Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Earthly hum

Earth hums: why? The earth produces a sound which is detected by seismologists (earth-quake scholars), the source?

seismo hum story: click here

Which includes these bottom abcd pics, the max humming occurs seasonally at the bottlenecks (a=Chukchi/Bering sea flushes, b=Antarctic circumpolar current flush) yet the authors say nothing of that. Why?

My guess: the tidal grinder effect caused by the lunar-solar tidal differential and associated waves at the shallow sea coasts, (the chaordic (chaotic order) point of physical state equilibrium of solid, liquid and gas), where erosion & deposition continuously result in massive aggregate particulate displacement, which is the primary causative agent of tectonic plate migration (continental drift), splitting and then recombining supercontinents over geologic time.

Now, compare that explanation with the below abstract (correct interpretation IMO), and following summary paragraph, which (IMO incorrectly) states that movement of the plate derives from viscous traction at the base of the plate.

shelves hum story: click here

Letter Nature 445, 754-756 (15 February 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05536; Received 2 November 2006; Accepted 12 December 2006

The Earth's 'hum' is driven by ocean waves over the continental shelves
Spahr C. Webb 1. Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA

Observations show that the seismic normal modes of the Earth at frequencies near 10 mHz are excited at a nearly constant level in the absence of large earthquakes1. This background level of excitation has been called the 'hum' of the Earth2, and is equivalent to the maximum excitation from a magnitude 5.75 earthquake3. Its origin is debated, with most studies attributing the forcing to atmospheric turbulence, analogous to the forcing of solar oscillations by solar turbulence2, 4, 5, 6, 7. Some reports also predicted that turbulence might excite the planetary modes of Mars to detectable levels4. Recent observations on Earth, however, suggest that the predominant excitation source lies under the oceans8, 9, 10. Here I show that turbulence is a very weak source, and instead it is interacting ocean waves over the shallow continental shelves that drive the hum of the Earth. Ocean waves couple into seismic waves through the quadratic nonlinearity of the surface boundary condition, which couples pairs of slowly propagating ocean waves of similar frequency to a high phase velocity component at approximately double the frequency. This is the process by which ocean waves generate the well known 'microseism peak' that dominates the seismic spectrum near 140 mHz (refs 11, 12), but at hum frequencies, the mechanism differs significantly in frequency and depth dependence. A calculation of the coupling between ocean waves and seismic modes reproduces the seismic spectrum observed. Measurements of the temporal correlation between ocean wave data and seismic data9, 10 have confirmed that ocean waves, rather than atmospheric turbulence, are driving the modes of the Earth.

plate traction summary: click here

Editor's Summary 22 March 2007
The power of plate tectonics

A compilation of seismic images, geochronology and plate-motion reconstruction has been used to compare the location and chronology of a hotspot track at the base and top of the North American lithosphere. The work reveals a conspicuous misalignment between the surface and deep parts of the tracks. Misalignment increases with age along the track, and is best explained by creep in the mantle lithosphere beneath North America. The sense of shear implied by these observations indicates that motion of the plate is driven by viscous traction at the base of the plate. This is of significance for understanding the driving forces of plate tectonics.
Letter: Seismic evidence for convection-driven motion of the North American plate

David W. Eaton and Andrew Frederiksen

Friday, March 16, 2007

Struck dumb

1st tetrapods breathed through their ears

Mystery Of Mammalian Ears Solved

A 30-year scientific debate over how specialized cells in the inner ear
amplify sound in mammals appears to have been settled more in favor of
bouncing cell bodies rather than vibrating, hair-like cilia, according to
investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The finding could explain why dogs, cats, humans and other mammals have such
sensitive hearing and the ability to discriminate among frequencies. The
work also highlights the importance of basic hearing research in studies
into the causes of deafness.

"Our discovery helps explain the mechanics of hearing and what might be
going wrong in some forms of deafness," said Jian Zuo, Ph.D., the paper's
senior author and associate member of the St. Jude Department of
Developmental Neurobiology. "There are a variety of causes for hearing loss,
including side effects of chemotherapy for cancer. One strength of St. Jude
is that researchers have the ability to ask some very basic questions about
how the body works, and then use those answers to solve medical problems in
the future."

