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Articles, New and Old


  Wilson, E. O. and B. Hölldobler. 2005. The rise of the ants: A phylogenetic
    and ecological explanation. _Proceedings of the National Academy of
    Sciences, Philadelphia_ 102(21):7411-7414. (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0502264102,
    published online before print, May 17, 2005)

  "In the past two decades, studies of anatomy, behavior, and, most recently,
   DNA sequences have clarified the phylogeny of the ants at the subfamily and
   generic levels. In addition, a rich new harvest of Cretaceous and Paleogene
   fossils has helped to date the major evolutionary radiations. We collate
   information and then add data from the natural history of the modern fauna
   sketch a history of major ecological adaptations at the subfamily level. The
   key events appear to have been, first, a mid-Cretaceous initial radiation in
   forest ground litter and soil coincident with the rise of the angiosperms
   (flowering plants), then a Paleogene advance to ecological dominance in
   concert with that of the angiosperms in tropical forests, and, finally, an
   expansion of some of the lineages, aided by changes in diet away from
   dependence on predation, upward into the canopy, and outward into more xeric

  This paper has been around in presses already, so I am noting it only that it
is now officially in print, so the pagination and issue numbers are final:


  (Note the very long URL). The DOI number is DOI: 10.1007/s00114-005-0623-3,
and the official online publication date for this is April 16, 2005, but print
publication is dated for May, 2005.

  Novas, F. E., S. de Valais, P. Vickers-Rich, and T. Rich. 2005. A large
    Cretaceous theropod from Patagonia, Argentina, and the evolution of
    carcharodontosaurids. _Naturwissenschaften_ 92(5):226-230. (DOI:
    10.1007/s00114-005-0623-3, online publication April 16, 2005) [w/ suppl.

  In the Online First listing, the journal also has the following
paleontological tidbit:

  Peigné, S., P. Vignaud, and M. Brunet. 2005. The earliest modern mongoose
   (Carnivora, Herpestidae) from Africa (late Miocene of Chad).
   _Naturwissenshaften_ Online First: DOI: 10.1007/s00114-005-0626-0, April 28,

  "We report on the earliest modern mongooses of Africa, from the late Miocene
   (ca. 7 Ma) of the hominid locality TM 266, Toros-Menalla, Chad. The material
   is based on fragmentary dentitions of three individuals. The main diagnostic
   feature of the Chadian species is the great development of the shear in the
   carnassials, which distinguishes the Chadian specimens from all extant
   herpestids except *Herpestes* and *Galerella*. In comparison with most
   extinct and extant *Herpestes*, the species from Toros-Menalla differs by a
   markedly smaller size and, depending on the species, relatively more
   elongated carnassials, more transversely elongated M1 and more reduced p4.
   the basis of a great morphological similarity and the absence of significant
   differences, we assign our material to *Galerella sanguinea*; the Chadian
   finding therefore represents the earliest appearance of an extant species of
   Herpestidae. This record ties the first appearance of the genus to a minimum
   age of ca. 7 Ma, which is consistent with the estimated divergence date of
   11.4 Ma known from the literature for the species of *Galerella*.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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