It is well known that as plants grow, their stems and shoots respond to outside signals such as light and gravity. But if all plants have similar stimuli, why are there so many different stem shapes? Why do a weeping willow branches grow downward while nearby poison ivy shoots upward?... Read more about Why weeping willows bend and poison ivy doesn’t
The distinctive troughs and crests of the human brain are not present in most animals; highly folded brains are seen only in a handful of species, including some primates, dolphins, elephants, and pigs. In humans, folding begins in fetal brains around the 20th week of gestation and is completed only when the child is about 18 months old.... Read more about How, not why, the human brain folds
Almost 3,000 years ago there was Homer’s “Odyssey,” nearly the oldest work in the Western literary canon. Later came Plato’s “Symposium,” and later still “Oedipus the King,” by Sophocles. Then there was Dante’s “Inferno,” and soon Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”
It’s a cliché to say it takes a village to raise a child, but it’s a cliché some creatures have taken to heart.
A handful of animals, including ants, bees, termites, and some birds, are what scientists call “eusocial.” That is, they live in tight-knit groups in which some individuals give up some of their reproductive capacity to care for the offspring of others.