C
A
T
E
G
O
R
I
E
S

&

R
E
C
E
N
T

Websites & Evolution

Posted by tigerhawkvok on August 02, 2008 18:32 in computers , lhs , evolution

Wow, I didn't think I hadn't updated in a month. I've not even updated LJ much. I suppose I've actually been a bit busy. The macro site is getting along quite nicely. I'm a fair way into it, but certainly not done. Much of my work has been directed at building the collapsing, (soon to be) pop-outable phylogenetic tree and navigation, as well as the live-preveiwing contribution page. With this site, I've gotten a lot more up-to-date in my knowledge of CSS and its failing across browsers, particularly in implementation of psuedo-elements, floats, and CSS3.

Meanwhile, my work for LHS has been coming to a head. I start teaching Adapt or Die next week, which has been intense to gather all this information, make sure I'm up-to-date, and marshal it down into what a 4th or 6th grader can understand. Of course, much comes in the way of actual live critters, and some in the way of games, etc. Here, intrepid reader, I give you a tiny preview: an evolution game that will, over the course of six disasters, give you a feel for how evolution works. Some weird things get put in, some "good" things get taken out, and all in all, you get something that works better than its competition but is by no means perfect. Rob, Alyssa, and I tested this, and it seems that about 3/4 of the population has gone extinct every 3 rounds or so, which can lead to population bottlenecking (sound familiar?) if too small a playgroup is used. I reccommend at least six. Also along the LHS lines, I provide you with a graphical tree of life!

Graphical Tree of Life (click for 32 MB PDF)

Its admittedly weak in places, and doesn't show all kinds of interesting diversity points I feel its most notable in Carnivora, Afrotheria, Metatheria, and Perissodactyla, but I'm a tetrapod man. I know it lacks in Dinosauria, but only so much one can put in with images. Also lacking is inverts (using the paraphyletic definition here), rather obscenely actually. Still, impressive looking.  Catch: most CGI images are screens from BBC's "Walking with" series.  I think this is still fair use, but just a noteworthy caveat.  The other images are either my own or Wiki images from the appropriate articles, with a slew of CC variants.

Now, I will try to update at least once a week, and include an intersting science or technology tidbit each time. So, let's go ahead and start high-rolling. Science has a rather interesting tidbit about snake fangs this week, in which analysis shows that that advanced (Caenophidian) snakes have their various fang morphologies derived from a rear-fanged ancestor. The nifty part? Selective expression of the "sonic hedgehog" gene (shh) relating to the anterior development of the maxilla meant the fangs moved effectivley forward, giving the "front-fanged" appearance of Viperids & Elapids, but these front fangs are actually the rear fangs -- and this single change was utilized twice! Cool stuff.

Now, lets see if I actually follow through with these updates ...

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.



Trackbacks

USHUD

USHUD | 16/12/2014 10:55

Websites & Evolution | The Dichotomous Trekkie 2.0

blog.com

blog.com | 24/09/2014 23:52

Websites & Evolution | The Dichotomous Trekkie 2.0