Teeth: The Great Evolutionary Debate

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Shadow’s Lair. In this episode of “Koraki’s Vlog” I will discuss where teeth come from. First let me introduce myself to those who might be new to the channel. I am Koraki, a fantasy author, disability advocate and geology enthusiast. Today I am going to talk about teeth.

You probably have teeth, or had them at some point in your life, but have you ever wondered how teeth evolved? There are two main hypotheses I will discuss on the evolution of teeth. Before that though I want to touch on another favourite subject of mine- etymology.

The Etymology of the word tooth comes from the old English tōth. This is from the Proto-Germanic tanthu. This from the Proto-Indo-European dent which (I must clarify according to Wikipedia) means “that which eats.” (While I am not keen to cite it as a source, I found this tidbit in the wiki on teeth interesting.) (2,4, and 5)

There are two theories to the evolution of teeth. The “outside in” and the “inside out” theory. In simple terms, they describe how teeth evolved in concurrence with our skin and jaw. The outside in states that teeth evolved from our skin as outer denticles (dermal armor). The inside out theory states teeth evolved from the endoderm (internal skin) of the throat (as pharyngeal teeth) in jawless fish. (1.3.)

There is a third hypothesis which I am not as familiar with. This theory states that the neural crest gene regulatory network and ectomesenchyme are important to tooth generation regardless of the endo-ectoderm (inside or out) theories. I deduced this to mean that teeth didn’t evolve as either or the other, but from both mechanisms. (1.5.)

I was inspired to write this because a friend of mine referred to teeth as mouth bones and this is inaccurate. No matter the hypothesis on how teeth evolved the only conclusion on what teeth are (in my opinion) is: They are hardened mouth skin. Anyway, I hope you found this interesting. As always, there will be links to my sources in a document linked below. Thank you for watching and please don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Citations and Resources Used

  1. Jheon, A. H., Seidel, K., Biehs, B., & Klein, O. D. (2013). From molecules to mastication: the development and evolution of teeth. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Developmental biology2(2), 165–182. https://doi.org/10.1002/wdev.63
  2. Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Tooth. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tooth
  3.  McCollum, M., & Sharpe, P. T. (2001, April 6). Evolution and development of teeth. Journal of anatomy. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1594990/
  4. Online Etymology Dictionary. (2019, March 12). Tooth (n.). Etymology. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.etymonline.com/word/tooth#etymonline_v_15372
  5. Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, January 30). Tooth. Wikipedia. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth#:~:text=Teeth%20are%20assumed%20to%20have,inside%E2%80%93out%22%20theory).    

An Introduction to Conlangs

Hello again everyone. This is Koraki, AKA Damien Knight. Today’s Vlogmas talking about conlangs. Once more, before I get into what a Conlang is, I will give a bit of background about myself.

I have been writing since I was 8 years old like most school children who learn to write. At ten years old, I started writing fanfiction. I was an avid reader of just about everything I could get my hands on. I didn’t discover fantasy until I was about thirteen years old. This was when I stumbled upon The Elfstones of Shannara.

In Terry Brooks’ original novels, I don’t recall a conlang in it, but the TV show in 2016 featured the Druid language of Noalath. This language was created by Linguist David J. Peterson. The fantasy I came across next featured a conlang and that was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone By the terf who shall not be named. That conlang is Parseltongue.

For me though it was the Inheritance series, and it’s conlang known only as “The Ancient Language” that made me wish to create a conlang and write a fantasy novel myself. I was 18 years old at the time that I pulled out a notebook and handwrote an alphabet and dictionary for the world of Lysandus. Back then I had no clue I too was creating a Conlang.

With that long introduction out of the way: What is a conlang, anyway? Like my last video on orogenies, I will use the Merriam-Webster Definition. A conlang is “an invented language intended for human communication that has planned and cohesive phonological, grammatical, and syntactical systems.” Basically, a conlang is a constructed language.

