Controversy, Media and Politics in Spanish Human Origins Research
Author: Marcel Danesi
In Pi (π)in Nature, Art, and Culture Marcel Danesi revisits the importance of π as a pattern in the structure of reality, fitting in with the Pythagorean view of Order. Pi has cropped up in formulas that describe natural and physical structures which, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with a circle, but might harbor the archetype of circularity as a principle.

Through π, this book thus revisits the implicit ancient Greek view that geometry was a “hermeneutic science,” a discipline aiming to investigate the connectivity among numbers, shapes, and natural phenomena. It also examines its manifestations in aesthetic, symbolic and cultural structures, which point to an abiding fascination with the circle as an unconscious archetype. Hermeneutic geometry is ultimately about the exploration of the meanings of geometric-mathematical notions to science and human life.
In an age of numbers, intellectual and aesthetic partnerships between mathematicians and the contemporary arts, humanities, and entertainment worlds have become virtually routine. Movies, television shows, and websites built around, or involving, mathematics are now commonplace. Studies in Mathematics in the Arts and Humanities (MIAH) deals with all aspects of this partnership. The monographs and edited volumes of this book series explore all aspects of mathematics outside of mathematics itself, that is, as a cultural, aesthetic, and representational phenomenon. Each work examines some particular aspect, text, or event that falls under this rubric, from mathematics in natural phenomena (e.g., the Fibonacci Series), to math in myth and mysticism (e.g., the ancient Egyptian god Horus), in the arts (e.g., the golden ratio), and in pop fiction (e.g., movies, novels). The series presents mathematics as a cultural phenomenon, rather than as an abstract technical field.

Studies in Mathematics in the Arts and Humanities also explores such areas as the role of mathematics in new forms of art, such as digital art, and websites that present interesting facts about the interconnection between math and everyday life. These are discussed in terms of critical and genre theories that apply to any textual creation. The series is thus of interest to scholars and instructors involved in interdisciplinary work in which mathematics surfaces as an ancillary or thematic focus, including culture studies, literary criticism, anthropology, musicology, and art criticism. Furthermore, it is of interest and relevance to anyone who is interested in how mathematics is evolving in cultural spaces, new and old.

Studies in Mathematics in the Arts and Humanities is published in cooperation with The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

Manuscripts should be at least 80,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations and other visual material. The editors welcome proposals for monographs written for academics and researchers in the field that are based on original scholarly research that makes a notable contribution to the subject. The series editors will also consider proposals for edited volumes that demonstrate strong thematic coherence and continuity among the contributions.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Jason Prevost. Please direct all other correspondence to Assistant Editor Jennifer Obdam.

Authors will find general proposal guidelines at the Brill Author Gateway.

This study focuses on the Brazilian species of the genus Purenleon Stange (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). A total of five species are herein reported to Brazil: Purenleon clavatus (Navás), Purenleon fernandezi Miller & Stange (first record for Brazil), Purenleon cautus (Walker) comb. n., and two new species: Purenleon limeirai sp. n. and Purenleon rafaeli sp. n. The taxonomical status of other two species was reevaluated: Formicaleo bipunctatus Navás was synonymized under P. cautus and Feinerus nebulosus Navás was revalidated and transferred to Purenleon. A key to the South American species of Purenleon is also presented.

In: Insect Systematics & Evolution

Nine new species of the collembolan genus Salina MacGillivray from South America are described and illustrated. Two Neotropical species were recorded for the first time from Brazil: S. dedoris Mari-Mutt and S. tristani Denis. Salina was previously known to occur in three Brazilian states, and this is now updated to include 19 states with 12 recorded species. A new proposal of morphological character description and illustration, and an identification key for the celebensis group are provided. A hypothesis for the phylogenetic relationships among 34 species of Salina (about 50% of the 72 described species) allowed three main pursuits: (a) a reevaluation of Salina species groups; (b) the first explicit interpretation of how morphological characters of these springtails may have changed during the course of the diversification of the taxon; and (c) an evaluation of the historical biogeographic connections of Salina, with an emphasis on the celebensis group distribution to the New World.

