The Opposing Thumb

An opinionated digit leafs through the biological literature
Media Roundup

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled dune, clothed with many plants of many kinds, all produced by laws acting around us. There is grandeur in this view of life, where so unforgiving an environment has taken but one common ancestor, and, over the millennia, forged such marvellous forms most beautiful. That this should occur, as it does elsewhere, in such an inhospitable place, speaks to the power and the universality of evolution – a creative force that that exceeds the Force in its impact in our galaxy.” from The Origin of Tatooine Species, by Momaw Nadon (50 BBY – 50 ABY).tatooine

Actually, “This week, in the blogosphere…” a group of science bloggers has posted a collective look at the biology and ecology of Tatooine, home to Luke and the Skywalker family, place of exile for Obi Wan Kenobi, and stomping ground to marauding bands of Tusken Raiders. Tatooine is a harsh, desert environment that pushes organism’s ability to adapt and survive to the limit. The posts look at the botany, the zoology and the ecology of the planet, and how it got that way (in David Ng’s Tatooine version of the IPCC report). Here are the links to the seven posts:

Tatooine Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – David Ng

Functional Anatomy of Tatooine Megafauna (Hyperspace Transmission Received) – John Hutchinson

Science of Tatooine: Water – Adrienne Roehrich

Cascading Planetary-Wide Ecosystem Effects of the Extirpation of Apex Predatory Krayt dragons on Tatooine – David Shiffman

The Limits of Animal Life on Tatooine – Maggie Koerth-Baker

Tatooine’s Tangled Bank – Plants Evolve in a Galaxy Far, Far Away – Malcolm Campbell

Diary of an Interplanetary Naturalist – The Sarlacc – Joe Hanson



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