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Re: [skeptics-137] The first sea monster, a story I wrote for Science

From: Kansas City S.
Sent on: Monday, January 7, 2013 3:49 PM


On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM, Fred <[address removed]> wrote:
Hey, if anyone is interested in seeing a brief "ScienceShot" story I just did for the journal Science, you can learn about "The First Sea Monster" at http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/01/scienceshot-the-first-sea-monste.html.




Gosh, a 27 foot god's creature wreaking havoc onto other god's creatures in seas of Nevada some 240 mln+ years ago? Satan's work! Plus, of course, he planted the fossils!

A fascinating mention of convergent evolution. Seems like a well established fact that convergence allows for filling up a specific ecological niche depending on selective pressure. I'd be curious to know if convergence utilizes same genes in mammals and fish to allow for sleek body. Phenotypes of fishes/amphibians/reptiles had been established long before mammals evolved, so going back to streamlined body style would either use genetic "pre-adaptations" in the mammalian genetic code that were preserved and not deteriorated for millions of years from the reptile phenotype or would require modifying mammalian phenotype if these genetic precursors would be lost to converge onto the same body style which would be less probable mathematically, though not out of realm of possibilities depending on natural selection pressures.

I am sure geniuses in lab coats are working on figuring out the genetics of whales, dolphins and related pigs, hippos, camels, deer, giraffes, antelopes, sheep, goats and cattle that would demonstrate genetically mechanics that would allow this convergence to take place.

I'll do some research into this some time. Should be fun! 

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