Happy Canada Day! I know you’re all excited to celebrate the big 150 (unless you understand that the Indigenous people who have been using this land long before Europeans showed up are still being disenfranchised and ignored- so maybe you’re excited to protest it), but either way, before all of that gets underway, some news. Here are all of the environmental news stories that caught our attention this week- let’s dive in! Continue reading
Over the past year, the ongoing debate concerning the origin of birds has been fuelled by discoveries of dinosaurs in China, such as Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx which had feathers, and the dinosaur Sinosauropteryx, which had unusual hair/feather-like structures on its skin. These amazing discoveries have challenged the conventional assumption that the origin of birds went hand-in-hand with the origin of flight: it is usually assumed that these feathered dinosaurs were unable to fly.
This assumption seems strong. Another, that these feathered dinosaurs themselves had non-flying ancestries, is weaker. Work on the flightless and very dinosaur-like Mononykus, regarded by many as even more closely related to extant birds than the feathered ‘first bird’ Archaeopteryx, raises the question that some theropods might actually be secondarily flightless – the dragons that fell to Earth. Continue reading
Full disclosure, this week is a more science oriented one. Why? Because I said so. Also, that’s just the way it turned out. I could talk about how Kikkoman, a soy sauce company, was both accused of, and stopped, animal testing this week, or about the top ten most virile animals- as apparently this was news this week. But instead I’m going in a more serious direction, mainly because I find those stories more interesting. Lots of really cool research type stuff came out this week- like internal animal compasses, genetic modification, and how bats land- and frankly I would rather put that in the spotlight, than some of the other stuff. It’s just really interesting! Don’t worry though, I’ll end it on a cat cucumber story, because it’s pretty hilarious. I’m not made of stone! Continue reading