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Not bad science

Does Your Dog Know What Sex You Are From The Sound of Your Voice?

To analyse which way the dogs were looking, the researchers used videos of the dogs to see which way their head was oriented compared to a centre line

  After glancing at the people in the photo above, what did you think? Perhaps you just thought ‘four people’, or ‘older people’, but it’s likely if I asked you to describe it you would say, ‘two men, two women’. As humans, we love to categorize things. Upon meeting a new person you’re likely to [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Talking Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria

TPL jason cara

Earlier this week I sat down with my friend Cara Santa Maria to chat on her excellent podcast, Talk Nerdy. The conversation was wide-ranging: we talked about the discovery of a new group of insects in which the females have what many are calling a “penis-like structure” (but which the researchers have labeled a gynosome), [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Once Upon A Time, The Catholic Church Decided That Beavers Were Fish


From time to time, politicians and other rulers-of-men like to categorize the natural world not according to biology, but rather for convenience or monetary gain. Take, for example, the tomato. The progenitor of ketchup is a seed-bearing structure that grows from the flowering part of a plant. It is, by definition, a fruit. In 1893, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Are Sheep Better at Botany than the US Government?

Botanically, a tomato is a fruit: a seed-bearing structure that grows from the flowering part of a plant. In 1893, however, the highest court in the land ruled in the case of Nix v. Hedden that the tomato was a vegetable, subject to vegetable import tariffs. Unfortunately, the vegetal confusion did not end in 1893. [...]

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