The long-standing argument centers around outer hair cells, which are
rod-shaped cells that respond to sound waves. Located in the fluid-filled
part of the inner ear called the cochlea, these outer hair cells sport tufts
of hair-like cilia that project into the fluid. The presence of outer hair
cells makes mammalian hearing more than 100 times better than it would be if
the cells were absent.

As sound waves race into the inner ear at hundreds of miles per hour, their
energy--although dissipated by the cochlear fluid--generates waves in the
fluid, somewhat like the tiny waves made by a pebble thrown into a pond.
This energy causes the hair cell cilia in both mammals and non-mammals to
swing back and forth quickly in a steady rhythm.

In mammals, the rod-shaped body of the outer hair cell contracts and then
vibrates in response to the sound waves, amplifying the sound. In a previous
study, Zuo and his colleagues showed that a protein called prestin is the
motor in mammalian outer hair cells triggers this contraction. And that is
where the debate begins.

While both mammals and non-mammals have cilia on their outer hair cells,
only mammalian outer hair cells have prestin, which drives this cellular
contraction, or somatic motility. The contraction pulls the tufts of cilia
downward, which maximizes the force of their vibration. In mammals, both the
cilia and the cell itself vibrate. Thus far the question has been whether
the cilia are the main engine of sound amplification in both mammals and

One group of scientists believes that somatic motility in mammalian outer
hair cells is simply a way to change the height of the cilia in the fluid to
maximize the force with which the cilia oscillate. That, in turn, would
amplify the sound. An opposing group of scientists maintains that although
the vibration of the outer hair cell body itself--somatic motility--does
maximize the vibration of the cilia, the cell body works independently of
its cilia. That is, vibration of the mammalian cell dominates the work of
amplifying sound in mammals.

"If somatic motility is the dominant force for amplifying sound in mammals,
this would mean that prestin is the reason mammals amplify sound so
efficiently," Zuo said.

In the current study, Zuo and his team conducted a complex series of studies
that showed in mammals that the role of somatic mobility driven by prestin
is not simply to modify the response of the outer hair cells' cilia to
incoming sound waves in the cochlea fluid. Instead, somatic motility itself
appears to dominate the amplification process in the mammalian cochlea,
while the cilia dominate amplification in non-mammals.

Zuo's team took advantage of a previously discovered mutated form of prestin
that does not make the outer hair cells contract in response to incoming
sound waves as normal prestin does. Instead, the mutated form of prestin
makes the cell extend itself when it vibrates.

The St. Jude researchers reasoned that if altering the position of the cilia
in the fluid changes the ability of the cilia to amplify sound, then hearing
should be affected when the mutant prestin made the cell extend itself.
Therefore, the team developed a line of genetically modified mice that
carried only mutant prestin in their outer hair cells. The researchers then
tested the animals' responses to sound.

Results of the studies showed no alteration in hearing, which suggested that
it did not matter whether the outer hair cells contracted or extended
itself, that is, raised or lowered the cilia. There was no effect on
amplification. The researchers concluded that somatic motility was not
simply a way to make cilia do their job better; rather, there is no
connection between the hair cell contractions and how the cilia do their
job. Instead, somatic motility, generated by prestin, is the key to the
superior hearing of mammals.

A report on this work appears in the advanced online issue of "Proceedings
of the National Academy of Science."

Other authors of this study include Jiangang Gao, Xudong Wu and Manish Patel
(St. Jude); Xiang Wang, Shuping Jia and David He (Creighton University,
Omaha, Neb.); Sal Aguinaga, Kristin Huynh, Keiji Matsuda, Jing Zheng,
MaryAnn Cheatham and Peter Dallos (Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.).

[From DB or AAT? dive down past the spherical harmony section if you like]

Regarding hearing, humming and spherical/planar/scalar harmony

Semi-circular ear canals in mammals, primates
The primate semicircular canal system and locomotion
Fred Spoor, Theodore Garland Jr, Gail Krovitz, Timothy M Ryan, Mary T Silcox
& Alan Walker 2007

The semicircular canal system of vertebrates helps coordinate body
movements, including stabilization of gaze during locomotion. Quantitative
phylogenetically informed analysis of the radius of curvature of the three
semicircular canals in 91 extant and recently extinct primate species and
119 other mammalian taxa provide support for the hypothesis that canal size
varies in relation to the jerkiness of head motion during locomotion.
Primate and other mammalian species studied here that are agile and have
fast, jerky locomotion have significantly larger canals relative to body
mass than those that move more cautiously.

