Berkeley scientists are disputing the notion that the rows of plates on the backs of stegosaurs served as heat exchangers. Instead, they were for show. EurekAlert and Science Daily explain that this was probably true of other dinosaur decorations: “The team’s analysis of stegosaur plates lends support to a growing consensus among paleontologists that the weird adornments of many dinosaurs – the horns of triceratops, the helmet-like domes of the pachycephalosaurs, and the crests of the duck-billed hadrosaurs – likely served no function other than to differentiate species, akin to birds’ colorful feather ornamentation.” If they evolved as decorations, maybe heat exchange was an “exaptation” – i.e., an incidental benefit. (Some stegosaur-like species have little or no plates.) Sexual selection is not a likely explanation, though. Kevin Padian said, “we don’t see a clear distinction between male and female stegosaurs. Without sexual dimorphism [physical distinctions between male and female], you have no evidence for sexual selection, so you can’t invoke sexual display as an explanation.” Neither does defense make sense. The structures were too flimsy to provide protection; the munch from an allosaur would be “like biting through a sandwich.” Padian argued for the only explanation left: that the structures were for “elaborate displays for social group recognition,” like bird calls, underscoring the “importance of behavior to evolution.”The structures would have to be pretty large and elaborate to function for social group recognition. How many lucky mutations did that take? A mole or nub on one stegosaur’s back would probably not be enough to get the ball rolling, to make all the others think that it was so attractive, he or she would be the only one getting a mate. Maybe some things in nature are just for looks and contribute little or nothing to survival of the fittest. Structures might be amplified by microevolution into extreme forms, but Darwinian theory would have a hard time explaining how they got there in the first place.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share via Email Nick Kyrgios stays calm amid distractions to beat Viktor Troicki at Australian Open “We’re extremely fortunate to have such legends of the game from Australia and learn from them,” she said. “On the women’s side even having a really close relationship with our Fed Cup captain, Alicia Molik, she’s been through everything you can as a tennis player. Even just getting a text message from her, seeing her in the weeks before or day before matches, it’s extra special to have that support from such legends of Australian tennis.”Media demands are understandably greater in a home grand slam and distractions can be everywhere, if players let them. “I do a lot of media but I try to stay off Twitter a lot before I play,” Kyrgios said. “I guess a couple of years ago, I’d be very into it, I’d be on social media a lot. I feel like I’m getting better with it. Now I do room service most times and I like to go out and have dinner with family or my girlfriend.”And what of the crowd, who want their men and women to win so badly. “It’s the best feeling ever, the adrenalin, the extra boost, the support you get from the very passionate Australian Open crowd is amazing,” Barty said. “It really is the best way to start the year. Hopefully we can play well, to feel a little better. I’d love to play well for myself and my team but the public and the fans as well.”And Daria Gavrilova, another Australian who plays better in Melbourne than anywhere else, said before her second-round defeat to Belgian Elise Mertens on Wednesday night she didn’t even know what pressure really meant. “I just look at it as they [the crowd] want the best for me, and I want it as much. I feel like I can put pressure on myself by [feeling] that, but I feel like I’m just going to go out there and compete really hard, hopefully not disappoint anyone.” Nick Kyrgios Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share on Messenger features Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Billie Jean King, the former world No1 and winner of 39 grand slam titles, likes to say: “Pressure is a privilege.” It is the title of the American’s book and one that perhaps all Australian players might do well to get a copy of.It is 40 years since the last home champion at the Australian Open, when Chris O’Neil won the women’s singles, and 42 years since their last male winner, Mark Edmondson. In the intervening four decades, the likes of Wendy Turnbull, Pat Cash, Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter have all gone close but for many, the desire to win the title has become almost suffocating. Australian Open Share on Facebook Topics Ashleigh Barty Share on Pinterest Australia sport Since you’re here… The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Australian Open 2018 Read more Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Watching Sam Stosur tense up almost every time she walks through the gates of Melbourne Park is the height of frustration for home fans. Good enough to be a grand slam winner at the US Open in 2011, when she beat Serena Williams, the focus of a nation seems to weigh heavy on her shoulders, just as it did for France’s Amelie Mauresmo at the French Open. In 16 attempts, Stosur has never made it past the fourth round and at times, it was better to watch her matches through the fingers of one hand. As she said a few years ago: “I put far too much pressure on myself in the Aussie summer because I really, really wanted to do well. You only get the opportunity to play at home for a few weeks and I probably built it up too big and didn’t handle the occasions on court very well at all.”But perhaps the next generation are handling it better and some actively seem to enjoy it. Nick Kyrgios, the best hope in the men’s event, says having Hewitt still around, as Davis Cup captain and an occasional player, takes some of the pressure off the leading men.