Greg Laden is a biological anthropologist and science communicator. His research has covered North American prehistoric and historic archaeology and African archaeology and human ecology. He is an OpenSource and OpenAccess advocate. Greg's wife, Amanda, is a High School biology teacher, his daughter Julia is a world traveler and his son Huxley is 2.

I’m going out on a limb here. 2014 has been a very warm year. We’ve had a number of record setting months. But, a couple of months were also coolish, and November was one of them. December started out cool (like November ended) globally, but actually over the last few days the global average temperature…

The archaeology of some Polish vampires

Apotropaic magic is designed to ward off or control evil. In vampire fiction, as well as in real life in cultures that include a belief in vampires, apotropaic objects might be crucifixes, cloves of garlic, etc. Apotropaic methods are known to have been used in burials. In the photograph above, a sickle blade has been…

Temperature and sex determination

Some interesting new research. The paper is, unfortunately, behind a paywall but they made a video, so it is worth posting. Here’s the press release for the paper: Scientists know that temperature determines sex in certain reptiles—alligators, lizards, turtles, and possibly dinosaurs. In many turtles, warm temperatures during incubation create females. Cold temperatures, males. But…

“As Thanksgiving ebbs into memory and Christmas looms on the horizon, Eat This Podcast concerns itself with the turkey. For a nomenclature nerd, the turkey is a wonderful bird. Why would a bird from America be named after a country on the edge of Asia? The Latin name offers a clue; the American turkey is…

Let me introduce you to Itzcuauhtli. Watch this: More here.

It is here: I wonder if we get one trailer a month for a year? And then, this:

Thanksgiving origin

You know Thanksgiving has a story, linking it to the Pilgrims. I talk about the bigger cultural phenomenon here. But have you actually read the original story? There is a later version with more detail but this is the only nearly contemporary account: You shall understand, that in this little time, that a few of…

Eat This Podcast: Talking Turkey

An interview with an expert on Turkey (me, apparently) about turkeys. What do I mean by “turkey”? The bird, the country, the personality trait? Well, that is the point, isn’t it! Click here to get the skinny on turkey.