April 12, 2011

A "Lousy" Chapter In Evolutionary History - Examining Our Roots

Here's a post that will make you scratch your head in wonder.

Natural historians, paleontologists and paleoanthropolists will leave no rock unturned, no geoligical stratum unexcavated, or hairy or feathered spot uninvestigated in their efforts to get to the root of or gather and corroborate information on the evolution of Life on Earth.

"Hairy or feathered spots?!"  Yes.  The natural history of lice, those pesky creatures that live on birds and mammals, provides important information for understanding the evolutionary history of dinosaurs, birds and mammals, including Homo sapiens.

Photo: New York Times/The Natural History of London

Did you know human head, body and pubic lice are related to lice found on modern chimpanzees and gorillas?  Check out the following link.  Don't be surprised if you begin to itch while you are reading:  As Mammals Supplanted Dinosaurs, Lice Kept Pace by Nicholas Wade, The New York Times, April 6, 2011.

Scratch, scratch!  Don't worry, it's probably just dry skin.  Then again....

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