land Adaptations Plant

Plants were pioneers the first organisms to colonize dry land. Adapting for life on land required several key modifications. Gymnosperms are seed plants with a protected cone or other body for their seed embryos, such as conifers evergreen trees , seed ferns, and cycads. Gymnosperms are seed plants with a protected cone or other body for their seed embryos, such as conifers evergreen trees , seed ferns, and cycads. Plants originated in the nourishing environment of the water. Life on land...

What Would Happen If Plate Tectonics Ceased

The fossil record suggests that there are more species of animals and plants alive on Earth today than at any time in the past estimates vary between about 3 and 30 million species. This great diversity has come about through many physical and evolutionary factors. We contend that the effects of plate tectonics are among the most important. But once created, does high biodiversity require the continued presence of plate tectonics We can examine this question with a thought experiment. Imagine...

Free energy composition curves

Free Energy Phase Diagram

In the free energy formula of Eq 7.36 , nonideality is expressed by the general form gex, the excess free energy. The simplifications used in the prior analyses of ideal melting and phase separation, namely neglecting sex and confining hex to the regular-solution model, are not valid for most binary systems. In order to construct phase diagrams by the common-tangent technique, more elaborate solution models are needed to relate free energy to composition for all likely phases. Figure 8.9 shows...

Stability Of Triple Junctions

Triple Junction Velocity Diagram

The stability of the boundaries between plates is dependent upon their relative velocity vectors. If a boundary is unstable it will exist only instantaneously and will immediately devolve into a stable configuration. Figure 5.19a shows an unstable boundary between two plates where plate X is underthrusting plate Y at bc in a northeasterly direction and plate Y is underthrust-ing plate X at ab in a southwesterly direction. The boundary is unstable because a trench can only consume in one...

The Diseases By Organ System

Baylisascaris Schroederi

Digestive disorders represent by far the most prevalent and chronic form of disease in captive giant pandas (Bush et al, 1985 Goltenboth, 1985a,b Villares et al., 1985 Pan et al., 1991 Gual-Sil et al., 2000 F. Ollivet, unpublished data, pathology report, Paris Zoo). Gastrointestinal disease is the leading reported cause of death in captive pandas and also maybe so in free-ranging counterparts (Qiu & Mainka, 1993). Cubs often develop bouts of diarrhoea within the first month of life,...

From antimatter to mirror matter

The idea of a 'mirror world' was first suggested in 1956 by Chinese-American physicists Chen Ning Yang and Tsung Dao Lee. First, a tiny dose of particle physics, before you can enter their 'mirror world'. The universe is held together by four types of fundamental forces - gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force - which are transmitted or 'mediated' by the exchange of elementary particles. The gravitational force, or gravity, is the long-range force responsible for the...

The Lost Diary of Admiral Byrd

Raymond Bernard's The Hollow Earth (1964) covered much of the same territory that had already been staked out by Reed and Gardner, including chapters devoted to each of their books. His work did more than simply rework those earlier texts, however, for Bernard's book makes some important contributions of its own. Bernard would link the hollow earth theory with unidentified flying objects and claim that flying saucers were not from outer space but from the earth's core he would introduce claims...

Lateral Mass Ratio Aircraft

Mulready Pratt

Wetted area parameter from Figure 3.9 correlates with Kuchemann's tau yielding a geometric relationship to describe the delta planform configurations of different cross-sectional shape. VT Vtotal. tau 0.10 vicinity. Airbreathing space launchers are in the range of 0.18 to 0.20. Rocket-powered hypersonic gliders are in the range of 0.22 to 0.26 tau. A correlating equation provides a means of translating Kuchemann tau into the S parameter, Swet V o66i7. As implied in Figure 3.10, as...

The biochemical theory for the origin of life

There are many models for the origin of life, all based on an understanding of how the simplest living organisms today operate. The first 'modern' model for the origin of life was presented in the 1920s independently by two remarkable scientists, the Russian biochemist A. I. Oparin (1894-1980) and the British evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane (1892-1964). Oparin and Haldane share the distinction of being independent co-founders of the so-called biochemical theory for the origin of life,...