From the discussion:
... The strong relationship between SCC.size & locomotor agility is clearly
evident in a variety of primate groups. The leaping tarsiers & galagos have
large canals relative to their body size, whereas the slow quadrupedal
lorises, although of similar body size, lie on the lower end of the
distribution with relatively small canals. At larger body masses, this
relationship also holds. The acrobatic brachiating gibbons have rel.large
canals for their body size, compared with the great apes. The sloth lemurs
& koala lemurs have small canals for their body size, and Palaeopropithecus
in particular has very small canals to match its reconstructed extremely
slow locomotion. (Some or all of these subfossil large Madagascan fossils
may have been aquarboreal. --MV) In some cases, canal size does not seem
to match expectations based on the locomotor behavioral classification. This
could occur when a small, unrepresentative sample falls toward the margins
of a species¹ morphological range of variation, especially when combined
with a less secure estimate of body mass. It may also be that locomotor
behavior was misclassified because certain aspects critical to the
perception of angular rather than linear motion were not recognized. A
possible example is Ateles geoffroyi, which is classified as medium in
agility, but its rather large canals fit well with its acrobatic behavior.
Importantly, the 3 canals do not necessarily express locomotor behavior in
equal measure, because this may depend on the planes of head motion
involved. For example, during hominin evolution only the anterior &
posterior canals enlarge with the emergence of modern-human-like bipedal
locomotion (2). In contrast, tarsiers & galagos on the one hand, and lorises
on the other are most distinct in lateral canal size. Likewise, the small
lateral canal of Alouatta seniculus is consistent with its less agile
behavior. However, its anterior canal appears unexpectedly large, possibly
the consequence of spatial constraints of the subarcuate fossa (24), which
opens into the endocranial cavity through the arc of the anterior canal, and
houses a lobule of the cerebellum. In all, the species that most strikingly
seem to contrast with the overall canal­agility correlation are the 4
callitrichids. These are classified as agile, but their anterior & lateral
canals fall between the middle & lower end of the canal size distribution.
It is unclear why this is, and more work will need to be done to understand
the factors underlying this exceptional morphology. In nearly all cases, the
phylogenetic GLS models employing some type of branch length transformation
outperformed both the star phylogeny (conventional regression) and the GLS
method by using untransformed divergence times gathered from the literature.
Of the 3 branch length transformations used, Grafen¹s & Pagel¹s typically
performed best. The addition of well dated extinct species throughout our
phylogenetic tree will result in more accurate reconstructions of the
ancestral nodes, which in turn may then allow a better reconstruction of
the evolution of characters. Nevertheless, as was found here, transformed
trees may still perform better than those based on divergence times. This
may be for a variety of reasons, including the presence of unavoidable
measurement error in the estimates of species¹ mean BM and canal radii (25).
The similarity of results between the conventional and the phylogenetic
regression models indicates that the SCC system holds a very strong
functional signal related to head motion & locomotor agility. Such an
apparently robust functional relationship across primates & other mammals
suggests that adjusting arc size, and thus endolymph circuit length,
constitutes a prime adaptive mechanism of how the canal system is tuned to
the kinematic characteristics of different locomotor repertoires. This
finding will contribute to a more fundamental understanding of the
biomechanics of the canal system. On a more practical level, it confirms the
potential utility of the SCCs for the reconstruction of behavior from fossil

From suppl.text:
... 86 Ma for Primates/Scandentia-Dermoptera (Springer et al.).
... 77 Ma for Strepsi/Haplorhine split ...
The base of Strepsirrhines at 69 Ma (Yoder & Yang)
the base of Lorisiformes at 55 Ma,
the base of Lemuriformes at 62.7
... Afr./As.lorises was set at 42 Ma
... Galagoides/Galago-Otolemur clade was set to 30 Ma
The base of the Haplorhines was set at 55 Ma (Ross et al.) based on the
presence of Tarsius eocaenus at 45 Ma.
... platy/catarrhine is placed at 43.6 Ma (Eizirik et al.).
The base of the platyrrhine radiation is set at 25 Ma based on the initial
appearance of platyrrhines in the fossil record during the early Mio. The
presence in the Miocene of fossils purported to belong to modern clades
suggests a rapid radiation of known clades after 25 mya.

