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Thoughtomics

Thoughtomics

Exploring evolution through genes, computers and history

Thanks to Extra Genes, Eels Transform from Ribbons to Tubes

A wild eel in the Grevelingenmeer. Photo shot by Arne Kuilman, all rights reserved. Few animals travel so far to have sex as the European eel. When autumn comes, these eels leave their lakes and rivers and embark on an arduous journey towards the Sargasso sea.

March 14, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

Antarctica's Erratic Climate Shaped Icefish Evolution

Larva of a crocodile icefish. Photo by Uwe Kils. Few fish would survive a swim in Antartica's ice-covered waters. Temperatures can drop to -1.9 ℃, whereas a typical fish starts to freeze at -0.8 ℃.

February 22, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

Did life evolve in a `warm little pond'?

Geothermal pond near the Mutnovsky volcano, Kamtchatka. Copyright Anna S. Karyagina "But if (and oh what a big if) we could conceive in some warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity etcetera present, that a protein compound was chemically formed, ready to undergo still more complex changes [..] "~Charles Darwin, in a letter to Joseph Hooker (1871) All life on earth is related.

February 16, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

The tragic fate of the Brighton octopus

These are good times to have tentacles. Thanks to the internet, even the most ordinary of octopuses can be catapulted to worldwide fame. Exceptional skills or abilities are not required.

February 8, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

More than Just Pretty Faces

The bald uakari has a distinctive, but simple, face. Photo by Ipaat Specks. Stripes. Red fur. Black fur. Eye masks. Bald spots. Beards. Moustaches. New World monkeys are nature's motley crew.

January 16, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

My first year as a MSM science writer

Happy belated new year everyone! 2011 was a wonderful year for me. Not only did my blog move to its shiny new abode at Scientific American, I also joined the science desk of NRC Handelsblad, a daily Dutch newspaper.

January 6, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

Return of the Yeti Crab

Remember the dancing Yeti Crabs? They're back! Check out this amazing illustration of two farming Yeti Crabs by Irene Goede: So white, so hairy.. I want to pet them!Irene is a freelance illustrator who has specialized in nature and history.

December 15, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

Evolving between the echoes

This bumblebee bat could be the smallest mammal in the world. Isolation can be a blessing. I am most productive when I'm not connected to the web. If I'm writing in a train or plane, severed from the thoughts of others, it is easier to capture my own trails of thought and let them expand.

December 14, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

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