The Kant Laplace Nebular Hypothesis

Kant's central idea was that the solar system began as a cloud of dispersed particles. He assumed that the mutual gravitational attractions of the particles caused them to start moving and colliding, at which point chemical forces kept them bonded together. As some of these aggregates became larger than others, they grew still more rapidly, ultimately forming the planets. Because Kant was highly versed in neither physics nor mathematics, he did not recognize the intrinsic limitations of his...

The Lizards Of Pod Mrcaru

There are two small islets off the Croatian coast called Pod Kopiste and Pod Mrcaru. In 1971 a population of common Mediterranean lizards, Podarcis sicula, which mainly eat insects, was present on Pod Kopiste but there were none on Pod Mrcaru. In that year experimenters transported five pairs of Podarcis sicula from Pod Kopiste and released them on Pod Mrcaru. Then, in 2008, another group of mainly Belgian scientists, associated with Anthony Herrel, visited the islands to see what had happened....

Graptolite morphology

Graptolites had a relatively simple construction, and this is especially true for the planktic graptoloids. Benthic species built branches, or stipes, made of several types of cups, or thecae, in which the zooids lived. These thecae stick out from the stipe at regular intervals, and when a stipe is sectioned a bundle of thecae can be seen. The colony, or rhabdosome, of the graptolite was constructed from a set of stipes arranged in characteristic patterns. In benthic graptolites this pattern is...

What Animals Were Involved in the Cambrian Explosion

Ediacara Fauna

No one disputes that a huge diversity of large animals emerged with alacrity between 600 and 500 million years ago. The event itself took place in the sea, for the land areas of the time were largely barren except for lichens and perhaps a few low plants there were no trees, no shrubs, no stemmed plants at all. Because of the lack of rooted vegetation, little soil would cling to the land surfaces. In the shallow seas and waterways, however, life was plentiful (though clearly different from that...

Jupiter Fast Facts about a Planet in Orbit

Eccentricity And Inclunation Orbit

Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the sky, despite its great distance from Earth.The brightness of a celestial object when seen from a given distance is called its apparent magnitude. This scale has no dimensions, but allows comparison between objects. The lower the magnitude number, the brighter the object. The full Moon has magnitude 12.7 and the Sun has 26.7.The faintest stars visible under dark skies are around +6. Jupiter has an apparent magnitude of about 2. Mars is about as...

Geochemical Reservoirs

The primary geochemical cycle of the solid Earth is directly associated with plate tectonics and mantle convection it is illustrated schematically in Figure 12.1. This is a box model in which the principal geochemical reservoirs are included. These are the core, the mantle, the oceanic crust, the continental crust, the oceans, and the atmosphere. In terms of the formation of the Earth, the mantle was the primary reservoir. The core was formed by the differentiation of the dense iron-rich...

Insects As Tools Of Torture

The ancient Persians were perhaps the earliest people to use insects as torture devices. The gruesome practice of subjecting a condemned man to the boats was given the technical term scaphism based on the Greek skaphe, from which we get the word skiff, meaning a small, flat-bottomed boat .1 The victim was initially force-fed milk and honey to induce severe diarrhea. Then the poor soul was stripped, lashed to a skiff or hollowed out tree trunk so that his head, hands, and feet protruded over the...

Horizontal and vertical tectonics

The origin of the unique dome-and-keel architecture of the Archean cratons Section 11.3.4 is important for understanding the nature of Archean tectonics. In general, interpretations can be divided into contrasting views about the relative roles of vertical and horizontal displacements in producing this pattern. The Eastern Pilbara craton in western Australia illustrates how vertical and horizontal tectonic models have been applied to explain the dome-and-keel structural style. During this...

