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  Topic: Science Break, Selected Shorts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 16 2008,11:03   

Great idea Lou.

I've got a few things I wouldn't mind posting, but they are all behind journal pay screens (which I can access but many probably cannot). I'll post the abstracts and hope that's enough.

Here's one of the more AtBC relevant ones from this week's Nature:

Nature 454, 209-212 (10 July 2008)

The evolutionary origin of flatfish asymmetry, Matt Friedman

All adult flatfishes (Pleuronectiformes), including the gastronomically familiar plaice, sole, turbot and halibut, have highly asymmetrical skulls, with both eyes placed on one side of the head. This arrangement, one of the most extraordinary anatomical specializations among vertebrates, arises through migration of one eye during late larval development. Although the transformation of symmetrical larvae into asymmetrical juveniles is well documented1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, the evolutionary origins of flatfish asymmetry are uncertain1, 2 because there are no transitional forms linking flatfishes with their symmetrical relatives8, 9. The supposed inviability of such intermediates gave pleuronectiforms a prominent role in evolutionary debates10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, leading to attacks on natural selection11 and arguments for saltatory change14, 15. Here I show that Amphistium and the new genus Heteronectes, both extinct spiny-finned fishes from the Eocene epoch of Europe, are the most primitive pleuronectiforms known. The orbital region of the skull in both taxa is strongly asymmetrical, as in living flatfishes, but these genera retain many primitive characters unknown in extant forms. Most remarkably, orbital migration was incomplete in Amphistium and Heteronectes, with eyes remaining on opposite sides of the head in post-metamorphic individuals. This condition is intermediate between that in living pleuronectiforms and the arrangement found in other fishes. Amphistium and Heteronectes indicate that the evolution of the profound cranial asymmetry of extant flatfishes was gradual in nature.

What are the "rules" for this thread (apart from no trolls and knob gags)? I'll try to link things where practical/free. DOIs are the standard I find for linking things if people don't mind. Do you just want internet links? Or are abstracts like the above appropriate? Or less technical articles? Or is it a relative free for all wrt posting scientific stuff?


P.S. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH MORNINGTON CRESCENT AND RANDOMN SILLINESS!!!!one11eleven!!!?//????/?? No wait, forget I asked.


  1746 replies since July 16 2008,08:10 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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