July 5, 2013 |
Somewhere between 390 to 360 million years ago, a four-legged vertebrate, or tetrapod, crawled out of the water and gave rise to the amphibians, reptiles and mammals we see today. Scientists have established that this creature descended from fish and evolved its limbs and digits underwater, before its transition to dry ground. Life on land was accompanied by major modifications of the vertebrate skeleton, such as the evolution of a neck. Sandy Kawano, a graduate student at Clemson University, wondered how that transition from surf to turf might have happened - and she turned to modern animals to figure it out. Fossils of such science fiction muses as Ichthyostega , an early tetrapod, provide information on these organisms' appearance, but you can't get behavior out of old bones, Kawano said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2013 |
Emily Gian has slashed prices on shark fins, the astoundingly expensive ingredient of a coveted and ceremonial soup, in hopes that she will sell out before a California ban on sale or possession of the delicacy takes effect Monday. "The law is unfair," said Gian, whose store in Los Angeles' Chinatown sells shark fins for $599 a pound. "Why single out Chinese people in California when shark fins are legal in many other states?" Across town, retired science teacher Judy Ki offers an answer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2013 |
An ancient Asian dining tradition comes to an end in California on Monday, and grocer Emily Gian is none too happy. Gian has slashed prices on shark fins, the astoundingly expensive ingredient of a coveted and ceremonial soup, in hopes she will sell out before a California ban on sale or possession of the delicacy takes effect Monday. "The law is unfair," said Gian, whose store in Los Angeles' Chinatown sells shark fins for $599 a pound. "Why single out Chinese people in California when shark fins are legal in many other states?"
May 31, 2013 |
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's famous fin whale is enjoying a rare quiet morning - one last moment of serenity before its surroundings change completely. The 63-foot whale skeleton, which hung horizontally for more than 60 years in the museum's original 1913 building, is now suspended in a diving position from the ceiling of the nearly completed Otis Booth Pavilion. This is the museum's brand-new entrance, a six-story-high, multimedia-infused glass cube filled with sunlight and a view of surrounding greenery.
May 21, 2013 |
The march of the penguins seems to mock evolution. If Emperor penguins just got up and flew 40 miles, they could get to their mates in no time flat. Why would evolution abide a tedious waddle across the ice? It turns out there's method in the seeming madness of these blubbery short-winged pedestrian birds. Penguins long ago faced a steep trade-off between the high calorie costs of flight and low energy expenditure of using their wings to swim. They dived into an "adaptive fitness valley" of evolution that fly-and-dive ocean birds such as murres and cormorants still straddle, according to a team of Canadian and American zoologists.
November 22, 2012 |
The European Union on Thursday sought to block fishermen from slashing off shark fins and dumping the fish back into the water, closing a loophole in its existing rules. Environmentalists warn shark populations are in jeopardy as ships scoop them up solely for their fins, prized in Asia for the expensive delicacy of shark fin soup. Some fishermen hack off the fins because the shark body is much less valued, a practice shunned by conservation groups as wasteful and inhumane. The European bloc has banned shark finning for nearly a decade but had allowed some vessels to remove fins at sea if they showed they could use all parts of the shark.