Much ado about something

Why Evolution Is True

by Greg Mayer

In a paper in press in Nature, Min Zhu and colleagues describe a new species of placoderm from the Silurian period of China. Placoderms are an extinct group of (usually) heavily armored jawed fishes that lived in the Silurian and Devonian. The new species is based on a beautifully preserved 3-D specimen, and is interesting, but it is being widely misreported in the press.

To understand why this new species is interesting requires some background information. First, we need to know that while most modern vertebrates (backboned animals such as ourselves) have jaws, and are called gnathostomes (“jaw mouths”), not having jaws is the primitive condition (jawless vertebrates, represented today only by hagfish and lampreys, are called agnathans). The origin of jaws is thus a key episode in the vertebrate story.

Second, we need to know that there are four great groups pf gnathostomes, the

View original post 570 more words

About marksolock

I am a lawyer in Chicago with interests in pop culture and current politics.
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s