There is research occurring right now on the cutting-edge intersection of evolutionary biology, experimental archaeology, neuroscience, and linguistics. And it all centers around a surprisingly simple question: where does language come from?
And the latest research argues that it revolves around our ancestors’ hard-earned ability to produce complex tools.
Want to know these two ideas are related? Read more here!
Baobab trees, some of the oldest and biggest trees in Africa, are abruptly dying. 9 of the 13 oldest individuals, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years have died in the last decade.
This is unprecedented, and scientist speculate that it’s due to climate change.
Want to know more about these trees, and what might be leading to their demise? Read about it here!
In the ongoing question of “what makes human’s special?”, biologist have recently demonstrated that honey bees have the ability to conceptualize zero.
The bees in the study were trained, one group to fly towards displays with higher quantities of black shapes, and one towards cards with fewer shapes. Once the second group was trained to recognize “lower” number of black spots, they introduced blank cards. The bees were then able to recognize that the absence of black spots is less than low number of spots.
This phenomenon is referred to as the “numerical-distance-effect” and has been observed in children and primates. So bees have at least the conceptual ability of a smll child.
Good job bees! Read more about it here.
Tiny crustaceans complete a massive daily vertical migration in the world’s oceans. New research suggests their commute may play an important role in the health of the planet.
Dr. Dabiri, an engineering professor at Stanford University, suspected there was more than could be seen by the naked eye in the movements of these small marine creatures. And in a paper published in Nature, he offered evidence that they are capable of playing a vital role in mixing up the many layers of the oceans and the minerals they contain.
Want to know more about this vital dance? Read about it here.
Scientists have fiercely debated the origins of the orb-style web. A new study challenges the idea that all spiders who make this web had a common ancestor.
Want to know more? Read about it here.
I used to be asked often “what is it you do?”. And it’s hard to explain.
I do research, I ask questions, I answer them to the best of my ability.
However, I do not do so in my lingerie, or while staring at small pieces of dry ice.
Which is what makes the hashtag #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob on twitter so hilarious. See a few below, or a larger collection here.
The oldest known spider in the world recently passed away. She lived an absurdly long life (over nearly half a century), viewed during most of it by Barbara Main and Leanda Mason. Her name was 16.
This is the story of the oldest known spider in the world and the people who knew her.
Read it all here.