Commentaries

Invasion of the Embryos. The metamorphic insects are born still in their soft embronic form. They retain this form throughout most of their lives. These free living embryos have come to occupy many niches.

dust to Dust. All the planets in the light of the sun – even those that may support life – were originally built from space dust. That space dust itself will not support life, but the dust floating in the light of the sun streaming through the window will support it.

End of the Coal Era. The deposition of the great seams of plant matter leading to coal formation ceased abruptly at the end of the Carboniferous Period 300 million years ago. New research suggests that this was due to an change in the biosphere, on the microscopic level of the mycelia of the fungi. The agents of that change are still with us today.

Song of the Jurassic describes the reconstruction of the wing-song of a prehistoric deep-woods katydid. Using a combination of fossil microanatomy and acoustic ecology, the paleontologists were able to paint a picture of the ancient forest in which the insect lived millions of years ago.

Shadows against the sun describes two eclipses of that were visible in California in the spring of 2012.