Tag Archives | biology

The Accuracy of Cuteness

A few people linked me to the ultimate cute animal list over the holiday, it’s a list of 75 lists of photos of animals, pretty intense but I’ve been working my way through it (Yes, I even treat cute animals like homework). Most of the shots are wonderful but then I got to the list titled “101 Cute Seals That Are Also Babies“. What could be wrong with that, right? Well, dear reader, many of these photos were not of seals at all! (some of them aren’t even babies, but that I’ll let slide)

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Diagraming Evolution, or How to read a Cladogram

Remember the Linnaean system of classification you probably learned in grade school or high school (heck, maybe even college)? It went something like this…

Kingdom -> Phylum -> Class -> Order -> Family -> Genus-> Species

Linnaeus started using this classification system in the 1700s and he had a good run; we still use his system in certain situations. However, we’ve moved away from this ranking system mostly because of the discovery of transitional fossils that screwed with Linnaeus’s idea of neat little boxes for all of life to be categorized into. This system falls apart, for example when you have two equivalent ranks, let’s say class Osteichtyes (boney fish) and class Amphibia (amphibians), and find a transition between the two.

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10 Animals You Probably Didn’t Know About

Well if you are the kind of person that goes around reading articles with titles like “10 Animals You Probably Didn’t Know About” then maybe you already know about these, but most people don’t.

1. Pangolins

You may have actually heard us mention this on Science… sort of, but there were no pictures then, and you might have thought to yourself, I think I know what they were talking about. You didn’t. Here’s a picture. Continue Reading →


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