Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Year of Darwin 11/13/2014: Look to what is to see what could be

 Charles Darwin

"I lie under a heavy disadvantage, for out of the many striking cases which I have collected, I can give only one or two instances of transitional habits and structures in closely allied species of the same genus; and of diversified habits, either constant or occasional, in the same species." Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 1st edition (on Kindle)

One of Darwin's critics asked him how a terrestrial mammal could evolve into a bat. The problem is there are no bats that are non-volant. The answer then is to show there's a gradation in flight abilities in other mammals so Darwin shows several examples of squirrels, in particular, that vary in flight ability. 

If you've never seen a flying squirrel - go look for one. I thought they would slowly glide from tree to tree. Nope. They zip faster than you can track them with a flight light. Amazing little guys. 

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