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Dodson was nearly moved to tears upon first seeing it as a college senior.
Elsberry's talk.origins jargon FAQ (mirror as convenient single document text file and William Hudson's more readable glossary of terms, and also more relevant as a general evolution and science glossary (Talk Origins emphasises good and bad arguments, geek culture, etc.); the US Geological Survey Glossary of Terms, the Understanding Evolution Glossary, the PBS evolution Glossary, as well as Wikipedia: evolutionary biology topics, and other Wikipedia pages on evolution and Creation–evolution controversy; the Evo Wiki Encyclopedia (including Geology, Paleontology, Paleontologists, Evo Wiki: History of science, although more topics need to be added or listed, and some of my (MAK) own interests and definitions.In addition, because of limitations of time and energy, or perhaps just sheer laziness and apathy, I have for the most part only included on-line references, which are easier to copy and paste ;-) Acritarch: microscopic organic structure from any of a number of organisms; common during the Proterozoic.Adaptive radiation, evolutionary radiation: the rapid expansion and diversification of a group of organisms as they fill unoccupied ecological niches, evolving into new species.Once considered the simplest form of animal life, they are now known to consist of several distinct and unrelated groups of protists. Morphologically and ecologically diverse during the late Paleozoic era, including aquatic, semi-aquatic, and terrestrial newt, snake, crocodile, and frog analogues.The traditional term "amphibian" is disliked by cladists because it does not constitute a natural clade and so is considered phylogenetically meaningless.Hence instead terms like basal tetrapod or the names of individual clades and taxa (temnospondyls, lepidospondyls, Lissamphibia, etc), are used. Apomorphy: In cladistics, a unique derived character trait found in a particular taxon, which is also possessed by a common ancestor. More Aptian: geologic age of the Early Cretaceous, spanning the time between 114 and 107 million years ago.
Nevertheless, "amphibian" can still be used in a generic sense to refer to any non-amniotic tetrapod. More Anagenesis: the evolutionary transformation of one species over time into another, resulting in the emergence of a new character or attribute (which in this case a new species) from an older one. Ancestor: in this context, an organism, or more correctly a population, lineage, or species, that through evolution gives rise to one or more descendants that generally belong to a distinct species or lineage. Ancient Astronaut theory: new age meme advocated by Erich Von Däniken, according to which extraterrestrials were involved in, or are responsible for, human evolution. Generally does not try to explain where the rest of life (or the aliens themselves, for that matter! A more recent iteration can be found in Ridley Scott's movie Ankylosaur: herbivourous armoured mostly Cretaceous "bird hipped" dinosaurs with rows of bony plates protecting the sides and back, and armed with either spikes along the sides or a bony club at the end of the trail More Anthropocene: informal geochronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth's ecosystems. Anthropocentrism, anthropocentric: Centering on humans and considering or relating all other things to man; for example the biblical idea that only man has a divine soul, or the belief that humans are of greater moral worth than other species; the practice, conscious or otherwise, of regarding the existence and/or concerns of human beings as the central fact of the universe. Archaea: one of the three domains of life in the molecular phylogeny described by Carl Woese (originally Archaeobacteria, renamed Archaea by Woese et al 1990), prokaryotes that are metabolically and morphologically distinct from Eubacteria; includes many types of extremophiles, remnants from the earlier history of the earth. 2010 and other refs) rejects ancient origin on morphological and paleontological grounds.
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The following, inevitably incomplete, introductory glossary of terms and concepts links to other topics discussed elsewhere on this site, as well as including general topics of interest such as well-known prehistoric animals.
Age of Mammals: term found in popular books on evolutionary systematics for the Cenozoic era, beginning with the Paleocene Epoch when following the K–T (end Cretaceous) mass extinction, mammals underwent a huge evolutionary radiation and thus replaced reptiles as the dominant life on Earth.
Paleontologist Björn Kurtén wrote a popular intelligent layperson book with the same title. The Age of Mammals has in turn been replaced by the Anthropocene or Age of Man, (Holocene) when humans dominate every conceivable environment and most other life forms (apart from weedy species) are suffering a mass extinction (Yes, I know humans are also mammals, so technically speaking this is still the Age of Mammals, but I tend to think of the Age of Mammals as a period of flourishing biodiversity).
The more outre and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to If now we were to try to penetrate to the soul of Quasimodo through that thick, hard rind; if we could sound the depths of that badly constructed organism; if it were granted to us to look with a torch behind those non-transparent organs to explore the shadowy interior of that opaque creature, to his obscure corners, his absurd no-thoroughfares, and suddenly to cast a vivid light upon the soul enchained at the extremity of that cave, we should, no doubt, find the unhappy Psyche in some poor, cramped, and ricketty attitude, like those prisoners beneath the Leads of Venice, who grew old bent double in a stone box which was both too low and too short for them.