... cercopith/hominoid split was placed at 34.7 Ma (Yoder & Yang), which is
similar to other estimates (15).
The phylogeny of hylobatids was based on Roos & Geissmann, & the divergence
dates were arbitrary following the 15 Ma split with hominids (sensu
hominids+pongids --MV).
The divergence dates within hominids were based on Stauffer et al.

Information & reasonable speculation on mammal and human hearing and its relationship to ancestral human foraging.

Me: Both the cuboctahedron (VE) and the icosahedron have equidistant vertexial nodes. An icosahedral sphere can be divided into 31 equilateral great circles [circumscribed icosahedral geodesic sphere] associated with 12 vertexial nodes, the human body has 31 spinal nerve pairs associated with 12 cranial nerves, and an octave can be split equally into 31 pleasing tones and as well the 12 notes of the major scale.

Per Rybo: Archimedes 4-fold asymmetrical cubo-octahedral (VE)-- is defined by 4 Great Circles) and has 8 equilateral triangles composed of 24 chords (3 x 8 = 24)
The VE also can be conceptually spun (or centrally split) to create 25 primary Great Circles.
The 25 Great Circle's will subdivide the VE's spherical surface.

Plato's 5-fold symmetrical Icosahedron can be conceptually spun (or centrally split) to have 31 primary Great Circles. 10 of the Icosahedrons 31 Great Circles will function to define five different 4-fold, 4 Great Circles of the VE.

Please see this site on spinal & cranial nerves (click on pic):

DM: "Lots of people believe that the human menstrual cycle is somehow coupled to the moon."

Me: Yes, for good reason I'm sure. The vast majority of life on Earth dances to the solar-lunar-tidal cycle dance.
Fishermen and hunters tend to follow the solunar cycles when crepuscularly active, whether or not they are actually at the tideline. Our ancestors were no doubt far more in tune with the lunar tidal flows than modern humans in urban areas are. While the women bled safely either at seashores or in caves (not moving around in the woods or the bush), the men would hunt and fish without distractions.

DM: "They overlook two very important things: firstly, the 29-day duration of the menstrual cycle is an average of a range of several days, and secondly, the human menstrual cycle is just that -- human".

Me: Apes also have similar estrus cycles, hylobats (gibbons, siamangs) (and possibly orangutans?) are quite close to humans cycles also, while chimps and gorillas have been away from the tidal effect due to being more inland, so their cycle has changed, becoming more terrestrial (monkey-like).

DM: "Rats have a cycle of 11 days. Chimpanzees have one that is a bit longer than the human one. Why should of all mammals we be coupled to the moon?"

Me: Both sun and moon. Our bodies' extra-cellular fluids have a salinity level of 9ppt, in between the Baltic sea and the Black sea, approximately estuarine, with pH level similar to seawater, we "are" the sea. However I can't answer your question without mentioning that our ancestors spent much time at the tidal shores foraging. If you picture our ancestors just swinging around and then dashing about on the splendid savannah with the little kitty cats, then I don't think you would be interested in my seashore speculations.

DM: "I think you have likewise merely found a coincidence. In keeping with this, not even all mammals have the same number of vertebrae and therefore spinal nerve pairs".

Me: The numbers 31 and 12 pop up together in "unexpected coincidental" correlations. If humans are the least derived physically, most derived mentally, from the primitive mammalian condition, then 12 and 31 might be of great significance. Need more data though.

DM: "I forgot... 31 pleasing tones? Can it get more subjective than that?"

Me: Please see this article:

DM: "Not just among humans. Not all ears are human. Bird ears, for example, are quite different from mammal ears -- their high pitch limit is below the mammalian one (though above the one we humans actually reach), but they can discriminate more tones within the same frequency range. Pleasing or not, they'd vehemently disagree with "31"."

Me: I'd assume that most insectivorous birds would have excellent pitch determination. Cave swifts use non-target echolocation. I don't know the jaw-ear configuration in birds, dino, pterasaurs, marine reptiles, would be interesting comparisons.

