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
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
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”
In order to address the question of what the ancestors of humans and Neanderthals might have looked liked, a research group at the University of Cambridge took a digital approach. … More “Virtual Paleontology” Provides Insight into Last Common Ancestor with Neanderthals
Thousands of books about wine are written each year. I’m sure many of them are excellent, but this month brings a new book entitled, A Natural History of Wine, that is quite different from all of the rest. This is a book about what science teaches us about wine and what wine teaches about science. … More A Natural History of Wine
Traumatic memories are especially prone to distortion and exaggeration over time, complicating recovery of PTSD. But could this phenomenon have once brought evolutionary value? … More Why does Trauma Cause Memory Distortion?
The Story of Life in 25 Fossils is a joy to read. Biologists, novice and veteran alike, will delight in turning its pages. Prothero brings erudition and expert perspective to the material, but animates it in an entertaining and accessible manner. It reads like a fun conversation with a learned friend. … More The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Review of New Book by Donald R. Prothero