10 posts tagged with biology and Taxonomy.
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Why Do Taxonomists Write the Meanest Obituaries?

Rafinesque’s “absurd” botanical legacy, Gray wrote, amounted to little more than a “curious mass of nonsense.” Gray’s note wouldn’t be the last unkind obituary in the annals of taxonomy, nor would it be the worst. That’s because the rules dictating how taxonomists name and classify living things bind these scientists in a web of influence stretching far back into the 18th century. When an agent of chaos like Rafinesque enters the scene, that web can get sticky fast. In a field haunted by ghosts, someone has to reckon with the dead.
posted by sciatrix on Apr 27, 2016 - 4 comments

Behind the scenes at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Are you interested in plants? The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew aren’t just a tourist attraction -- they also run one of the world's leading botanical research institutes. To show off how important and fascinating modern plant science can be, they've commissioned a series of snazzy short videos to showcase their work. Start with the award-winning Forgotten Home of Coffee (6:00) (based on this worrying Kew study from 2012), then come back for the rest. [more inside]
posted by rollick on Dec 17, 2014 - 12 comments

Time Tree

TimeTree is a public knowledge-base for information on the evolutionary timescale of life. A search utility allows exploration of the thousands of divergence times among organisms in the published literature. A tree-based (hierarchical) system is used to identify all published molecular time estimates bearing on the divergence of two chosen taxa, such as species, compute summary statistics, and present the results . . . For those interested in published summaries of relationships and divergence times of major groups of organisms (family level and above), see the authoritative synthesis The Timetree of Life.

Here are some examples to get you started: Humans and Chimpanzees diverged 6.3 MYA; Giraffes and Dolphins diverged 58.3 MYA; Cats and Mice diverged 95.2 MYA; and Dogs and Fleas diverged 777.8 MYA. [more inside]
posted by troll on Oct 27, 2011 - 18 comments

Though primitive, even these early species had already adapted fully to parasitism on the plastic membranes of apple bags.

Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group: Taxonomic Data of the Breadties of the World [via]
posted by brundlefly on Jun 6, 2011 - 15 comments

DrosophApocalypse Now

Circus of the Spineless #50 - the 50th in a series of collections of scientists' favorite disgusting, glorious, and gloriously disgusting invertebrates. Previously
posted by Burhanistan on May 7, 2010 - 7 comments

The Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life [previously] is E.O. Wilson's dream become reality. It has been online since February of 2008, aiming to catalog the currently known 1.9 million species on our planet. You can also add text, images, video, comments, and tags. [ FAQVideo IntroductionTutorials ]
posted by not_on_display on Jan 30, 2010 - 10 comments

What Is A Species?

What Is A Species? "To this day, scientists struggle with that question. A better definition can influence which animals make the endangered list."
posted by homunculus on Jun 8, 2008 - 11 comments

Buy Metafilter a species!

Are you annoyed that there is no species of blind cave spider named Sinopoda metafilteris or worm salamander named Oedipina bluepepsi? You can fix that for 3,000 Euros at the controversal BIOPAT. For inspiration, the Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature site collects the puns, insults, and other weirdnesses that can be found in the scientific names of various plants and animals [prev.]. Genes are not immune to weird names, especially in the case of the fruitfly, where clever naming is normal; but even better are the world's strangest dinosaur names, which allow you to tremble in fear in front of the bambiraptor and meet the Dragon King of Hogwarts.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 9, 2007 - 13 comments

LifeFilter

The Tree of Life.
posted by Gyan on Apr 26, 2004 - 8 comments

Mantophasmatodea!

Mantophasmatodea! No, it's not some new sex position, it's a new order of insect life, the first one thus defined since 1914.
posted by WolfDaddy on Apr 19, 2002 - 10 comments

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