(DM above is David M. who left comments in "What Thumb?" post, the unedited dialog is found at Tetrapod Zoology Science Blog, Dinosaur feathers II)
Tetrapod Zoology

Dinosaur-mammal info: click here

195ma "shrew" Hadrocodium ancestor of placentals? mammal ears

125ma "newt-like?" Yanoconodon near-mammal ears semi-aquatic?

125ma "opossum" Eomaia

81ma - 55ma? "mouse-lemur-like" Oldest LCA primates

42ma Texas coast lagoon primates

Ancient human divers: jaws, hearing, vocalizing, ear exostosis


What thumb?

Before I forget... why did tetrapods develop divergent digits (thumbs & big toes), and why did they disappear in marine/aquatic returnees?

My guess, divergent digits are important in a terrestrial tetrapod for abrupt reversals, ground perching, left and right turns, and are lost in those which tend toward greater speeds on plains (which tend to encircle rather than sharply turn), but aquatics get no benefit from this since they can't rely on traction, so the thumb disappears, as in early ichthyosaurs. A parallel exists in brachiating arboreal primates, fast forward swinging requires shoulder twisting rather than wrist twisting to turn, so the thumb tends to become vestigial.

That non-brachiating primates retain the divergent functional thumb means they were not derived (recently) from habitual plains walkers. That pandas lost the thumb and then regrew one from the wristbone indicates a plains niche, followed by arboreal habitat niche.

Hmm still thinking on this...

"Speaking of "what thumb?", well see this video of a scuba diver feeding moray eels by hand, so cute until the POP the moray clipped off a thumb. The diver got it replaced with his 2nd toe via surgery. 6 minute video, 1st 3 minutes is feeding, last 3 minutes is the bite and reattachment of the toe to the thumb base. Don't feed the animals...
What thumb?

Don't pet the dolphins: Marine Officials Warn Of Biting Dolphins

Marine researchers are warning about a growing number of dolphin bite cases in Sarasota County, according to a Local 6 News report.Florida experts said wild dolphins are becoming more aggressive because boaters are feeding them."It seems reasonable to understand why you wouldn't feed a bear or something more dangerous-appearing, but these are wild animals," dolphin researcher Jason Allen said. "They are wild animals with lots of sharp teeth." Officials said a dolphin bit a woman from Lakeland earlier this month when she tried to pet it.

A link provided by DM in comments: (link didn't carry over to Blog comments)
Panda's thumb: click here


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Songs at the Shores: Lyric snippets

Wings, Prayers & Teddy Bears (country-folk lullaby)
"They carry us around, before putting us down,
make us reach out for the stars, yet keep our feet on the ground..."

Y.O.Y.I.C. (love song)
"Like a love bird in the sky,
you are the apple of my eye..."

Songs of Silence and Eloquence (Celtic ballad)
"'Tis been said, that silence is golden,
and tongues of eloquence are often silvery..."

Knock That Off (rebel rhythm & blues)
"I never said I'd be your superman savior,
so knock that off with that 'good behavior'"...

Wave-Spirit (lyrical inspiration)
"The tears are there to clear your sight,
and heartbeats rise to conquer your fright..."

Synthetic Symphonic Synergy (electronic instrumental)

Kuala Walu Wiki (Nor Cal mystic music)

[All songs copyright 2007, David Deden]

My goal is to record the songs above and sell them as an album, an artistic project entitled "Songs at the Shores". I'm working with my associates at The Ink People to bring this to fruition, to be sold as a CD and downloadable on the internet. Part of the proceeds will help sustain The Ink People, a non-profit center for the arts, and part will be donated to families (espec. widows and orphans) of those lost at sea, as well as for swim-safety-cycle-diving instruction.

Edit: The song Knock That Off was inspired by letter's to the editor, one of which said this "I can't believe that (a prisoner) being a volunteer in San Quentin Prison is enough to decide that (the prisoner) is ready to be paroled for murder. This business of getting out because of good behavior is wrong." Well, different views give different muse, but I can relate to that.

All The Best & Peace Blessed,
David Deden
THE-ARC Director, Naturalist, Author and Songwriter

Friday, March 9, 2007


1st one.

Attempting to make sense of a very insensible life.

Conversation about these hairless dogs,436685,436685#msg-436685

Video of a diving dog (Golden lab, Maggie):