One of the UK’s largest biscuit manufacturers has changed its trading name and branding to further strengthen its position within the market.St Albans-based Burton’s Foods, now known as the Burton’s Biscuit Company, solely produces biscuit products, including Cadbury Biscuits, Jammie Dodgers, Maryland Cookies and Wagon Wheels. The company’s corporate rebrand includes a new logo, which will be incorporated into product packaging, in addition to a redesign of its website due to be completed by early 2012. It will also adopt a new strapline, ‘Making every day more of a treat’.Ben Clarke, CEO of the Burtonʼs Biscuit Company, said: “The past two years have seen progressive changes at Burtonʼs, as weʼve transformed ourselves into a successful and dynamic UK manufacturing business. The rebrand, as part of this transformation, represents not only our past achievements, but also our future ambitions as we continue to go from strength to strength.”The rebrand is all part of the company’s corporate strategy, initiated back in 2010, which looks to focus on delivering quality products, driving innovation in the biscuit category through its power brands and expanding its international presence.The company operates manufacturing sites in Blackpool, Edinburgh and Llantarnam and employs over 2,000 people.
“One of the really interesting results we found is that, with the exception of two of the most extreme short-snouted forms, all other crocodiles start from the same embryonic starting point,” Morris said. “They’re able to make, as adults, a huge range of functionally different shapes from this same starting point.”And while most crocodiles take very similar paths to get to their adult shape, the study found others take radically different ones.“What we found was that the ontogenetic trajectories of short forms are essentially identical to each other,” Morris said. “But that’s not true for the long-snouted forms. They have very similar adult shapes, but they have very, very different ways of getting there.”Pierce and Morris took their analysis one step further. They used the ontogenetic trajectories of living crocs to backtrack through time to investigate the developmental pattern of the last common ancestor of modern crocodiles.“We have data for how these living animals develop,” Pierce said, “so we thought, ‘Based on their evolutionary relationships, let’s reconstruct how their ancestor developed.’ And then let’s use that to understand how the living animals acquired their ontogenetic trajectories … and how they went about slightly changing their developmental strategy to eventually end up with their long or short snouts.”,What that analysis showed, Morris said, was that the ancestral crocodile was likely moderate-snouted, similar to the generalist crocodiles found today.“So what’s really interesting is if the ancestral trajectory is similar to the generalized crocodiles, then somewhere along the evolutionary branches leading to the short and long forms there must have been changes in the developmental pattern,” Morris said.“Excitingly,” Pierce continued, “We were able to show that short-snouted species slowed down their development from the ancestral crocodile in similar ways, while long-snouted species either sped up development or started off with much longer snouts as embryos. Essentially, slightly dialing up or down the rate and timing of development during evolution resulted in the diversity of skull shapes we see today.”Going forward, Pierce and Morris plan to expand their research as part of an effort to understand the evolution of the entire crocodilian line, and to continue studying embryonic development in modern crocodiles with the goal of identifying the genetic cues that underlie changes in skull shape.“It was important to establish how modern crocodiles generate their skull shapes embryonically, so we can extrapolate from them and make comparisons with the patterns we see in the fossil record,” Morris said. “But we also want to see if we can tie these changes to a specific genetic mechanism, so we can then understand the broader evolutionary mechanisms that give rise to these kinds of convergent patterns.”This research was supported with funding from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s Wood Award, and the National Science Foundation. Study examines how mammal backbones changed during evolution How mammals grew diverse Related Study models forelimbs to shed light on evolution The story that’s often told about crocodiles is that they’re among the most perfectly adapted creatures on the planet — living fossils that have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years.The reality is far more interesting.Throughout their evolutionary history, crocodiles, alligators, and their kin have repeatedly evolved similar skull shapes in response to dietary specializations: long snouts for eating fish; short snouts for harder prey; and moderate snouts for large prey. But how is such broadscale convergence generated?Research led by Stephanie Pierce, associate professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Zachary Morris, Ph.D. ’20, aims to tackle this question by comparing embryonic development with later growth in all species of living crocodiles. Their work demonstrates that the diversity of skull shapes found today was realized by altering developmental patterns during evolution. The study is described in a Feb. 20 paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.The work was done in collaboration with Arkhat Abzhanov at Imperial College London and Kent Vliet at the University of Florida.“This study is just a snapshot of crocodile evolution,” Pierce said. “But it shows they have been tinkering with their developmental strategy in order to adapt to their environment, so they can be as successful as possible.”,That success, Pierce and Morris said, is due in part to their surprising plasticity.“Crocodiles are often thought to be unchanged by time, but our analysis instead suggests that they have evolved a very flexible developmental tool kit,” Morris said. “So given enough time and selective pressure they are able to alter the rate and timing of development, resulting in ecologically different forms with long, short, and moderate snout shapes.”And importantly, Morris said, those general shapes aren’t limited to living crocodiles. They have evolved independently multiple times in the fossil record.