Category Archives: Research

The Bearding

How is variation maintained in populations? This is a bit of a poser for evolutionary theory, especially in the realm of sexual selection. If males or females of a certain type always score highest in contests of mate choice, genes … Continue reading

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Mosaic is the New Savanna

Time was when the model of human evolution went something like this: our ancestors essentially evolved to climb and live in trees, but with the general drying and cooling of the Earth’s climate over the past few million years, the … Continue reading

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Anatamogenic

When Crox Minor and I visited the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons recently, I bought a copy of The Knife Man, by Wendy Moore, a biography of John Hunter, whose collection forms the nucleus of this remarkable … Continue reading

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Careful With That Amphioxus, Eugene

Spare a thought for the amphioxus, a humble marine creature which spends its adult life buried in sand, filtering particles of food from seawater using its beautiful and elaborate system of gill slits. On the left is a picture of … Continue reading

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Squishy

When a colleague of Mrs Crox learned that Crox Minor (15) wanted to go to medical school and study to be a surgeon, the colleague recommended that Crox Minor read Brain Matters: Adventures of a Brain Surgeon. So she did, … Continue reading

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Apples for Sir Isaac

You might remember (either of you) that last summer I paid a visit to the old Norwich Fire Station, which was, back then, just about to be converted into the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, a sixth-form college devoted to … Continue reading

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Gut Feelings

Decisions, decisions. The job as a manuscript editor at Your Favourite Weekly Etcetera largely consists of making decisions – whether to consider a manuscript for publication, or to send it on its way elsewhere. Because we receive a very large … Continue reading

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Teeth

When I was a child one of my favourite books was Busy, Busy World by the late Richard Scarry. Each double-page spread was a story set in a particular country, and the characters were all animals. The story I remember … Continue reading

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Lovelace

I am reliably informed that today is Ada Lovelace Day, in which it behooves one to commemorate the contribution to science of female scientists. Like Christmas, this comes round every year, and, like Christmas, I struggle to find anything novel … Continue reading

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Fishface

And now, a girrafe on a unicycle one of the most exciting areas in evolutionary biology at the moment – tracing the origins of gnathostomes, or jawed vertebrates. Before I start, I owe a debt of gratitude to our Latin-America … Continue reading

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