Sicilian Dwarf Elephant

Dwarf Elephant

Scientific name Elephas falconeri Scientific classification Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Proboscidea Family Elephantidae When did it become extinct This elephant became extinct around 10,000 years ago. Where did it live This animal was endemic to some of the Mediterranean islands and many remains have been found in Sicily. Today, the multitude of islands that dot the Mediterranean are where many Europeans choose to spend their summer vacations. Long before these islands became...

Alfred Wegener Takes On The World

Glacial Evidence For Continental Drift

The scientific community quickly rejected Taylor's theory on mountain building. The idea of continents being able to move through a solid Earth seemed so far fetched that few serious geologists would accept it. That did not stop everyone from thinking about the idea, however. In the early 1900s, a German scientist named Alfred Wegener picked up on the concept and, before he was through, made many geologists think that the impossible might be possible. Wegener was born in Berlin on November 1,...

Biomorphs from the Blind Watchmaker program

Poster Cortes Cabello

The game starts to get interesting when we consider the 'embryology'. The embryology of a biomorph on the screen is the process by which its 'genes' - those numerical values -influence its shape. Many very different embryologies can be imagined, and I have tried out quite a few of them. My first program, called 'Blind Watchmaker', uses a tree-growing embryology. A main 'trunk' sprouts two 'branches', then each branch sprouts two branches of its own, and so on. The...

External and internal parasites

Almost all mammals, both wild and domestic, are host to various internal and external parasites. Many of these parasites are harmless, but some may be detrimental to the animal's health. When Europeans first brought out their sheep and cattle, pigs and goats, camels, donkeys, deer, dogs, cats, foxes, rabbits - the full list is formidable - they also unwittingly brought a whole new spectrum of parasites and insect pests. The native marsupials undoubtedly carried parasites of various kinds long...

Mu Lemuria and Atlantis

Images James Churchward And Lemuria

At the same time that Donnelly was propagating his ideas of Atlantis, Augustus Le Plongeon was offering another version of the story, with the island nation of Atlantis taking the name of Mu (pronounced Moo). Le Plongeon believed that his translation of ancient Mayan texts revealed a new-world version of the Atlantis story, giving more credence to Plato's old-world version. Like Plato's Atlantis, Le Plongeon's island of Mu disappeared beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in the distant...

Soyuz Landing Operations

The most critical and dramatic phase of a manned space flight is the return to Earth. For a Soyuz mission, it starts with the orientation of the spacecraft for the braking manoeuvre and ends approximately 90 minutes later with the landing of the descent module on the Kazakh steppe and the evacuation of the crew. This phase involves a sequence of twelve specific actions, the successful completion of which is vital for the safety of the crew. Indeed, to date, the worst accident in the history of...

Contraction and expansion tectonics

Earth Outlines

A long-running debate concerns the change in size of the solid Earth - has it stayed the same, shrunk, or swollen A steady-state view, in which the Earth has had constant dimensions, is associated with the ruling plate-tectonic theory and with fixed continents and oceans model (e.g. Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff 1972). Proposals of an expanding or contracting globe are controversial but not without foundation. Earth contraction, once regarded as a good explanation of tectonic episodes, is no longer...

Dinosaur Teeth Herbivorous and Carnivorous

Theropod Tooth

People with cavity-bearing teeth pulled from their jaws or who have seen X-ray photographs of their teeth have the opportunity to observe a few or most of the tooth parts and their orientations. Teeth have two primary layers, tough enamel on the outside and softer dentine on the inside. The part of the tooth exposed above the gumline of an animal is its crown, whereas the part within the socket is the root. In many cases, the root composed the majority as much as 75 of a dinosaur tooth. The...

Supramundane Planets and Shell Worlds

In contrast to the low-gravitational environment that exists on Ceres, the gravitational acceleration in the outer atmosphere of Jupiter is 2.53 times greater than that experienced on the Earth. British engineer Paul Birch has suggested, therefore, that a vast honeycombed shell might be built around Jupiter at a stand-off distance of 42,000 km from the upper cloud deck. Such a suprajupiter structure, as Birch calls it, would have a surface gravity the same as that on Earth, and a surface area...

