I did not realize at the beginning of the week how exciting it would be. It all started when Will Baird at The Dragon’s Tales linked to me, and then a link from Laelaps, and suddenly I shot from 0-5 page views per day to 100, then 130, then 190! I wanted to strike while the iron was hot so I ramped up my posting frequency this week. It’s not so easy! I feel like Mr. de Worde in Terry Pratchett’s The Truth (which you should all go out and buy):

The press waited. It looked now like a great big beast. Soon he’d throw a lot of words into it. And in a few hours it would be hungry again, as if those words had never happened. You could feed it, but you could never fill it up.

I’ve already been threatened with sleeping on the sofa if I don’t stop hiding out at my computer typing and snapping, “Leave me alone, I’m busy!” So my post frequency will probably slow down a bit, aiming for a substantial update every other day. That said, I have a lot of interesting topics that I want to address in the coming days.

  • Protostomes and deuterostomes: Deuterostomes may have descended from protostomes, but their embryonic development is completely backwards. Is this a fatal flaw in the theory of evolution, or is there really an explanation? (Given the prior content of this blog, you’re probably not all on tenterhooks at that cliff-hanger.) Coming up tomorrow!
  • Barbourofelidae: This group was previously lumped in with the nimravidae, and due to their recent excision from that group there is even less specific information about the barbourofelids than there is about the nimravids. However, I found one article constructing the facial structure of barbourifelids. I will present some pictures from that and dig up some other information if I can.
  • Common misconceptions about evolution: There are more of these than you can shake a stick at, but some are more durable than others, and are related to the way we tend to think about the world.
  • Feathers in dinosaurs: Before you all blew my previous stats out of the water my wing-assisted incline running post was a runner-up to my Dinictis skull Bone Clone post for long-term popularity. People seem to be interested in the evolution of flight, and thus probably also interested in the evolution of birds. I hope to review some of the fossil evidence for feathers in dinosaurs, the phylogenetic distribution of these feathers, and conclusions regarding the evolution of birds.
  • Phylogenetics: This might be one post, and it might be two. Or more. Graham Budd has some wonderful material on phylogenetics and misconceptions about evolutionary lineages that can lead to very bad conclusions. I hope to cover some of that, as well as reviewing how not to read phylogenetic trees.
  • How chimpanzees think: There has been some fascinating research recently in how chimpanzee’s minds work, especially in the social realm.
  • LUCA and LECA: I’d like to write about what we currently know about the last universal common ancestor and how it may have appeared, and possibly about current theories regarding the evolution of the eukaryotes.

Thanks to everyone for making for a fun week!