Archive for November, 2008

Martialis heureka: the not-so-flashy but important news

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 | Ants, Phylogeny, Taxonomy | 2 Comments
Courtesy of Rabeling & Verhaagh/PNAS. Used with permision.

Courtesy of Rabeling & Verhaagh/PNAS. Used with permission.

The recent description of the new and unusual ant species from Brazil Martialis heureka, caused furor in the popular media. It was entertaining to watch how, like the children’s game of Chinese whispers, the report rapidly deteriorated and became increasingly sensationalistic as it spun through news agencies around the globe. Reports ranged from accurate and informative to down right silly, with some newspapers almost claiming that the species actually originated in Mars (You can read more about it at Myrmecos blog and comments therein).

I have to say, I appreciate the medias attention to insect science no matter how distorted it gets. But now that the news storm has settle we can point out some other good news about Rabeling, Brown, and Verhaagh’s paper.  News that may not make for a good newspaper headline but that are nevertheless relevant to specialists in ant systematics. › Continue reading


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Coming soon to a web-browser near you.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | Humor | 4 Comments

Archetype, the blog

(This blog is not yet rated)

Debuting in late November 2008.

Cast: Various ants, insects, other organisms, and Roberto as the morphologist.

Director: Roberto Keller

Genre: Action/Adventure/Thriller/Phylogeny/Ontogeny/Morphology/Taxonomy.

Synopsis: A one-man struggle to unravel ant evolution and phylogeny, his research will be forever changed when he inadvertently ventures into the realm of comparative anatomy, a mysterious land almost forgotten by twenty-first century Biology. As he tries to understand the connection between queen and worker morphology, development and evolution, he will use the blog to keep track of his almost random thoughts on the subject, while maybe learning something in the process but surely getting even more distracted from publishing his Ph.D. research.

Critic Reviews:

“Get those manuscripts ready for god’s sake” -Former dissertation advisor.

“Blogging is very nice, but publish or perish…” -Officemate.

“Don’t we have enough blogs about ants already?” –Fellow entomologist. › Continue reading

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And as we discussed last semester, the Army Ants will leave nothing but your bones.
- Tom Waits