Monday, 31 August 2015

Inside The Crocodolly

The Crocodolly is released tomorrow (available to buy now in the Scholastic store), and here's a look inside the book.

Adelaide, our little girl heroine, has a troubled past when it comes to pets.

So she takes drastic action to keep Ozzy, her new baby crocodile, a secret from the powers that be.

And it looks like she might just get away with it.

But Ozzy doesn't really help matters by growing to monstrous proportions.

Which leads to no end of bother!  What will become of poor old Ozzy?

An early review of The Crocodolly from The Children's Book Council of Australia.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Crocodolly

The Crocodolly is almost here. Well, it is here, but it's almost there too, and some other places.

Here's a photo of some advance copies which arrived today:

To set the scene a little bit, here's the blurb from the back of the book:

And, although these photos do a poor job of capturing the correct colours, here's the spine which I'm quite pleased with. I did all the cover design, with the support of the stupendous Patricia Howes at Omnibus Books:

More images of and from the book in the next few days. The Crocodolly is published by Scholastic and is released on the 1st September in Australia and New Zealand. It can be pre-ordered here and elsewhere.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties

Octopuses have been called 'the most intelligent invertebrate', with a host of complex behaviours, and a nervous system comparable in size to that of mammals but organized in a very different manner. It had been hypothesized that, as in vertebrates, whole-genome duplication contributed to the evolution of this complex nervous system. Caroline Albertin et al. have sequenced the genome and multiple transcriptomes of the California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) and find no evidence for such duplications but there are large-scale genome rearrangements closely associated with octopus-specific transposable elements. The core developmental and neuronal gene repertoire turns out to be broadly similar to that of other invertebrates, apart from expansions in two gene families formerly thought to be uniquely expanded in vertebrates — the protocadherins (cell-adhesion molecules that regulate neural development) and the C2H2 superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors.

The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties