Behavioral Biology

Category archives for Behavioral Biology

There was a dead rabbit in the middle of the road today. I suspected such a thing, nearby, just out of sight, and edible, because I noticed some crows taking off whenever a car went by. Then, when I went over, I could see the rabbit that they were feasting on between drive-bys. I had…

The latest National Geographic Roundtable Question: Survivor-style television has grown increasingly popular over the years and done a great job of illustrating our brain’s fascinating built-in survival instinct. What role do you think our ancestral instincts play today in helping us survive, thrive and accomplish our goals? How much of our ancestral survival instincts are…

I’m not going to say that Ron Howard is old or anything, but he isn’t Opie any more. (And, in fact, it has been fascinating and inspiring to watch his career, by the way.) Anyway, Howard produced a new documentary with National Geographic called “Breakthrough: The Age of Aging, which premieres Sunday, November 29 at…

Crocodile Nomadism: Size Matters

Every now and then an animal shows up where it is unexpected. Why just the other day a black bear had to be coaxed out of a tree down by the middle school, a couple of blocks form here. Even though our marshes, woodlands, and small patches of prairie house cougars, coyotes, deer, and all…

When is the best time to give birth?

After, not before, you get to the hospital, I always say. But seriously, Robert Martin, the famous primatologist, has an interesting piece in Psychology Today exploring this question. Go read it. I’ve got a few thoughts spurred by this research I’ll list briefly here. First, it seems that wild primates give birth during their daily…

Tales of the Ex-Apes

Jonathan Marks’ new book is called “Tales of the Ex-Apes: How We Think about Human Evolution” I’ve got to tell you that when I first saw the title of this book, the letters played in my head a bit. Tails of the Ex-Apes. That would be funny because apes don’t have tails. Or Tales of…

A kiss is not a kiss…

The authors of a new paper note that “one of the principal ways in which we interact using our faces is kissing.” This reminds me of an old National Lampoon joke on how the French were famous for inventing sex acts with the face. But I digress. This paper looks at neural imaging responses of…

Bernie Sanders’ Essay

Bernie Sanders’ famous essay is below. I will reserve comment but I’d like your opinion on it. I will say that the press is handling this rather badly, at least at present, taking quotes with zero context, not addressing the meaning of the essay as a whole. Sanders says it was poorly written. Is it?…

And by “my” penis I mean “your” penis, of course. This is a perennial question. For some reason, which I do not understand, the feminist perspective (note: I’m a feminist) is often to belittle the question, but really, that isn’t fair. It is not that difficult to imagine how anyone would come to a question…

Do genes make you gay?

Of course they do. To the extent that genes make you anything in particular, though the role of genetics in human behavior is pretty limited. You’ve probably heard about the newly reported research in which a genetic link was found to homosexuality in a study of gay brothers. Kelly Servick has a good writeup on…