Sun, 3 July 2022
The gang discusses two papers that look at how combining fossil and modern data can affect our understanding of evolution. The first paper looks at studying primate biogeography, and the second paper studies how human interactions have affected dog morphology and disparity. Meanwhile, James finds a song he likes, Amanda could use some skin, and Curt appreciates how timely we’ve always been.
Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):
Our friends look at two papers that show how using stuff from today and stuff from the past together can give you a better idea of what is going on with living things. The first paper looks at how we study where animals who look a lot like us lived in the past and how they came to live where they live today. The paper looks at how we can use old animals along with the animals around today to get a better idea of how the animals today got to where they are. That said, they do find that you need to take some care with the old animals you put in the study. You want to make sure that you really know what these old animals actually are. If not, it can make your study give weird answers. But, in the end, they show that it is better to use both old and today animals when you can.
The second paper looks at old dogs. Dogs can look like a lot of different things today. So people wanted to know if dogs could always look like so many different things in the past. So they found old parts of dogs from old human remains that date back to before people started to really change how dogs looked. They ran a study to see how different those dogs were from each other, and from dogs we have today, and also other things that are not dogs but are close to dogs. They find that these old dogs could be very different from each other, but not as different as the dogs we see today. They were a lot different from the other dog like animals too. So it shows that dogs were able to be very different in the past, but people have made this change even bigger.
Wisniewski, Anna L., Graeme T. Lloyd, and Graham J. Slater. "Extant species fail to estimate ancestral geographical ranges at older nodes in primate phylogeny." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 289.1975 (2022): 20212535.
Brassard, Colline, et al. "Unexpected morphological diversity in ancient dogs compared to modern relatives." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 289.1975 (2022): 20220147.