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Exhibit specimen of Edaphosaurus, a pelycosaur synapsid, from the collections at the Museum of Comparative Zoology

Spinal Changes in Mammalian Evolution

February 3, 2020

Postdoc, Katrina Jones and Prof. Stephanie Pierce teamed with the Field Museum of Natural History to find how and when changes happened in the spine of mammals during evolution. Jones says the study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, tries to answer a fundamental evolutionary question, "How does a relatively simple structure evolve into a complex one that can do lots of different things?"


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Infrared photographs of butterflies. The brighter the color, the bigger the capability of radiative cooling. Credit: Nanfang Yu and Cheng-Chia Tsai/Columbia Engineering.

Butterfly Wings Are A Matrix of Living Cells

January 28, 2020
Naomi Pierce and PhD candidate, Richard Childers teamed with researchers at Columbia University to examine the wings of Lepidoptera. Butterfly wings contain a matrix of living cells whose function requires appropriate temperatures. However, given their small thermal capacity, wings can overheat rapidly in the sun. The team analyzed wings across a wide range of simulated environmental conditions and found regions containing living cells are maintained at cooler temperatures. The wings act like temperature sensors, which allows butterflies to respond swiftly to... Read more about Butterfly Wings Are A Matrix of Living Cells
James McCarthy

In Memoriam: Jim McCarthy 1944-2019

December 13, 2019

With profound sadness, we note the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Jim McCarthy, on December 11th after a protracted illness. Jim was a towering figure, whose impact as a scholar, policy advisor, and human being was extraordinary. The OEB community is greatly diminished by his loss, and we will all feel Jim’s absence deeply.

Notable remebrances by the Harvard Center for the Environment and ...

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