“As long as he keeps playing, he’s kind of the legend that we’ve got,” he said. “Obviously we have a rich history in Australia of past champions and past legends. I’m doing my best to follow in their footsteps but it’s good to see we’ve got a good crop of guys coming up now who are making their mark.”Before Edmondson, Australian men had won the title in five of the previous six years. In the 1960s, Australian men won 32 of the 40 grand slam titles on offer. On the women’s side, Margaret Court won 64 grand slam titles in all, including a record 24 singles victories. The generations that followed suffered by comparison but Ashleigh Barty, the country’s No1 and a woman now ranked inside the top 20, believes it is an inspiration not a burden. Read more Tennis
Solskjaer: Man Utd not about STUPID square and backpassesby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it’s important the team plays in the club’s best traditions.Until now he has been careful not to criticise the work of his predecessor, but he looks to have let his guard down for the first time in an interview with Malaysian TV station Astro Supersport.Solskjaer said: “Man Utd is built around, attacking football and going forwards, not stupid square and backpasses.”The comment about square passes is thought to have been a direct reference to the style of play he discovered in his squad when he arrived just before Christmas. Solskjaer joined Teddy Sheringham on Astro Supersport after the 1-0 win over Tottenham, and was asked by his former team-mate what he needed to change.The United boss said: “The first thing you talk about is that you do need to smile when you are a Manchester United player, you do enjoy it because when it’s over, you miss it.“It’s about at attacking, it’s about pace, power, attack quickly.”I know we didn’t have the best of pace but we still attacked.“That’s what Man Utd is built around, attacking football and going forwards, not stupid square and backpasses.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp reveals Mane suffered ‘awful combination’by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveJurgen Klopp has revealed Sadio Mane suffered a dead leg and knee injury in Sunday’s 2-1 over Chelsea. The Senegalese was forced off after N’Golo Kante’s mazy run and finish got Chelsea back in the game.”It was a knock on the bone, around the knee, and a dead leg,” said Klopp. “That’s an awful combination.”He tried everything. I think you saw there was one counter situation when he really tried and I would say on a non-dead-leg day he will get that ball, but no chance.”Then we say, ‘come on, now we have to do it’ and changed. That’s it.”
Lest there was any shred of remaining doubt about Kim Cattrall’s feelings toward her former Sex and the City co-star Sarah Jessica Parker, an Instagram post put the matter to rest Saturday.“You are not my friend,” Cattrall wrote in a message directed at Parker, less than one week after her 55-year-old brother, Chris Cattrall, was found dead at his home in Canada.An accompanying image with the post read: “I don’t need your love or support at this tragic time @sarahjessicaparker.” Advertisement Login/Register With: Parker had expressed sympathy for Cattrall’s family at a red-carpet event Thursday, telling Extra that “we all send her our love and condolences” while, in the same interview, not ruling out the possibility of a third Sex and the City movie, but without Cattrall.“If somebody in your life, whether you’re in touch with them or not, is suffering for any reason, it’s involuntary that you want to convey condolences or sadness or just let someone know you’re thinking about them,” Parker told Entertainment Tonight.Cattrall wasn’t having it, clapping back by suggesting Parker was a “hypocrite” and saying even her mother wondered when she would leave Cattrall alone. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Facebook From left, Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis. Cattrall and Parker reportedly have not gotten along for years. (PETER KRAMER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)
MONTREAL – HNZ Group reported a $6.4 million third-quarter net profit Monday, which was nearly four times higher than a year ago.The Montreal-based helicopter services company (TSX:HNZ) said its net income amounted to 50 cents per share, including discontinued operations.Net income from continuing operations, attributable to common shareholders, was $6.3 million or 49 cents per share.Those compared with $1.7 million or 13 cents per share of net income including discontinued operations and $2.3 million or 18 cents per share from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2016.Revenue grew to $72 million from $54.7 million of revenue, attributed to new contracts including a multi-year deal to support ExxonMobil Canada and Encana Corp.’s activities offshore Nova Scotia.HNZ’s chief executive recently proposed buying the company and then selling some of its offshore operations in the southern hemisphere to PHI Inc., subject to shareholder and other approvals.HNZ’s operations in Canada, the United States and Antarctica would remain with the company under the leadership of chief executive Don Wall.
