adaptation

Feeling a Point (or two)

How do you feel? No, I don't mean are you happy or sad? Touch the back of your hand. Did you feel it? How? When you touched your hand, you pressed on nerves in your skin. These nerves reacted and sent a message to your brain, telling you that something touched your hand. Some parts of your skin have more nerves than others. We are going to examine how these nerves are arranged, and see how that can affect the message that your brain gets.

Cat Wiggles

If you have ever watched a cat preparing to pounce on its favorite toy, you may have seen it wiggle its back legs from side to side just before it leaps. Why do they do that? It would seem that the movement would alert their prey, so there has to be a good reason for the behavior. To understand that, we need to learn a bit about muscles and tendons.

Cat Lapping

This experiment comes from a recent event in the science news. Researches have discovered that cats drink in a very different way from dogs and other mammals. Now you might think that things like this had been completely explored decades or even centuries ago, but high speed photography has shown us things that we did not suspect before.

Thoughts on an Exoskeleton

Tarantula and molt
My Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eating Tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana)

My pet tarantula molted this week, which started me thinking about exoskeletons. While we have our skeletons on the inside, other creatures, such as spiders, insects, and crabs wear their skeletons on the outside of their bodies. What would it be like to have your skeleton on the outside instead of the inside?

Who Evolved on First?


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

While I was writing this post, I heard that Bill Nye and Ken Ham are planning to have a debate about evolution and creation. While it could be an interesting conversation, I suspect that it will suffer from the same communication problems that afflict most of these debates.

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