Nature News & Tweets for December

So, since only the primitive portion of my brain (responsible for breathing and peeing in a private facility rather than on the floor) is functioning from four days of poor nutrition and an awful lot of Netflix Instant, I thought I’d share some neato things going on in the world of.. well. The world.

A 400,000 year old tooth was discovered in Israel. One doc says “HUMAN!”, another says “Probably not, you over-zealous sonofabitch.” Typical. (According to the article, the oldest Homo sapiens tooth discovered so far is half that old so if it IS human, well, it’s a big deal.) I’d like to suggest that for just a few minutes, sit back and picture what it would be like to have another HOMINID SPECIES (not another race, culture, or other kind of group) wandering around. Another hominid species. Hominid. Mind-blowing.

Tickling may have some evolutionary benefit. Or at least, it may have used to. It may have been a way for families and friends to bond and taught youngsters to protect vulnerable parts of their bodies during play-fighting, like the neck and belly. Primates that participate in tickling pant a certain way, and the article suggests we may have the roots of modern-day laughter in this vocal behavior. Still doesn’t explain why I occasionally laugh so hard that I pee my pants.

Ed Yong reports on research that points to the absorption of marine bacteria into human guts to help process sushi. Japanese people utilize seaweed like nori in a variety of dishes, and the high prevalence of seaweed in their evolutionary diets provided for sushi-eating bacteria to enter into – and survive! – their digestive tracts. Which means that Japanese people can actually better digest seaweeds thanks to a bacteria that wasn’t originally there (and isn’t there in other groups). Unfortunately there are no cupcake-eating bacteria that can help me with my, erm, problem.

Bryan over at FieldHerper wows me again with his intense photos. It was hard to pick just one to highlight, but I’m SERIOUSLY partial to thunderstorm photos. I swear to God his photos are like naturalist porn. (Maybe that brings to mind something different than I’m thinking. That would be weird. *ponder* Super weird.)

HAPPY TUESDAY!! :)

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Posted on December 28, 2010, in News, Tweets, & Links and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. HEY THANKS for throwing my lil blog into a post once again! What’s your email address? We do need to talk rubber boa. I thought for a minute I was the only one that loves the little slow slugs.

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