" We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." - Dissent from Darwin

Natural selection [is used] carelessly as a mantra, as in the evidence-free “just-so stories” concocted out of thin air by mentally lazy adaptationists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. (Isaac newton)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How LEOPARD got her spots

A new study carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol studied 35 species of wild cats and concluded : "These very complex and irregular models on their fur have probably evolved to help the cats have a good camouflage. This link between environment and fur patterns is quite strong but after looking at the evolutionary history, we can see that these patterns can evolve but also disappear quite fast."

Some exceptions were however highlighted: Some cheetahs have spots even though they live in open spaces, while the bay cat and the flat-headed cat, who prefer closed habitats have plain coats. Also, out of the 35 species, only one cat has vertically elongated patterns, that have nothing to do with grasslands: the tiger. On the other hand, tigers seem to camouflage really good so why don't other animals have vertical stripes too?

This would confirm Rudyard Kipling's explanation of leopard's spots: the environment “full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows”.

Storyteller: Will Allen, Unversity of Bristol School of Experimental Psychology

Source: How did leopards get their spots


Anonymous said...

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forest of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
could frame thy fearful symmetry?


I spent many a tedious hour setting up an experiment to find a number to fit into a formula to crank out a number that would add to a long list of data to answer a question that almost no one was asking.

Sorry to sound so jaded by science, but I still wonder about the world and find your site interesting.

I also find Theology interesting and wonder about the great conclusions of science.

Do you wonder or find Theology interesting?

Dave Duffy
Kingsburg, CA

Dolly Sheriff said...

Hi Dave

The problem with science today is that it's gatekeepers try so hard to take the wonder out of science through reductionism and providing trite answers to the most perplexing of questions. I find both science and theology very interesting indeed and try to exercise my sense of wonder at every opportunity!