I can already hear you now. “But Koraki aren’t all languages ‘constructed?’ Doesn’t this mean English is a conlang?” The answer is a resounding no. Both English and conlangs such as Star Wars Huttese are actual languages. The difference is English is a natural language evolved over time by many people where a conlang is usually artificially developed in a short amount of time. Constructing a conlang takes a lot of work too. I love etymology and linguistics, but the process has been harrowing for me. Conlangs, like any other language, have grammatical, syntactical, pronunciation and morphological rules. I am no linguist, I am an author and geologist (sort of) but while I have a special interest in linguistics, I do not have a degree in it.

What are conlangs used for? Well, one of the earliest ‘conlangs’ was used for writing hymns. I say conlangs in quotes here because we do not have enough details of Lingua Ignota to understand if it had all the things needed to be one. I will get back to this in a moment. In the 19th century, the conlang Esperanto was invented, intending to be an international language of commerce. Fun fact: this is the most widely spoken conlang in the world!

Let’s return to Lingua Ignota and partial languages. While a true conlang differs from a code such as Pig Latin or what we have of Lingua Ignota (An alphabet) you can still create a feeling of a new language in your writing. How? Easy use a naming language. Dotharki from the Game of Thrones started out this way. In my own novels, the Yenmi is also a naming language.

Naming Languages provides a small sliver of a language. It gives a fictional world a more fleshed out feeling without all the sticky rules. This is one reason most of my languages are naming languages rather than comprehensive languages. A comprehensive language being of course a fully constructed conlang.

Anyway, that’s pretty much the basics of what a conlang is. There are types and subtypes, but I am still learning about those myself. In the meantime, if ya’ll are interested in learning more about conlangs yourself a link will be in the description below. Thanks for watching and don’t forget to like and subscribe. Happy Writing ya’ll!


2YoDoINDIA. (2022, January 15). Languages which were invented from scratch: Checkout the list ⋆ 2YoDoINDIA. 2YoDoINDIA. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://www.2yodoindia.com/languages-which-were-invented-from-scratch/

 Bassett, A. (2022, April 20). How to make a language: The basics: Story tips: Campfire Learn. Campfire. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://www.campfirewriting.com/learn/how-to-create-a-language

Merriam-Webster. (2017). The surprising history of ‘Conlang’. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/conlang-meaning-origin#:~:text=English%20is%20a%20natural%20language,rules%2C%20and%20even%20morphological%20rules.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Conlang. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conlang

The shannara chronicles. TV Tropes. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/TheShannaraChronicles

How I became addicted to Orogeny

Can a Mountain Be Older Than Bones?

Greetings My name Is Koraki AKA Damien Knight, and this is today’s Vlogmas post. Let’s dive in, shall we?  A little background about myself first. I studied geology and obtained my bachelor’s degree in geology in 2020. I have wanted to be a paleontologist since I can remember and have loved dinosaurs since I was three years old. It is safe to say that I was very much “addicted” to paleontology but not so much Orogeny.

What is orogeny? Oh, I am so glad you asked. An orogeny is, according to Merriam-Webster, the process of mountain formation especially by folding of the earth’s crust. In other words, an orogeny is a mountain building event. I could go into great detail about how mountains are formed, but the YouTube algorithm prefers shorter videos. I am already certain this one will be longer than I want it to be.

Many have seen the pictures of Mount Everest and the Himalayas. The Himalayas formed during the appropriately named Himalayan Orogeny. They are young virulent and TALL compared to mountains in America. Of course, they are! They formed between 45-50 Million years ago. These impressive mountains particularly, Mount Everest, played a role in my obsession with mountains. I longed to conquer my life in the same way legendary adventurers conquered its peak.

In contrast to the Himalayas, the Ancient Rocky Mountains started forming 285 million years ago. That said, those aren’t the Rockies of today. The modern Rockies started 75 million years ago during the Laramide Orogeny. Still older than the young Himalayas, but not as old as Bones. Speaking of…

I am sure you all have seen the memes about the Appalachia Mountains. Here I will show some of them now.

