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O Best Beloved: Just-so stories in ecology and evolution

"Just-so stories" are named after Rudyard Kipling's 1902 book of animal fables. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sloth-moth symbiosis. Dinosaur-devestating asteroid impacts. Girl’s preference for pink. Are these fact, or fiction? Sometimes, what we think we know about the natural world is based more on story-telling than the scientific method. Calling something a “just-so story” in science is almost universally intended as a criticism. The term is a reference to Rudyard Kipling’s collection […]

The Megatooth Shark: Megalodon

585px-Carcharodon_megalodon

I’m at the Ecological Society of America meetings this week, so invited grad students Meghan Balk and Catalina Pimiento to write a guest post to coincide with Shark Week. Little did I know that this post would be so timely, with Discovery’s disastrous fake documentary on Megalodon! I hope you enjoy reading about these […]

How fast can trees migrate?

spruce

“As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought the wood began to move.” - Messenger, Shakespeare’s Macbeth The simple story of the last 2.5 million years of vegetation response to climate change could be summed up like this: temperature goes up and down, plants […]

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