Despite being among the largest turtles that ever lived, the biology and systematics of Stupendemys geographicus remain largely unknown because of scant, fragmentary finds. We describe exceptional specimens and new localities of S. geographicus from the Miocene of Venezuela and Colombia. We document the largest shell reported for any extant or extinct turtle, with a carapace length of 2.40 m and estimated mass of 1.145 kg, almost 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle Peltocephalus dumerilianus , and twice that of the largest extant turtle, the marine leatherback Dermochelys coriacea . The new specimens greatly increase knowledge of the biology and evolution of this iconic species. Our findings suggest the existence of a single giant turtle species across the northern Neotropics, but with two shell morphotypes, suggestive of sexual dimorphism. Bite marks and punctured bones indicate interactions with large caimans that also inhabited the northern Neotropics.
Source: The origin and evolution of love
Bacterial viruses, called bacteriophages, are simple genetic machines, relying on their bacterial hosts to replicate and spread. But scientists have found hundreds of huge phages that carry a slew of bacterial proteins that the phages evidently use to more efficiently manipulate their microbial hosts. These proteins include those involved with ribosomal production of proteins and the CRISPR bacterial immune system, as if the phages are a hybrid between living microbes and viral machines.
As Thomas Nagel would argue today, any theory of evolution that excludes the origin of mind and consciousness from consideration is at best half a theory.
The critical problem that consciousness poses for Darwinian evolution is that there is no survival advantage for subjective first-person existence over objective third-person existence.