"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
-- A Bit o' Science and A Bit o' Humor --
Here's a relatively recent online paper (pdf) in which the authors report evidence from the mitochondrial DNA of both the N. American and Cuban Ivory-bill to measure their relationship to one another, as well as to other Campephilus woodpeckers:
--- a bit technical, but among other things they do make the point that they have established a "DNA barcoding resource" which can be used in identifying the source of future (genetic) material that might require testing.
...and now for something totally different, have to give credit to "DocMartin" over at BirdForum for giving me a chuckle on Tue. with the following:
- Knock knock
- Who's there?
- Ivor who?
- Ivory-billed Woodpecker
- Can you prove that?
- No I kent
...okay, so maybe I'm an easy audience, or just not getting enough sleep lately!!
anyway, for now, back to sipping some (cheap) red wine, munching M&Ms, and looking over some maps of the southeast U.S., while doing a little arithmetic.
Let's hope that when the AOU revises the checklist to split the Ivorybill they don't give us another monstrous name like "North American Ivory-billed Woodpecker." Having to deal with "Salt Marsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow" is atrocious enough already, thank you! How about, maybe, just calling the group the "Ivorybills" instead of the "Ivory-billed Woodpeckers?" That's what everyone calls them anyway. Then we could have simply the Imperial Ivorybill, the Northern Ivorybill, and the Cuban Ivorybill ("Northern" instead of "North American" since Mexico is North America, too).
I was also curious to see them postulating colonization of Cuba from the Yucatan--I would think Florida would have been closer. During Pleistocene glacial maxima, the straits of Florida were pretty narrow, and South Florida would have been much larger. But perhaps the Yucatan straits would have been about as wide, or even narrower. I love biogeography--there are a couple of interesting popular works out there: The Monkey's Bridge, by Wallace--about Central America, and After the Ice Age, by Pielou--about North America. Neither mentions the Campephilus woodpeckers, that I recall, but they do get you thinking about how different things were during the glacial periods--especially sea levels.
Links to this post: