Category Archives: geology

Reader’s wildlife photos

Today’s photos are a bit different in that they’re not of wildlife but of rocks. These lovely pictures come from Tony Eales of Queensland, who usually sends us insect photos. His notes are indented: I thought I’d send something a little different. Over the years as an archaeologist/anthropologist I’ve had the privilege to see some […]

My short intro to the genetics of speciation

UPDATE: If you want a pdf of my article, which seems to be behind a paywall, just inquire judiciously. _________________   The journal Molecular Ecology is producing a special issue on “Sex chromosomes and speciation”, which will contain about 17 papers. Some of these have already been published online, and though there’s not yet a […]

When the Big One hits the U.S.

Professor Ceiling Cat has an article that he highly recommends you read. It’s in the latest New Yorker, and is called “The really big one” by Kathryn Schulz (subtitle: “An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.”). It’s a superbly researched and written account (also free to access) of […]

Google doodle celebrates Inge Lehmann

Today’s animated Google doodle celebrates the 127th birthday of Inge Lehmann. Most of you, like me, won’t know who she is, but Google is trying to bring to our attention accomplished but unsung women scientists. Lehmann (1888-1993; she lived to 104!) should certainly be of note, for she discovered the nature of the Earth’s core. […]

Readers’ wildlife photgraphs

Today we’re stretching the boundaries of “wildlife” again, so that this time it includes geology.  Reader Jonathan Wallace encloses some nice photos of the English coast that give some history: These were taken from a coastal dune system a little way north of where I live in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  During the last ice age […]

Yesterday’s spectacular eruption of Volcán de Colima in Mexico

Reader Stephen Q. Muth (Butter‘s staff) sent me a link to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s video and report of a big eruption of the Colima volcano (Volcán de Colima) in southwest Mexico. It’s erupted several times in the last year, and the Spanish title of the video notes that this eruption happened yesterday. The ABC’s notes: The […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Posts will likely be thin on the ground today, as just this minute I’ve received the final galleys of The Albatross and must work on them pronto.  Like Maru, I’ll do my best. Here are some photos by reader Ken Phelps, which include not just organisms but water in all its forms (except steam).  Identifications […]

A rare video of an exploding volcano

Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait has posted a stunning video of a volcano exploding, and gives some background. The eruption was of Mount Tavurvur on the island of New Britain in Papua, New Guinea, and it occurred on August 29th. It was captured on video by Phil McNamara, and is now on YouTube. Phil’s take: Holy yikes! […]

The oldest known bit of Earth

The Earth is 4.54 billion years old. We know that not from radiometric dating of rocks on our planet, as the oldest rocks haven’t yet been found, but from dating meteorites that fall on earth from the solar system, which formed around the time Earth did. But of course that’s not fodder for creationist, for […]

Volcanic eruption in Ecuador

Reader Lou Jost, a biologist who works and lives in Ecuador, sent me a note with some pictures of a huge volcanic eruption that’s occurred near his home. The eruption of Tungurahua is reported at Wired, but Lou sent pictures he took himself, a brief report, and the link to a YouTube video (below). Lou’s […]