Outline <ul><li>Velociraptor H ad F eathers ; </li></ul><ul><li>Maotherium asiaticus I luminates M ammalian E ar E volution ; </li></ul><ul><li>Natural S election Not The Only Process That Drives Evolution? ; </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking The Animal Kingdom's Color Code ; </li></ul><ul><li>Forced Evolution: Can We Mutate Viruses To Death? ; </li></ul><ul><li>Where Did All the Flowers Come From? ; </li></ul><ul><li>Time In A Bottle: Scientists Watch Evolution Unfold . </li></ul>
Velociraptor H ad F eathers (Sep.20, 2007) <ul><li>Velociraptor was about three feet (about 1 m) tall, about five feet (about 1,5 m) long, and weighed about 30 pounds (about 14 kg) and it lived during the later part of the Cretaceous Period. Velociraptor appeared in Jurasic Park . In the films it was shown with anatomical inaccuracies, including being much larger than it was in reality and without feathers. </li></ul>Velociraptor in Jurasic Park Real Velociraptor
<ul><li>The more that we learn about these animals the more we find that there is basically no difference between birds and their closely related dinosaur ancestors like velociraptor. Both have wishbones, brooded their nests, possess hollow bones, and were covered in feathers. If animals like V elociraptor were alive today our first impression would be that they were just very unusual looking birds. - Mark Norell, Curator-in-Charge of fossil reptiles, amphibians and birds at the American Museum of Natural History </li></ul>
Maotherium asiaticus I l l uminates M ammalian E ar E volution (Oct.9, 2009) <ul><li>Maotherium is a chipmunk-sized nocturnal mammal. It lived 123 million years ago. It had terrestrial habits and scampered around on the ground. From its skeleton it is estimated to have weighed about 70-80 grams, and was about 15 cm in length. I ts tooth and skeletal structures show the ancestral condition from which marsupials and placentals could have evolved. </li></ul>
Natural S election Not The Only Process That Drives Evolution? (Jan.28, 2009) <ul><li>… the patterns of molecular evolution in many of the genes they found did not contain signals of natural selection . Instead, their evidence suggests that a separate process known as BGC (biased gene conversion) has speeded up the rate of evolution in certain genes. </li></ul>
Breaking The Animal Kingdom's Color Code (Apr.21, 2009) <ul><li>The nastier the animal, the more it can 'afford' a bright and distinctive livery to copyright its appearanc e. It’s similar to the way that big companies closely guard their appearance in an attempt to build clear brand recognition. - Dr Dan Franks. </li></ul>Peruvian poison frog (Deandrobates reticolatus)
Forced Evolution: Can We Mutate Viruses To Death? (Nov.11, 2008) <ul><li>T he idea of "lethal mutagenesis" is to design drugs that speed up the mutation rates of viruses and push them beyond a threshold called a "phase transition." </li></ul>Computer-generated image of a virus.
Where Did All the Flowers Come From? (Sep.7, 2009) <ul><li>Some mutations caused petals to grow where there should have been stamens , the flower’s male organs. Other mutations transformed the inner circle of petals into sepals . And still other mutations turned sepals into leaves . </li></ul>Amborella trichopoda , a small shrub found only on the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, represents the oldest living lineage of flowering plants.
Time In A Bottle: Scientists Watch Evolution Unfold (Oct. 19, 2009) <ul><li>By the 20,000-generation midpoint, researchers discovered 45 mutations. A mutation involved in DNA metabolism arose around generation 26,000, causing the mutation rate everywhere else in the genome to increase dramatically. The number of mutations jumped to 653 by generation 40,000. </li></ul>E. coli cultures in the laboratory of Michigan State University evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski.