Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The harvestmen of deep time

[image source: Gonzalo Giribet / NY times]

Carl Zimmer has produced yet another fascinating article in the science section of the NYT, featuring Dr Gonzalo Giribet and his group's research on the evolution of mite harvestmen (a relative of the daddy longlegs).

In short, as any species of mite harvestmen has a small physical range (apparently of order 50 miles or so) and hence do not spread or disperse much on their own, they provide a great way of tracing continental motion on time scales of hundreds of millions of years.

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