“There’s a great deal of convergence that wasn’t initially appreciated,” Pierce said. “In the past, the shape of the skull was used to assign evolutionary relationships, so if an animal was short-snouted, it was [thought to be] related to all the other short-snouted species. But with modern analyses, we’ve been able to determine that many of the animals that have similarly shaped snouts are actually not related to one another. The independent acquisition of the same snout shape is presumably due to having similar ecological pressures, such as eating similar foods.”Whatever those pressures are, Morris said, the similarities in adult skull shapes must be underpinned by changes in the developmental patterning and growth of the skull.“We know, in a general sense, that an important part of what makes an alligator different from a gharial or a dwarf African crocodile has to do with changes to ontogeny, or the embryonic development and post-hatching growth,” Morris said. “Given that these different forms have evolved independently multiple times, we have the opportunity to see whether there are fundamental mechanisms underlying the evolution of those shapes.”Essentially, Pierce said, that was the question she and Morris set out to answer in the paper — whether the ontogenetic paths various crocodile species take to achieve their adult forms are similar to or different from one another. “What we’re trying to understand,” she said, “is how crocodiles do it — how do they converge, as adults, on these same shapes? Are they doing it very early in embryonic development or does it happen later on?”To get at those questions, Morris CT scanned dozens of crocodile embryos, photographed post-hatching specimens held in museums around the globe, and digitized anatomical coordinates on each skull at specific locations so he could track how their shapes changed through development.“It was not a trivial thing to sort out how to do this,” he said, “because in the very youngest embryonic specimens, they only have very tiny, thin splints of bone.”Eventually, Morris was able to identify “landmarks,” or identifiable points, for every specimen and track how those changed throughout their development as embryos and into adulthood. Breaking down backbones
RelatedPosts UFC: Israel Adesanya plans 42-year-old man fight Israel Adesanya wins interim middleweight title Kiwi Israel Adesanya has claimed a slice of New Zealand combat sports history, prevailing over Kelvin Gastelum in a captivating co-main event clash at UFC 236 in Atlanta on Sunday.In a back and forth contest for the ages, a battered and bruised Adesanya came through in the decisive fifth round to earn the nod on all three judges’ scorecards and have the interim middleweight belt wrapped around his waist by UFC president Dana White.The victory makes Adesanya New Zealand’s first-ever UFC champion, although he’ll still need to beat the recovering Robert Whittaker later this year to become the division’s outright king.Visibly emotional as he spoke to UFC commentator Joe Rogan immediately post-fight, Adesanya dedicated the win to his coach and long-time mentor Eugene Bareman. He laid the belt on the mat and the two embraced as they kneeled on the canvas. The 29-year-old moves his undefeated record to 17-0 – including a staggering six consecutive UFC wins in just 14 months – and further legitimises his mantle as one of the sport’s brightest stars.Relatively untested in his UFC tenure to this point, Adesanya was forced to reach deep against Gastelum, displaying an exceptional level of fortitude in overcoming some early adversity to produce a stellar performance in the pivotal final round.The hard-nosed Mexican fighter was aggressive from the outset as he looked to counter his significant height and reach disadvantage with a gameplan built on pressure and an effective jab. The approach paid dividends for Gastelum. He caught Adesanya with a glancing right hand early that staggered the Kiwi and won him the opening round.Adesanya then found his rhythm on the feet and the momentum swung back his way. He landed consistently with counter shots as Gastelum chased the killer blow, using his head movement to evade danger – at times, by mere millimetres.That trend continued into the third, when the variation and unpredictability of Adesanya’s striking looked to be taking its toll on Gastelum.But Gastelum recaptured control in the fourth round behind courtesy of his trademark left hook, catching Adesanya clean and sending him stumbling to the fence, where he chose to shoot for a takedown rather than chase a fight-ending blow.The enthralled State Farm Arena crowd rose as the final round began, well aware what was on the line, and Adesanya and Gastelum did the moment justice.Ultimately the Kiwi came out on top – twice sending Gastelum to the canvas courtesy of a pair of searing right-hands, then threatening with a triangle choke that almost found its mark. Referee Marc Goddard hovered, but Adesanya couldn’t quite force the referee to step in and bring the fight to a halt.Regardless, as the final hooter sounded there was little doubt which fighter would have his hand raised in an early contender for the UFC’s Fight of the Year.White later awarded both Adesanya and Gastelum a $50,000 ($NZ73,940) performance bonus for “Fight of the Night”.Tags: Kelvin Gastelum
President of the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Trinidad, Liaquat Ali, was stabbed by a man at his business place in Couva on Thursday.Ali, owner of Old Mac Agro Supplies Limited and Trinidad Parboil Limited, was taken to the Couva District Hospital and transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital.He was treated and discharged.Ali was at his business place located at Mc Bean Village, Couva, when he was approached by a man.The discussion became heated and the man pulled out a knife and stabbed Ali.Ramchand Rajbal Maraj, vice president of the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber, said he was saddened by the incident.