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Theme 2: Classification and comparison

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Taxonomy: Classifying Life. At least 1.7 million species of living organisms have been discovered, and the list grows longer every year (especially of insects in the tropical rain forest).

Taxonomy: Classifying Life

How are they to be classified? Ideally, classification should be based on homology; that is, shared characteristics that have been inherited from a common ancestor. The more recently two species have shared a common ancestor, the more homologies they share, and the more similar these homologies are. Comparative Mammalian Anatomy. It wasn't until I'd saved most of these that I realised that the author/illustrator of this book was none other than the dinosaur sculptor, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins - from a couple of days ago.

Comparative Mammalian Anatomy

Vincent Brooks completed the 10 lithographic plates. Hawkins intended with his publication "to give a comparative view of the variation in form of the bony skeleton or framework of those animals most frequently required by the artist, designer, or ornamentist. " The accompanying text didn't incorporate Darwinian evolutionary theory and I get the strong feeling that either Hawkins himself or at the behest of Sir Richard Owens, held contrary views. Nevertheless the work is regarded as a positive contribution to the understanding of mammalian anatomy. A Comparative View of the Human and Animal Frame by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins 1860 is online among the History of Science website at the fabulous University of Wisconsin - my favourite repository. Flowersb.jpg (JPEG Image, 1000 × 1500 pixels) - Scaled (66%)

Fritillaria Icones. Twigs. Anna Laurent » Dispersal. 'Dispersal' is a study of seed pods—a plant’s fruits & seeds.

Anna Laurent » Dispersal

Individually, each photograph is a fine art portrait of a unique botanic specimen; as a series, the collection becomes a visual and scientific inquiry into the diversity of botanic design // Seed pods are incredible vessels, tasked with protecting seeds as they mature and assisting with their dispersal. The project looks at how species have evolved different forms to fulfill these common functions // Each specimen profile includes a companion article exploring the seed pod’s relationship to its parent plant and natural environment, and a bit about its ethnobotanical history // The project was born in Southern California, where I began collecting seed pods in my urban Hollywood neighborhood.

I have since partnered with botanic gardens and arboreta, where I collect specimens & produce a photo exhibit & written profiles. The series was first published at Print magazine. Articles are below. Carl Linnaeus. Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) Carl Linnaeus, also known as Carl von Linné or Carolus Linnaeus, is often called the Father of Taxonomy.

Carl Linnaeus

His system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms is still in wide use today (with many changes). His ideas on classification have influenced generations of biologists during and after his own lifetime, even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work. Great chain. History: Nested Hierarchies (1 of 2) Homo sapiens, Tyrannosaurus rex, Escherichia coli—our English conversation is littered with pairs of Latin names for animals, plants, and microbes.

History: Nested Hierarchies (1 of 2)

How did a dead language find this renewed life? It is the 250-year-old legacy of a Swedish naturalist’s quest to discover God’s handiwork in nature. Searching for a System of Classification With the advent of the Renaissance, naturalists tried to understand this divine plan by searching for a rational pattern in the bewildering array of species. They grouped species with an overall similarity with one another in a larger group called a genus. Lions, tigers, and leopards, for example, all belonged to a “big cat” genus. But did big cats and other animals fit into a larger scheme?

Plant antaomy — Rachel Ignotofsky Design. NYBG.org: Sample Images. Inside The Herbarium - The New York Botanical Garden in JSTOR Global Plants. Was the Nepal earthquake twice as big as we thought? This item has been corrected.

Was the Nepal earthquake twice as big as we thought?

On April 25, Nepal was hit with the biggest earthquake in 80 years—but just how big was it? Amidst the destruction, there was a spat on the issue between the US and China. The US Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors earthquakes worldwide, reported that the Nepal earthquake measured at a magnitude of 7.8. However, the China Earthquakes Network Center (CENC), which hopes to provide a similar service, measured the same earthquake at a magnitude of 8.1.

A difference of 0.3 in the magnitude of the seismic activity may not seem like much, but the apparently small differences in magnitudes of earthquakes reported by different agencies around the world are, in real-life, huge. This is because of how earthquakes are measured. Scientists use a type of logarithmic scale to ensure that they are able to measure both very small and very large events on a sensible scale. So who is correct?