According to the memes, they are older than the rings of Saturn, older than the Atlantic, and of course the most terrifying and doubted claim, older than bones.

The Appalachian Mountains of the Appalachian orogeny is actually a tale of three orogenies, the Taconic, the Acadian, and the Allegheny. The Taconic being the first of the orogenies ended around 440 million years ago taking place throughout the Ordovician. The second Orogeny, the Acadian, occurred during the Devonian period about 416-359 million years ago. And the last Orogeny, The Alleghenian? That occurred during the Permian around 300–250 million years ago.

The current mountains are the eroded nubs of once tall, proud, and ancient giants. The Appalachian Mountains are OLD. There is no doubt about that. But are they older than bones? Can a mountain really be that old?

Well, let’s find out how old bone formation is. Thank goodness I studied biology because I wanted to be a paleontologist, but I digress. Originally, bone formation in sea creatures was thought to have only occurred after the Cambrian, then scientists discovered a fossil from the Ediacaran with a skeleton. That was back in 2012 (you know when the world was supposed to end).

This means bones are at least 550 million years old. The meme which falsely claims Morrill’s cave (I assume they meant this cave anyway) is also 550 million years old didn’t say marine, though. They said terrestrial. With that in mind, let’s look at when skeletons walked on land. If we assume TikTaalik was one of the first boned fish to leave the ocean, then we are looking at 375 million years ago.

When I initially saw the meme once more and replied on Facebook about it, I said 400 million years ago. Guess my recollection wasn’t too far off. While the cave cited in the meme certainly isn’t 550 million years old the Appalachian Mountains are very close being a stately 480-million-year-old grandfather of a mountain (approximately anyway) That my friends is older than Terrestrial bones and reason enough to be addicted to orogeny.

Well, that wraps up for today, thanks for being here and if you liked this video, don’t forget to hit the like button. Want more content like this? Sure, ya do. Hit the subscribe button and notification button to see more content like this. Thanks again.


Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2007, February 9). Alleghenian orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/Alleghenian-orogeny

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2016, February 2). Taconic orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/Taconic-orogeny

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2018, March 14). Acadian orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/Acadian-orogeny

Dykeman, W. (2020, October 29). Appalachian Mountains. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Appalachian-Mountains

Geology and Ecology of National Parks. (n.d.). Geology of rocky mountain national park. Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park | U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.usgs.gov/geology-and-ecology-of-national-parks/geology-rocky-mountain-national-park#:~:text=During%20the%20Paleozoic%20era%20(544,raised%20the%20ancient%20Rocky%20Mountains.

Grimley, M. (2013, February 13). Spelunking the highlands: Owning the Caves. Appalachian Voices. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://appvoices.org/2013/02/13/spelunking-the-highlands-owning-the-caves/#:~:text=The%20site%20is%20also%20known,as%20a%20trek%2C%20was%20straightforward.

 Matchen, David “Appalachian Orogeny.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia.

17September 2014. Web. 14 December 2022, from https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/246#:~:text=In%20geological%20terms%2C%20”orogeny,from%20Newfoundland%20to%20northern%20Alabama.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Orogeny definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orogeny

MinWage. (2021, February 21). Tumblr thread: Grasping the age of the Appalachians. Cheezburger. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://cheezburger.com/13583109/tumblr-thread-grasping-the-age-of-the-appalachians

R/whitepeopletwitter – they’re older than Saturn’s rings by nearly 400 million years. reddit. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.reddit.com/r/WhitePeopleTwitter/comments/xlfitw/theyre_older_than_saturns_rings_by_nearly_400/

Roy, A. B., & Purohit, R. (2018). Himalayan orogeny. Himalayan Orogeny – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/himalayan-orogeny

University of California – Riverside. (2012, March 8). Oldest organism with skeleton discovered in Australia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 12, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308120105.htm

Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, December 6). Tiktaalik. Wikipedia. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik

Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Christopher Columbus

In 1492

               In “1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  Every schoolchild has heard this rhyme, but do you know where Columbus landed? Do you remember what his goal was? Many remember the names of his ships, but what was the name of the people who were already on the land? This article is to set about to inform you about those people and Christopher Columbus.

