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Prof. John D. ("Jack") PettigrewFRS

Queensland Brain Institute

University of Queensland 4072 


Current Research

¥    Perceptual Oscillation

¥    Biofilm in Bradshaw Rock Art
Two Recent Findings in Bradshaw Rock Art:
1. Floating, Abstract Classic, Figure.

2. Palorchestes depiction: From the extinct Australian megafauna.

3. Two Rejections.
4. Rejections and Rejoinders.

Dysfunction in Australian Professional Rock Art.
What's Wrong with Calling It Gwion gwion?

¥    Interhemispheric Switching  and Binocular Rivalry

¥    Mania Cured with Cold Water in the Ear

¥    East-West Jet Lag Triggers Episodes

¥    Bipolar Disorder

¥    Bonneh's Illusion:

¥    Perceptual Rivalry Demonstrations.

¥     Comparative Physiology of Binocular Vision; Photo Gallery from 1997 SFN Special Lecture, New Orleans

 Platypus, Colugo, Tarsier, Megabat, Microbat, Oilbird, Owlet-Nightjar, Frogmouth, Barn Owl,  Strigid Owl, Letterwing Kite


á      Flying Primate Controversy

á            1.Objections to Flying Primates;

á            2. Flying Primate Source Book

      3. ?Funeral of Flying Primate Hypothesis

      4. Summary  of  Molecular Data

á            5. Literal and Metaphorical Tree: Flying Primate Hypothesis Illustrated.           

á            6. 25 Year Update on Flying Primates


á      Primate-like Retinotectal Decussation in an echolocating megabat, Rousettus aegyptiacus.


á      A Marine Chameleon: the Sandlance, Limnichthyes fasciatus

á      fMRI

á      An extinct flying fox depicted in ice-age art from the Kimberley

á      Kalumburu Flying Fox Debate


á      New Input from Feduccia on the Dino-Bird Controversy


á      Kalumburu flying foxes



¥       CV

¥       Publications

Kids4coral.com: This is the website of my kids campaign to save the Reef.

I am putting some material here because the site is playing up at the moment. Recent Letters Sent by Children.

Boab project

The Boab Battle over Mutation Rate.

Failure to Confirm the New African Diploid Baobab,
Adansonia kilima: New DAPI karyotype.Cron.html
Cron GV, Karimi N, Glennon KL, Chukwudi A, Udeh, E, Witkowski TF, Venter SV, Assogbadjo AE & Baum D.(2016)
Taxon 65(5) 1037-1049

Commentary on Cron et al. (2016): If a new tree species has gone unrecognised in plain sight for decades, it is to be expected that its eventual recognition will not prove to be easy or straightforward. In this paper, David Baum and colleagues completely reject the hypothesis that there is an unrecognised African diploid baobab, using similar techniques to those first used to define the new species, with a beautiful crowning observation of a DAPI-stained tetraploid karyotype, purportedly from the diploid species, that no doubt charmed the reviewers at Taxon. Without any corroboration, we cannot be sure that the striking sample does not actually come from the tetraploid species, A. digitata, that is found in the same locality as the target sample. In view of the overlap between measurements already published for these two very similar species, as well as the difficulty in always linking a field identification securely to complex laboratory investigations like DNA sequencing and DAPI karyotyping, questions can arise that can cloud an apparently definitive picture like the blue karyotype.

There are therefore some unanswered questions in this paper. For example, the large karyotype illustrated may be a misidentified specimen of A. digitata from the Venda, on the edge of the African baobab distribution where A. digitata and A. kilima were both found together, unlike highland stands. The choice of a Type specimen for A. kilima from this mixed Venda population was a mistake by the original investigators, inexperienced in botanical lore, who had been advised that this would be a convenient location because of its easy access by road, instead of a more secure location from a pure stand of A. kilima in the Tanzanian highlands.

Pollen Size Confirms Original Findings: Another major question concerns the data on pollen that have been collected in the study. These data confirm the original study by showing much smaller pollen in A. kilima than in A. digitata, as expected for the contrast in DNA content of diploids and tetraploids respectively. This observation is not consistent with their own results of flow cytometry and DAPI karyotyping in the same study, and could be explained by the fact that they give no determinations of both karyotype and pollen on the same samples, with the risk of possible misidentification already mentioned. It is also hard to justify the subsequent exclusion of these pollen -size data from the later analysis using the collective data set, when they show a contrast central to their study. Leaving out these data, without explanation, could explain the lack of differentiation in their Fig. 1. 

Resolution of these difficulties would require a variety of measures on the same tree, not separate pollen, karyotype, and other measurements of different samples. In the original study, stomata, pollen, karyotype, nITS sequence, floral characterisation and biogeography determinations were sometimes all carried out on the same tree to fix its identity. In contrast, their presented, single DAPI-stained tetraploid karyotype is very beautiful, but might be derived from A. digitata instead of A. kilima, without individual corroboration from the any of the other relevant quantitative features that have helped to define A. kilima.


¥    Boab Origins

¥    Baobab Blog: Baobabs and Humans

¥    Baobab Phylogeny

   Digitata distribution     Leaf Protocol

¥    Boabs and Bottle Trees

¥    FoxP2Commentary.htm

¥    Podcasts

¥    Blog: The Dancer.

¥    Photo Gallery,  China. Turkey, Canopus Spring, Claustral Canyon, Tara's 21st Tara in Patagonia Antarctica Treilles Solar Eclipse Mt Freeling  Antarctica2003 Mia Ananda Kurrajong

¥    VDU Festchrift dinner photos

¥    GalensÕs Wedding

¥    Min Min Lights article

¥    Autobiographical Sketch for ISN Newsletter

¥    Josh Wallman: A Life Guided by Science and Birds

¥    Peter Orlebar Bishop: The Engineer of Visual Science: 1917-2012.Science Forum with the Dalai LamaPrime Minister's Working Party on Neuroscience

¥    Bertie the Boobook's Home Page

Note on Web Banner

Bert in Flight


¥    ANIM2036 (was  VETS 2011)

¥    BIOM 2006<>

¥       Moonkite of the DiamantinaMale head

         With Dorelle and Bert



Ancient History (to be expanded):

¥    Mountaineering exploits
Wing-Suit past Ball’s Pyramid:

¥    Bryden's Home Page

¥    Caltech in the 70's