Short and Blunt

There’s a fight been going down in the annals of Evolutionary Anthropology:

1.) Primate origins, human origins, and the end of higher taxa
by Matt Cartmill

2.) Higher taxa: An alternate perspective
by Ian Tattersall

3.) The end of higher taxa: A reply to Tattersall
by Matt Cartmill

And finally:

4.) Higher taxa: Reply to Cartmill
by Ian Tattersall

Here’s a copy of the last one:

(Thanks for pointing this out, Luca!)

Strange Google Scholar Suggestion

If you’re an academic like me with a profile on Google Scholar, you probably find Google’s suggestions a mixture of spot-on relevant articles and bizarre websites, tangentially-related to your published work. Today I found a combination of the two:

The first suggested link ultimately goes to Carpenter et al., 2013, a recent article in the American Journal of Human Genetics that uses biotinylated RNA baits to capture a whole genome from ancient DNA. Very, very cool stuff. But check out the actual URL in the lower left status bar that showed up when I moused over the link. A Polish viagra website is a very strange portal to a PDF of a genomics paper.

Photo of Howler Monkey Predation by Boa Constrictor

A recent report in the journal Primates includes a photo of a boa constrictor midway through a meal of a Purús red howler monkey (Alouatta puruensis). Erika Patricia Quintino and Júlio César Bicca-Marques witnessed the predation in the western Brazilian Amazon. The photo is sure to grace the PowerPoints of Bio Anthro 101 course for years to come:

An account of the attack and aftermath, from the abstract:

The howler was swallowed head-first in 76 min. The only group member to respond to the distress vocalization emitted by the victim was the other adult female, which was closest to the location where the attack occurred. This female ran toward the snake, also vocalizing, and hit it with her hands several times, but the snake did not react and she moved off to a nearby tree from where she watched most of the interaction. The remaining group members stayed resting at a height approximately 15 m above the victim in a nearby tree without showing any overt signs of stress, except for a single whimper vocalization.

“…except for a single whimper vocalization.” :(

(Photo by Erika Patricia Quintino.)