To start, I will tell a story, one from my school days, when I was a 5th grader learning about Christopher Columbus. That year I had a teacher I shall call “Ms. M.” Ms. M was Native American. When Columbus Day came around, she got a wry smile on her face and told us we were all going to play the part of natives. Then she pointed to a boy and told him he was to act as Columbus.

The boy had left the classroom. Ms. M told the class that when he returns, we were to all fall dead as soon as he sneezes. The boy walked in, sneezed, and we all fell dead. He looked around, confused. Ms. M. told us that when white people like Columbus came, many of the Native Americans died from disease or were murdered. I never forgot that lesson.

Who is Christopher Columbus Really?

Christopher Columbus was born in Italy in 1451. The son of a wool merchant, he left at a young age for a life on the sea.  He was a navigator. At no point did he set out to discover America, nor did he actually ever discover any new lands. On October 12, 1492, he landed in the already occupied Bahamas, thinking he had reached India. He was a slave trader despite the Spanish queen despising slavery. He enslaved and killed native peoples. His last voyage he landed in Central America, but even then, he did not discover America. People already lived there. He died thinking he found a sea route to Asia.

Who Were the Indians?

The indigenous people of the Bahamas called themselves the Lucayans. This meant “island people”. They were the descendants of Arawak’s of Hispaniola, now modern Haiti and the Dominic Republic. Columbus enslaved the people of the Bahamas and the Caribbean. The Arawak people of Hispaniola, known as the Taino, went extinct. Diseases killed most of them as they were not immune.  

     I stated above the Taino were extinct. In some ways, this is true for most native tribes. The Spanish recorded the elimination of the last of the Taino, but there were survivors. These survivors intermarried with other peoples or existed outside of Hispaniola. There are people today who consider themselves Taino.

What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

Indigenous Peoples’ Day occurs every October 12th to celebrate Native American history. There are 14 states plus the District of Columbia and 130 cities celebrating Indigenous People’s Day. It has been an idea since the ’70s, 1977 to be precise. South Dakota was the first state to officially adopt it in 1989. If we started teaching our kids that October 12 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus day we correct the error we have enshrined in our history.

While many might argue that Columbus day is a great celebration of Italian American Heritage, Native American’s have long protested this symbol of genocide and colonialism. Columbus Day is honouring European slaughter of existing people. It is declaring hero of a man who wrote in his own journals how easy it would be to subjugate native people. Today we should honour the many who were already here, those first Americans, not Columbus.


I wanted to get this out on October 12th but did not. On October 12, a video was posted to Tik-Tok and reposted on YouTube, claiming that it was BlackOut Day. BlackOut Day was July 7th, 2020 for Black Lives Matter. White people staying silent in the face of racism by not posting on social media does not end racism. My mother always told me silence is agreement. Speak out by lifting up voices of BIPOC.

Further Reading (Sources)

  1. (2016, March 03). Taíno: Indigenous Caribbeans. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/article/section/pre-colonial-history/taino-indigenous-caribbeans/
  2. Dope, S. (2007, December 04). Where does that “1492/ocean blue” thing about Columbus come from? And what was Columbus’s deal, anyway? Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://www.straightdope.com/21343413/where-does-that-1492-ocean-blue-thing-about-columbus-come-from-and-what-was-columbus-s-deal-anyway
  3. Editors, B. (2020, August 20). Christopher Columbus. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from https://www.biography.com/explorer/christopher-columbus
  4. Hauck, G. (2020, October 12). Indigenous Peoples Day or Columbus Day? 14 states celebrate, honor Native American histories and cultures. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/10/12/columbus-day-indigenous-peoples-day-facts-220-holiday-trump/5952881002/
  5. com Editors. (2009, November 09). Christopher Columbus. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/christopher-columbus
  6. Nursery Rhymes For Kids – Videos, Songs, Lyrics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://www.nurseryrhymes.com/columbus-sailed-the-ocean-blue-nursery-rhymes/
  7. Wilkinson, J. (n.d.). History of the Bahamas. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from http://www.keyshistory.org/bahamas.html
  8. Zotigh, D. W., & Gokey, R. (2020, October 12). Rethinking How We Celebrate American History-Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-american-indian/2020/10/12/indigenous-peoples-day-updated2020/

Formal Tone: Brain Quest Assignment



Instructions : Now rewrite the paragraph maintaining formal tone in all places that you marked as having informal language. 