ATLANTA – A California man who operated what prosecutors say was one of the most successful illegal music sharing websites on the internet has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta said in a news release Thursday that 30-year-old Artur Sargsyan of Glendale, California, owned and operated Sharebeast.com and other websites. Prosecutors say his file-sharing infrastructure allowed the illegal download of about a billion copyrighted musical works from at least 2012 through 2015.Sargsyan pleaded guilty in September to criminal copyright infringement for private financial gain. In addition to the prison term, the judge ordered him to pay $458,200 in restitution and to forfeit nearly $185,000.Prosecutors say Sargsyan ignored repeated notifications that he was illegally hosting and sharing copyrighted works.
QUEBEC – Quebec’s books are in order and the Liberal government’s budget strategy until the 2020-21 fiscal year is credible, auditor general Guylaine Leclerc said Monday, days before the start of the provincial election campaign.Predictions for future revenues, administrative expenses, salary costs and other budget details are “plausible,” Leclerc told reporters after releasing her report, which was based off her office’s analysis of documents prepared in June by the Finance Department.Leclerc said her review of the province’s books is an “important democratic exercise.”Lawmakers gave the auditor general’s office the mandate in 2015 to evaluate the incumbent government’s finances and budgetary predictions ahead of an election campaign, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises for new political parties that take power.New governments often accused prior administrations of hiding deficits or playing financial trickery, and the Liberals wanted to try to end that by asking the auditor general to review the province’s finances before Quebecers went to the polls.Premier Philippe Couillard said Leclerc’s report demonstrates his Liberal administration is one of the best teams in modern Quebec history with regards to the management of public finances.“We cannot break this momentum,” Couillard said from Scott, Que., in the province’s Beauce region south of Quebec City.Finance Minister Carlos Leitao’s budget documents prepared for Leclerc had predicted Quebec will run an annual budget surplus of roughly $950 million for fiscal 2018-19 through to 2022-23.Revenues from taxes — which represent about 60 per cent of the budget — will increase by 3 per cent in fiscal 2018-19 and maintain the same rate of increase for the next several years.Quebec’s GDP grew by 1.4 per cent in 2016 and 3 per cent the following year. Leitao estimated GDP would increase by 2.1 per cent in 2018 and by 1.7 per cent in 2019.Leclerc said she was not judging the government’s choices but analzying them regarding whether they were realistic.The government also provided sufficient room to manoeuvre in case of unforeseen economic problems, she added.Quebec’s election campaign begins Thursday with the final voting day on Oct. 1.
OTTAWA — Rising interest rates appear to be taking a toll on Canadians’ finances as the total number of insolvencies filed under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act increased by 5.2 per cent in November from the prior year.The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcies says the number of consumer insolvencies rose by 5.1 per cent, while business insolvencies increased by 8.9 per cent.The Bank of Canada raised its key lending rate five times since the middle of 2017.The number of insolvencies decreased by 2.5 per cent in November from October with bankruptcies falling by 8.2 per cent and proposals increasing by 2.1 per cent.For the 12-month period ending Nov. 30, the number of bankruptcies and proposals grew by two per cent with consumer bankruptcies falling by five per cent and proposals increasing by 8.4 per cent. Consumer insolvency filings accounted for 97.2 per cent of total insolvency filings.Business insolvencies decreased by 0.6 per cent, with the mining, oil and gas extraction and manufacturing sectors falling the most while construction and retail insolvencies sustained the greatest increases.The number of insolvencies rose in all provinces except Nova Scotia in November compared with the same period a year earlier. Newfoundland and Labrador’s filings rose 11 per cent, followed by Alberta at 8.3 per cent. Quebec and Ontario grew by less than one per cent.The Canadian Press