Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Size matters

You know, people who say "everything's bigger in Texas" have obviously never heard of Cope's Rule, or, more importantly, Bergmann's Rule.

Hey, folks back home: it's colder, North-er, and more pristine - meaning older genetic lineages - up here. All that equates to larger body mass.

When I first went walking on the Seattle piers and saw the beady eyes of the truly massive seagulls trained on me, full of fearless calculation, I thought I was hallucinating. I'm from Texas, and I've spent plenty of time on the Gulf Coast. Seagulls are smallish birds that run away from charging children and only take bread from you if you throw it in the air, right?

Not quite.

For scale purposes, that is the very Earth that the seagull is perched upon.
(Credit goes to Courtney for the excellent picture)

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