The Hydrogen Hypothesis

Methanogen Mitochondria Tem

The quest to find the progenitor of the eukaryotic cell has run into dire straits. The idea that there might have been a primitive intermediate, a missing link with a nucleus but no mitochondria, has not been rigorously disproved, but looks more and more unlikely. Every promising example has turned out not to be a missing link at all, but rather to have adapted to a simpler lifestyle at a later date. The ancestors of all these apparently primitive groups did possess mitochondria, and their...

The Origin and Evolution of Land Plants

Palm Trees Sketch

Photosynthesizing algae first arose in the oceans. As improbable as it may seem, a single species of green algae, living in the water, was likely responsible for giving rise to every form of land plant that followed. This was a monumental step in the evolution of life on Earth, yet it was also a kind of accident an accident repeated over and over until life stuck to dry land once and for all. It began when near-coastal colonies of algae mats stromatolites became exposed to the air when the...

Relation to Archean Witwatersrand Gold and Uranium Ore Deposits

Witwatersrand Golden Arc

The Vredefort impact structure encompasses the bulk of the Witwatersrand Basin Fig. 3 . The synclinal structure of the supracrustal sequence from the Witwatersrand to the Transvaal Supergroup in the environs of the Vredefort Dome represents effective downwarping of the stratigraphic units including those of the Witwatersrand Supergroup McCarthy et al. 1990 . This entire succession containing the gold- and uranium-rich conglomerate horizons known locally as reefs of the Witwatersrand Supergroup...

Later Hominid Phylogenies and Paleobiogeography

Dryopithecine Apes

During the later parts of the middle Miocene, there was an expansion of continental ice sheets and increasing ice buildup in Antarctica, ultimately the result of the earlier separation of Australia from Antarctica, which had so significantly changed ocean currents and their circulation that it lead in time to a direct effect on world climate, producing global cooling Williams et al., 1998 Denton, 1999 . Significant cooling in the northern high latitudes is also indicated by seasonal ice-rafting...

What is Reciprocal Exogamy

Kin Exogamy

What follows is a synthetic summary of reciprocal exogamy as far as it relates to my objective of characterizing the deep structure of human society. This summary is written from a primatological and evolutionarily informed perspective. Accordingly, I stress aspects that Levi-Strauss did not necessarily emphasize, and I use terms that he did not necessarily employ. In particular, I spell out the structural connections between what I consider to be the core features of reciprocal exogamy from a...

Encephalization in Extant Primates

Mammals Primates Brain Body Plots

Are the living primates truly the most highly encephalized order among extant mammals This is partly a semantic issue, revolving around how one defines most highly encephalized. Stephan 1972 maintained that while high encephalization was obviously characteristic of Homo, it was just as clearly not uniformly true of the entire order. Martin 1973 , Radinsky 1970, 1975 , and others have also shown that primates are not unique in their high level of encephalization. There is considerable overlap...

The Apollo spacecraft

Apollo Command Module Cutaway

The command module was a stubby, conical craft almost entirely covered with a heatshield that was thickest across its base to sustain most of the punishment of re-entry. The outer rim of the cone was packed with small tanks, thrusters, various antennae and two small ports for the ejection of waste water and urine. The apex of the cone had a removable probe mechanism to enable it to dock with the Apollo lander and a tunnel through which the crew could transfer between the two spacecraft....

Solution The Interdict Scenario

In 1987, Martyn Fogg proposed the interdict scenario an expanded form of the zoo scenario that provides reasons why all life-bearing planets, not just Earth, are off limits.61 Fogg first presented the results of a simple model of the origin, expansion and interaction of early Galactic civilizations. Like many authors before him he found that, using seemingly plausible values for model parameters, the Galaxy fills relatively quickly with intelligent species. Depending upon the parameters, either...