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XKCD: It's more than a comic:

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7476 Fighteer13th May 2013 10:01:14 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
[lol][lol] Just not hungry, I guess?

Edit: damn page topper!

edited 13th May '13 10:01:24 AM by Fighteer

7477 ArcanGenth13th May 2013 10:04:54 AM from 127.0.0.1 , Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
Geekling
Both of them fail as predators, actually.
At least Khyber makes a good bed for sleepy chick.

(Technically this is a good thing. I'd hate to have to prohibit the cats from the back yard, they love it out there)

edited 13th May '13 10:06:03 AM by ArcanGenth

7478 petersohn13th May 2013 10:09:55 AM , Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Stand aside!
I guess your cats are smart enough not to begin hunting dinosaurs. cool
7479 BestOf13th May 2013 11:59:37 AM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Did you know that birds are the second-most diverse group of vertebrates (after fish) in the world today? We mammals are still behind dinosaurs in evolving diversity.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
Shadowed Philosopher
Given the difference between e.g. ostriches and hummingbirds? I'd believe it.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
7481 QuestionMarc13th May 2013 02:22:40 PM from Down-town Canada , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
So that means that I caught a dinosaur bare-handed that last time, and not just a bird? That makes me pretty cool I guess. (Ok, to be fair that bird WAS kind of dense, or too trusting, but I still caught it with my hand alone)

Also, lol Arcan's cat. The apex predators.
Just enough pride.
7482 Fighteer13th May 2013 02:24:11 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
"Time" has had the two characters walking for something like five days now.

[up] Apex predators, assured of their role atop the food chain, don't hunt unless they need to and can coexist quite peaceably with their prey until they get hungry. That's not what's happening here, though.

edited 13th May '13 2:25:02 PM by Fighteer

7483 joesolo13th May 2013 03:18:09 PM , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
not sure if anyone else posted, but at this point Time has more panels then there are comics of XKCD.
7484 BestOf13th May 2013 03:19:50 PM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
It's been days - maybe a week - since I last checked Time. The more time passes the less likely I am to check the pages I've missed, but I know I won't skip it completely. Eventually I'll check what's become of it.

If it does end, though, I'd be grateful if someone would mention it here.

EDIT: Motivated by the thought of how long the backlog would be if I let the comic go on without me, I watched it through from where I was (strip 800 or so) to where it is now.

edited 13th May '13 3:30:24 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
7485 QuestionMarc13th May 2013 07:20:49 PM from Down-town Canada , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
[up][up][up] I wasn't really thinking they were anything close apex predators, it wasn't a serious remark.
Just enough pride.
Not Actually Indie
Did you know that birds are the second-most diverse group of vertebrates (after fish) in the world today? We mammals are still behind dinosaurs in evolving diversity.

Really? Even if we count placental mammals and marsupials and monotremes together?

What measure of diversity are we using here?
...eventually, we will reach a maximum entropy state where nobody has their own socks or underwear, or knows who to ask to get them back.
7487 Zersk13th May 2013 10:16:38 PM from Columbia District, BNA
o-o
Number of species, maybe? Fish isn't exactly an accurate grouping anymore, though. :/

Buuuuuuut apparently there's about 32,500 species of fish, 10,000 bird species, from what I can find, and about 5,000 species of mammals?

edited 13th May '13 10:20:16 PM by Zersk

ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᖅ ᓈᒻᒪᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ
Burn
The one about Tyrannosaurus rex being more closely related to a sparow is right, but the part about the timeline is somewhat misleading. It assumes a steady, unchanging rate of change in genetics, and while that is somewhat true for certain parts of the genome (Cytochrome C is the most famous example), populations do not change at the same rate and can go for long periods of time without change.

But still, having dinosaurs around is pretty sweet, especially the really smart ones that can eat basically anything, make tools, hold grudges, mimic human speech, and caw in an obnoxious manner.

[up]Genetic diversity depends on what kind of diversity you want. Number of species doesn't necessarily mean a lot of genetic differentiation between said species (Although number of species is probably the best indicator of genetic diversity for me). Also, species are taxonomic distinctions, so they're already pretty murky.

edited 13th May '13 11:18:17 PM by Scardoll

Shadowed Philosopher
I'd expect genetic diversity to be something like the greatest genetic variation between any two species that are still part of the category. Number of species doesn't seem to mean much if they're all very similar.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
Burn
Well, a clade with two species that are very different from each other might have a huge difference between their genetics, but I wouldn't think of it as a very diverse clade.
7491 BestOf14th May 2013 03:44:16 AM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
I was talking about "diversity" as in "number of species."

