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Hoyle and Cavetigers

Tom Roach wrote (quoting Nick Longrich):

>> a) is it theoretically possible for bacterial spores or organisms of
>> some kind to survive the heating, cooling, and radiation experienced
>> during a meteorite's journey between Earth and Mars (given the
>> amount of stuff flying around the solar syem in the early days, it's
>> probably a given that meteorites went between planets relatively
>> often)
>I have a copy of Fred Hoyles "discredited" book Evolution from Outer Space.
>Wonder if it sounds so ridiculous now?!

Yes.  Yes, it still does.  The hypothesis that the initial seeds of life
might have travelled from one world to another (panspermia, a concept which
Hoyle did not originate) has little to do with Hoyle and Wickramisinghe's
belief that, for example, the genes for stripes in zebras and okapis are the
same genes, and were introduced into horses and pre-striped okapis after
they floated down from space.

(Now if the Boot Sector Virus on the department's computer came from space,
then I'd be impressed... :-)

And now for something completely different:

A new paper by J. Th. Groiss has shown that the cave "lion" (traditionally
Pantera spelaea or Panthera leo spelaea) turns out to be a cave tiger (and
thus, Panthera tigris spelaea) based on endocranial characters.  The earlier
(and larger) Panthera leo fossilis similarly turns out to be a tiger (P.
tigris fossilis).

They suggest, among other things, for a biogeographic split in Pleistocene
Eurasia, with tigers in the northern and central regions and maneless lions
in the southern regions.  Also, they suggest that the bigass North American
kitty, Panthera atrox, may be a tiger as well, which may have followed a
Beringian route into the New World.:

J. Th. Groiss.  1996.  Der Ho:hlentiger _Panthera tigris spelaea_
(Goldfuss). (The cavetiger _Panthera tigris spelaea_ (Goldfuss)).  N. Jb.
Geol. Pala:ont. Mh. 1996 (7): 399-414.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"There are some who call me...  Tim."