Teachers Note: Bold is where student rewrote the informal parts of the essay in formal tone. Regular is the original Brain Quest book essay. 


Many people believe that Socrates was the greatest philosopher who ever lived. In fact, some consider him the father of all philosophy. Philosophy is a word that originates from two Greek words, philo meaning love and Sophia meaning wisdom. Philosophy is the study of human thought and love of seeking wisdom. Socrates lived in Greece, in the fifth century BCE. There were others who studied philosophy before him, but Socrates brought philosophy to the lay-man. Prior to Socrates, philosophy was taught only in formal schools for the intellectuals and wealthy of Greece. But Socrates had a different way of teaching. He didn’t tell his students what to think. Instead he asked them questions about what they thought, and helped them arrive at the answers themselves. Socrates was also interested in the practical implications of philosophy: how it applied to regular people and in day-to-day life. That interest in the consequences of philosophy may have been Socrates downfall. Socrates was executed for corrupting the youth by teaching political philosophy and for denying the gods. His sentence was to drink a hemlock potion in a state sanctioned suicide. Even though Socrates never produced any writings his student, Plato, wrote several works about his life. Thanks to Plato and Aristotle our generation can learn about Socrates’ life and philosophy.

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Carnival: Brain Quest Assignment

Instructions : Write a story about what you would do at the carnival. Be descriptive using sight, smell and touch.

If I went to the carnival, I would see rides and games, smell food, taste cotton candy. I would hear people yell and shout words. I would ride every ride except the flipping ones. It is fun and I can see that slow rides are boring. I won’t ride those but Cera will.

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Let’s Talk: Brain Quest Dialogue Assignment


Instructions: You speak differently from the way you write.
Imagine you are at a football game when a strange object appears over the field. As the crowd watches in fascination, the object lands on the 30-yard line, and a gang of strange blue creatures pours out and delivers extraterrestrials ice cream to every member of the crowd.

Then imagine how you would tell that story to one of your good friends.
Me: “So, um, I was at a football game, giving the sport a chance. I was watching it in boredom, then a spaceship appeared. It had aliens! These aliens handed out ice-cream!”
Friend: “Right, aliens and ice-cream.”
Me: “Yes, I took a video see here it is. Ice-cream!”
Friend: “What? Why aren’t they abducting them?”

Brain Quest Campaign Speech Assignment

Instructions: Now write your campaign speech using the information and evidence you gathered on the previous page.

Here’s a fact, the fact is I am organized and a leader. If you think a normal principal’s office is scary don’t worry, I will help you there. I will even help with your grades. Remember, Knowledge is power, the more knowledge you have the better off you are. I will help there so vote for me.

Grand Canyon Karst Seminar

By Damien Knight

Ben Tobin gave this seminar over the karst regions of the Grand Canyon. I arrived late to the seminar, but it was very interesting. When I entered Ben was talking about the morphology of the caves. They are following the fractures into the canyons itself. They mapped the caves from faults and fractures traced in the groundwater. To do that, they had to do dye traces of the different cave entrances.

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Science and Technology USGS Seminar Summary

By Damien Knight

Pete Cinotto came to campus November second to talk about science and technology from the USGS Water Science Center’s perspective. He talked about his early career and study first and how he joined the USGS. Pete then focused on how USGS operates. He says that everything is changing rapidly and starts his talk with the slide “Science for a Changing World.” We live and work in a rapid changing world. Science must change with it.

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