Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

When a monkey loved a deer…

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Love has always been difficult to define exactly. A newly published study adds nuance, or at least data, to the concept. The study is:

Interspecies sexual behaviour between a male Japanese macaque and female sika deer,” Marie Pelé, Alexandre Bonnefoy, Masaki Shimada, and Cédric Sueur, Primates, epub January 2017. The authors, in Strasbourg, France and Uenohara, Japan, report:

“Interspecies sexual behaviour or ‘reproductive interference’ has been reported across a wide range of animal taxa. However, most of these occurrences were observed in phylogenetically close species… Only one scientific study has reported this phenomenon, describing sexual harassment of king penguins by an Antarctic fur seal. This is the first article to report mating behaviour between a male Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata yakui) and female sika deer (Cervus nippon yakushimae) on Yakushima Island, Japan. Although Japanese macaques are known to ride deer, this individual showed clearly sexual behaviour towards several female deer, some of which tried to escape whilst others accepted the mount.”

Here’s pictorial detail from the study:

The penguin/seal study, mentioned above, is: de Bruyn PN, Tosh CA, Bester MN (2008) “Sexual harassment of a king penguin by an Antarctic fur seal,” Journal of Ethology, 26:295–297.)

(Thanks to Reto Schneider for bringing this to our attention.)

Alwynne B. Beaudoin’s compost of dung research

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Alwynne B. Beaudoin’s “The Dung File” is one of the more effusive collections of research about dung. Beaudoin says:

“The Dung File consists of a list of references dealing with pollen, parasites, and plant remains in coprolites and latrine fills from archaeological and palaeoenvironmental sites. The focus is on studies in North America, although the list also includes studies from many other areas. About 48% of the citations are from areas other than North America. The list includes mostly publications in the English language.”

The Dung File has a logo:

dungban

Who is Alwynne B. Beaudoin? Dr. Alwynne. B. Beaudoin is Head Curator, Earth Sciences, and Curator, Quaternary Environments, at the Royal Alberta Museum. That’s who.

(Thanks to Dan Odell for bringing this to our attention.)

UPDATE (January 8, 2017): Inéz López-Dóriga alerts us to the existence of a different list of dung research citations: “An Idiosyncratic and Not Exhaustive Bibliography for Animal Dung and Archaeology,” accumulated by Naomi F. Miller (pictured here) of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. López-Dóriga alerts us also to the National Poo Museum, the contents of which are deposited in the museum, which is on the Isle of Wight.

Nominative Determinism: Harry Beaver, gynecologist. Also: Bush and Blinder.

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

harrybeaver

Three more doctors who benefit/suffer from nominative determinism:

Harry Beaver [pictured here], gynecologist.

Nicol Bush, urologist.

Kevin Blinder, ophthalmologist.

(Thanks to anonymous person for bringing these to our attention.)

Does One Armpit Smell Like the Other? (podcast #95)

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Does the left armpit smell like the right armpit? A research study explores that very question, and we explore that study, in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free.

This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a published armpitty study, with dramatic readings from biologist Christina Agapakis, who has smelled more armpits, mostly for scientific reasons, than most people ever will.

For more info about what we discuss this week, go explore:

humanaxillary

The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).

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Did His Orgasm Lead to Blindness? (podcast #93)

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Can a man’s orgasm cause him to go blind, at least temporarily? A medical report explores that very question, and we explore that medical report, in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free.

This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a published orgasm/blindess study, with dramatic readings from Yale/MIT/Harvard biomedical researcher Chris Cotsapas.

For more info about what we discuss this week, go explore:

valsalva

The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).

NEXT POST: Is every measurement wrong?