Some stuff there wasn’t space for in newsletter No. 16:
- Origin of Specious: misunderstandings about Patrick Matthew’s evolutionary thinking
Journal article exploring how Patrick Matthew’s evolutionary ideas differed from Darwin’s.
- Palaeoanthropologist John Hawks describes the top 10 discoveries about ancient people from DNA in 2022, and, for good measure, three big insights into our African origins.
- DNA of 13 Neanderthals reveals ‘exciting’ snapshot of ancient community
Analysis of remains found in southern Siberia shows an interconnecting web of relationships between different Neanderthal individuals. (See also: Original Nature paper.)
- Ancient DNA reveals a hidden history of human adaptation
New genetic research has found evidence of 50 ‘hard sweeps’ in which rare but beneficial genetic variants swept rapidly through human populations.
- Breakthrough shows humans were already standing on their own two feet 7 million years ago
An article describing new research on the skeleton of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a candidate for the oldest-known representative of humanity. (See also Original Nature paper.)
- Shrew-like creature was placental mammals’ last common ancestor
Placental mammals’ earliest primogenitor was probably a diminutive creature with a long snout, researchers suggest.
- Photos suggest rhino horns have shrunk over past century, likely due to hunting
By scrutinizing over a century’s worth of photos, researchers have shown rhinoceros horns have gradually decreased in size over time.
- Why do gulls have grey wings?
A new analysis reveals that heavier gull species have darker wings, hinting that colour might play a role in avian flight efficiency.
- Darwin, Marx, Satan, and a mythical dedication
At the height of the McCarthyite Red Scare, the anti-evolution preacher John R. Rice asked his audience to whom Marx had dedicated The Communist Manifesto. His incorrect answer was Charles Darwin. (Thanks to the author for the Friends of Charles Darwin citation.)
- Speaking of Darwin
A website exploring Charles Darwin’s early years in Shropshire.
- Insectivorous Plants (video)
A song using the words of Charles Darwin from his letters about insectivorous plants, written by Dr Francis Neary of the Darwin Correspondence Project (with whom I downed several beers recently).