The nectar-feeding bat Anoura fistulata has a tongue 150% as long as the rest of its body, which retracts all the way into the ribcage. This seems to be because it’s in an evolutionary “arms race” with the corollas of the flowers that it pollinates.
Luciferase, the enzyme that makes fireflies light up, probably arose by gene duplication from a metabolic protein – and it still retains the original metabolic function.
After blowing the last two weekends in an undistinguished collegiate cycling career, I’m now off to the EVO-WIBO biology conference in Port Townsend, Washington. It’s a smallish, regional conference, but the Pacific Northwest includes some great biology departments (UBC, anyone?). And, if I go out a day early, there’s supposed to be good birding in the vicinity.
Just got back from holiday traveling, which naturally meant spending most of yesterday either in airplanes or airports, neither of which is a favorite place of mine. I particularly hate airports. So I took a lot of photos of the ugly airport architecture on my trip west yesterday. I’ve got them all in a Flickr set for your viewing displeasure.