In: Insect Systematics & Evolution

The tribe Sisyphini sensu stricto comprises only three genera, the widespread Sisyphus and Neosisyphus , and the Mauritius endemic, Nesosisyphus . In southern Africa, Sisyphus and Neosisyphus are represented by five species groups in each genus. Together, they comprise a total of 33 valid species, of which six are new: Sisyphus auricomus sp. n; Sisyphus australis sp. n ; Sisyphus bicuariensis sp. n; Sisyphus inconspicuus sp. n; Sisyphus swazi sp. n; and Neosisyphus tembyi sp. n. A further Southern African species, Sisyphus crispatus , is proposed as a nomen dubium. Sisyphus natalensis (syn. n), and Sisyphus bornemisszanus (pars) (syn. n) are made synonyms of Sisyphus sordidus . Lectotypes and paralectotypes are designated for Sisyphus costatus (); Sisyphus seminulum ; Sisyphus nanniscus ; Sisyphus transvaalensis ; Neosisyphus spinipes () and Neosisyphus barbarossa (). Diagnoses, photographs of habitus and male genitalia, lists of examined material and distribution maps are presented for all species. An identification key to the southern African sisyphine species is provided.

In: Insect Systematics & Evolution

Mantellid frogs present an extensive adaptive radiation endemic to Madagascar and Comoros, being the subfamily Mantellinae the most morphologically and ecologically diverse. The Mantellinae present key innovative evolutionary traits linked to their unique reproductive behavior, including the presence of femoral glands and a derived vomeronasal organ. In addition, previous studies pointed to size differentiation in playing an important role in species’ dispersal capacities and shaping of their geographic ranges. Despite the high phenotypic variation observed in this clade, to date an exhaustive morphological analysis of their anatomy has still not been performed, much less in relation to internal structures. Here, we present a comprehensive skeletal description of a mantellid species, Blommersia transmarina, from the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, which has potentially undergone a process of moderate gigantism compared to other Blommersia species. We describe its intraspecific skeletal variation utilizing non-destructive volume renderings from μCT-scans, and characterize the presence of sexual dimorphism and size covariation in skeletal structures. Notably, we found numerous signs of hyperossification, a novel structure for mantellids: the clavicular process, and the presence of several appendicular sesamoids. Our findings suggest that skeletal phenotypic variation in this genus may be linked to biomechanical function for reproduction and locomotion.

In: Contributions to Zoology

The connectivity of groundwater aquifers is lower compared to surface waters. Consequently, groundwater species are expected to have smaller distributional ranges than their surface relatives. Molecular taxonomy, however, unveiled that many species comprise complexes of morphologically cryptic species, with geographically restricted distributional ranges in subterranean as well as in surface waters. Hence, the range sizes of surface and groundwater species might be more similar in size than hitherto thought. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the range size of surface amphipods of the genus Gammarus and subterranean amphipods of the genus Niphargus in Iran. We re-analyzed the taxonomic structure of both genera using two unilocus species delimitation methods applied to a fragment of the COI mitochondrial marker, to identify molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs), and assessed the maximum linear extent (MLE) of the ranges of MOTUs from both genera. Genus Gammarus comprised 44–58 MOTUs while genus Niphargus comprised 20–22 MOTUs. The MLEs of the two genera were not significantly different, regardless the delimitation method applied. The results remained unchanged also after exclusion of single site MOTUs. We tentatively conclude that in this case there is no evidence to consider that groundwater species are geographically more restricted than surface species.

In: Contributions to Zoology

The putative monophyly and systematic position of Merodon nigritarsis group was assessed based on morphological and molecular data of the mitochondrial COI and nuclear 28S rRNA genes. The previously reported concept of the group has been redefined, and M. crassifemoris Paramonov, 1925 is now excluded. The related M. avidus group is redefined here, including the Merodon avidus complex and M. femoratus Sack, 1913. Species delimitation of morphologically defined species of M. nigritarsis group was well supported by COI gene analysis, with the exception of M. alagoezicus Paramonov, 1925 and M. lucasi . Descriptions are given for three new species of the M. nigritarsis species group: Merodon cohurnus Vujić, Likov et Radenković sp. n., Merodon longisetus Vujić, Radenković et Likov sp. n. and Merodon obstipus Vujić, Radenković et Likov sp. n., and one new species from the M. avidus group: Merodon rutitarsis Likov, Vujić et Radenković sp. n. A lectotype is designated for M. femoratus Sack, 1913, and two new synonymies of this species were proposed: M. biarcuatus Curran, 1939 and M. elegans . Here we review 18 species from the M. nigritarsis group and six species from the M. avidus group and provide morphological diagnoses of the species groups. Additionally, diagnosis of 12 branches (groups or individual taxa) of M. avidus-nigritarsis lineage, an illustrated diagnostic key for the males, and distribution map are provided for the new species.

In: Contributions to Zoology