Archive for January, 2009
In a recent post Anastasia Thanukos for bringing up the concept of common ancestry into the definition of homology. Their criticism seems a little harsh to me since, as they noted, the paper is aimed at Science teachers and it is therefore written on a “text-book” tone. This issue aside, however, I find their complain somewhat out of touch. › Continue reading
Among the many interesting features found in members of the subfamily Amblyoponinae is the presence of unique teeth-like structures at the anterior margin of the ant’s cranium. They are arranged in one or two parallel rows, right above the opening of the oral cavity, in a plate called clypeus. › Continue reading
The Books and Arts section in this week’s Nature has a review of the new book by Lawrence Lessig called Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. Lessig is founder of Creative Commons, from which Science Commons recently spawned (see my earlier post). › Continue reading
Us working with ants just love to have plenty of databases and digital content available at a click of a button to assist in our malevolent plan to turn these vicious little creatures against humanity.
This image shows the surface of the tip of the antenna in the African driver ant Dorylus helvolus. The tongue-shaped structures are one of the many types of hair-like sensory organs called sensillae trichoidea (Latin for, well, hair-like sensory organs). These organs are basically composed of a central piece of cuticle in the shape of a long filament or short paddle inserted into a socket and kept in place by a membranous ring. The central piece, thus, can freely move in all direction allowed by the socket. › Continue reading
I just returned from a trip to Mexico where I visited family and friends (thus the absence of posts on previous weeks). While driving through Mexico City, or rather, while I was stuck in traffic for hours, I was reminded of an ubiquitous element of the country’s urban landscape: the trunk of each and every tree and shrub in parks, along streets and avenues, is painted white for at least a meter high from the ground. › Continue reading
- Tom Waits