Fish isn't exactly an accurate grouping anymore, though. :/

Yeah. For instance, the salmon (I don't care which kind - any salmon) is more closely related to humans than it is to sharks.

The one about Tyrannosaurus rex being more closely related to a sparow is right, but the part about the timeline is somewhat misleading.

I think the time aspect was probably added to surprise the people who hadn't given much thought to the time scales involved. The era of dinosaurs - the way people usually think of dinosaurs, so I'm not including birds even though they are dinosaurs - was so long compared to this current, arguably mammal-dominated one that many fail to realise that the evolution of humans is small potatoes compared to what the dinosaurs went through.

People who are not familiar with the history of life might also be surprised to find out that multicellular life emerged just 1.7 billion years ago (I looked up the figure in Wikipedia.) Life has been around for about 3.5 billion years, so for half of the history of life you didn't even have multicellular organisms.

The Cambrian explosion, which gave us most of the major animal phyla around (I'm basically quoting the article,) happened about 500 million years ago. So life had already been going for about 3 billion years before animals became really relevant. (I'm basing "relevance" on what sort of record the organisms left - so whatever life there was before this era would be declared "irrelevant" if their bodies were too soft to fossilise.) If you divide the history of life on Earth into 500-million-year periods you won't have complex animal life in the first 6 of your 7 periods.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
7492 Xopher00114th May 2013 03:50:12 AM from 38.5061 N, 76.5177 W , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
That's Mr. Dr. Prof. Xopher to you!
I read that in 500 million years, most plants won't be able to photosynthesize because of the increasing temperature of the sun. I don't remember the details. There's several types of photosynthesis, and the most common kind will be become impossible.
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
7493 Fighteer14th May 2013 06:51:49 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
500 million years is a long time. Long enough for adaptations to solve that sort of problem. Plants already utilize a variety of photosynthetic chemicals; this is why leaves change color in the autumn, as the chlorophyll gives way to other pigments that utilize different wavelengths.

Evolution isn't organisms spontaneously developing different traits in response to a change in their environment; it is selection pressure on populations that modifies the survival value of traits that already exist.

edited 14th May '13 6:55:41 AM by Fighteer

7494 QuestionMarc14th May 2013 07:21:07 AM from Down-town Canada , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
I liked the explanation my Anthropology teacher gave us on evolution: He compared it to food in our kitchen.

Say a family buys a lot of stuff, what is going to go first, vegetables or desserts? If there's children, it'll be the desserts, of course assuming a parent doesn't stop them.

The population in the food closet didn't change: it's just that all the cookies got devoured, and the vegetables had the evolutionary advantage of not being delicious for children, so only them remain.

You could go further by comparing different kind of cookies and seeing that some cookies have the advantages of not being delicious so they stay longer. If the mother buys more of those cookies, it's not that the oreos transformed into fudgeos or whatever, it's just that the lame cookies got to "reproduce".

It's kind of a silly example, but it explains the basic idea.
Just enough pride.
7495 QuestionMarc14th May 2013 09:02:51 AM from Down-town Canada , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Double post for What-If.

Today, we learn that Chris Hadfield's video is not actually that expensive.
Just enough pride.
"UNSCHEDULED BURN" was a pretty clever pun.
7497 AceOfScarabs14th May 2013 09:33:40 PM from Singapore , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
I am now a shiny stone~
Dinosaurs :D
7498 Nohbody14th May 2013 09:39:05 PM from Somewhere in Dixie , Relationship Status: Mu
7499 deathpigeon15th May 2013 02:35:20 AM from Everything sacred is a tie, a fetter. , Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
[up][up][up][up] ...Dayum, he has the unique combination of having a good singing voice, being an astronaut, and actually being able to pull off a mustache that makes him incredibly sexy, to me. >///<

On another note, I love the [citation needed] on the both of them are used for other things comment. [lol]
Ich hab' Mein' Sach' auf Nichts gestellt.

My Story
7500 Tangent12815th May 2013 07:36:52 AM from Virginia , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
[1] The memesphere, it's spreading! I am amused at Sirius, though it's had two years to get over it.

Also, found a fancier Time viewer: http://geekwagon.net/projects/xkcd1190/
Do you highlight everything looking for secret messages?

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