The “pain grimace” is quite similar in many mammals, but where did it come from and why do we do it? … More Why do We and Other Animals Wince When in Pain?
A new study shows how immune activity can affect social behavior in order to limit the spread of an infection. … More More evidence Connecting the Immune System with Social Behavior, with Implications for Neurodiversity
A population of Mountain Gorillas recently underwent a complete upheaval in the most central aspects of their gender-based social structures. If they can do it, so can we. … More What Mountain Gorillas Can Teach Us about Gendered Behaviors
It used to happen to me all the time at work. Running late for a meeting and it’s only one flight up, so I dash up the stairs. I then arrive at the meeting huffing and puffing like I’d just run a mile. It was ONE LITTLE FLIGHT OF STAIRS! In my late 20s, I was … More I’m a runner. So why do I get winded by one flight of stairs???
Despite being one of the most influential of the early modern biologists and having crucially paved the way for Darwin, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck has mostly gone down in history for being wrong. His theory of “use and disuse” as a mechanism for evolution was roundly rejected and is often presented in introductory biology textbooks as totally misguided and even … More In Defense of Lamarck: Historical, Philosophical, and Biological Vindication of Evolution’s First Big Idea
Animal behaviorists have recently begun to methodically study whether animals have individual personalities. Work on the Barbary Macaque demonstrates that there are indeed personality types among primates. … More The Charming Personalities of Barbary Macaques
What’s in a voice? A lot, it seems. Certain vocal properties correlate with physical measures that serve as proxy indicators of health, fertility, and attractiveness of females … More Properties of our Voice Encode Information about Health, Fertility, and Body Shape
With the great things I’m sure you’re reading, I doubt you’ve noticed that The Human Evolution Blog has been pretty quiet the past few months. I’m working on the next post and hope to get it up soon, but I wanted to share some of the other writing I’ve been doing lately: In August, I wrote this … More What I’ve been up to while this blog’s been quiet
In case you missed it, I wrote a magazine article! Here’s how it happened. I was following the arguments between Tim White and Lee Berger playing out in the press, with White insisting Homo naledi was actually just H. erectus and Berger defending his work, with both trading pointed barbs. However, the words of Ian Tattersall’s latest book were ringing … More Lee Berger, Tim White, and Homo naledi: A New Fight, the Old Way, and the Future of Paleoanthropology
“I get by with a little help from my friends.” The more we look, the more we find. This is especially true when it comes to the social dynamics of animals. Scientists continue to document the complex nature of social relationships, particularly in birds and mammals. It seems we are constantly saying, “I didn’t know animals did … More New Research Characterizes Mountain Gorilla “Friendships”