Your Cousin, twice-removed

Your cousin, sorry to say, looks quite a bit like a rat.  Just say’n. But then, so does mine. They both ate insects, too. They aren’t listed on Ancestry.com, but rather in the New York Times science section. “Humankind’s common ancestor with other mammals may have been a roughly rat-size animal that weighed no more than a half a pound, had a long furry tail and lived on insects.”

mammal-render-popup

Imagine that, John Lennon.

The article goes on to say that the animal had several anatomical characteristics for live births that anticipated all placental mammals and led to some 5,400 living species, from shrews to elephants, bats to whales, cats to dogs and, not least, humans.

Placena.  There’s the key. No vaginal probes required.

Scientists report that they have developed a new system for handling copious amounts of fossil and genetic data in the service of evolutionary biology. This information is placed in a data bank called MorphoBank, with advanced software for handling the largest compilation yet of data and images on mammals living and extinct.

It seems to me that science has left the fundamentalists in the dust, so to speak, pun intended.  But then, that’s nothing new.

 

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4 thoughts on “Your Cousin, twice-removed

  1. Interesting follow up to research established decades ago, i.e., that the shrew may have been the fuman evolutionary parent. Now, science pushes that knowledge back to an alteearlier species.

    It’s rfesearch like this that the fundies and the tea partiers are going after. You will recall that Cantor in his “state of the union: talk this week called for an end of funding social studies programs and what was some college degrees worth. These are the types of programs the fundies and the GOP are after when they present the bogus of financial crisis We have sinned for providing these kinds of programs, and now we must do penance and renounce our sins and cut these programs.

    1. Indeed. Good analysis you have raked up from the muck. Yet, at least away from the Bible Belt, that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter too very much. The GOP is viewed up here as irrelevant and a collection of kooks. Further, they clearly understand that the supposed financial crisis is merely a cover for abortion and other anti-women legislation that the ‘righteous’party is playing with.

      Not to worry, my friend, we northerners have your back!

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