ReadingSponges: Animal Eve, Where Do Organisms Come From?
I'm obsessed with learning where we came from. And what I mean by that is not who your mother and father are, or your grandparents, but rather where do the organisms come from that gave rise to complex animals like us.
ReadingCnidarians: The Polyp and Medusa, Life on the Move
Millions of years ago, unlikely pioneers sparked a revolution. Cnidarians set animal life in motion. So much of what we take for granted today began with Cnidarians.
ReadingFlatworms: Getting Ahead, An Explosion of Life
When you collect marine animals, there are certain flatworms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will onto a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of seawater.
ReadingAnnelids: The Next Segment, an Explosion of Life
What i like doing the most is actually getting out, getting down, getting dirty in the mud with the worms themselves. Getting out there whether it's pouring rain, whether it's a low tide at dawn, I don't care. I just like to be out there with the worms, seeing them in their own habitat.
ReadingMarine Arthropods: A Successful Design, The Limbed Creature Advantage
Whether one rates success in terms of numbers, number of species, range of habitats exploited or simply as a total mass of animal tissue, the limbed creatures clearly have the advantage.
ReadingTerrestrial Arthropods: The Conquerers Come Ashore
Life's transition from sea to the land was perhaps as much of an evolutionary challenge as genesis. What forms of life were able to make such a drastic change in lifestyle?
ReadingMolluscs: Armor and Speed, the Survival Game
"As the tide rises, the closed molluscs opens a fraction to the ocean's food, bathed in its riches. Do not ask what force would do, or if force could. A knife is no use against a fortress."
ReadingEchinoderms: Give me Five, an Ultimate Animal
"If there are animals from another planet already here, they're probably starfish."
ReadingChordates: The Voyage to Us Bones, Brawn, and Brains
"Humanity is exalted, not because we are so far above every other living creature, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life." - E.O. Wilson, Biophilia
ReadingCambrian Explosion: A BIG BANG in the Evolution of Animals
For most of Earth's early history, there simply was no fossil record. Only recently have we come to discover otherwise: Life is virtually as old as the planet itself, and even the most ancient sedimentary rocks have yielded fossilized remains of primitive forms of life.