Open Thread, 4/24/2016

51OftfuYlSL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_I don’t know where this recommendation occurred (on this blog, Twitter?), but The Monkey’s Voyage: How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life, is a very interesting book. Haven’t had time to read much of it, but what I have read is fascinating. It seems to be one of those works which is taking a stand on a “big” evolutionary question, this one having to do with the geographic distribution of species across the globe. One school is the vicariance model, where the primary parameter seems to be geological scale forces (e.g., the separation of Gondwanaland into the southern continents). The other looks to stochastic long distance dispersal events. The author of The Monkey’s Voyage is of the second school.

Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction. I find clade-level decline rather curious. Additionally, many non-dinosaur lineages went extinct in the K-T event. I think they might be finding a real result, but not sure of the significance.

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