I think a lot of evolutionary stories are really cool.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
New biology term.
Every once in a while (all the time...) I do a random google search to look for cool new stories. Just now I searched "Subterranean Coleoptera". The first result was a recent paper: Evolution of Subterranean Diving Beetles (Dytiscidae: Bidessini) in the Arid Zone of Australia.
I won't go into the details of the paper, but I did learn a new word......Stygobiontic. If you google search define:stygobiontic you'll be utterly disappointed. I finally found the definition in a powerpoint presentation by a researcher who studies stygobiontic species in Texas.
Stygobiontic species live only in groundwater, they are almost never found at the surface. Cool.
Below is a drawing from the paper mentioned above, by Remko Leys et al. For comparison I put a 'standard' member of the family below.
At Cornell I developed an intense interest in spiders, specifically tarantulas and their kin. My favorite classes have all been centered around the process of evolution and I enjoy thinking about life from unusual theoretical perspectives.