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Laurie Santos: A monkey economy as irrational as ours

Laurie Santos: A monkey economy as irrational as ours

Related:  animals are not cute; but their behaviour is fun scienceDiscover Life

How to Have Fun Like Monkeys, Whales and Foxes If you want to know how song changes the shape of a finch's brain, science can help. If you want to know how learning a song alters genetic patterns, affects mate choice and ultimately influences populations, you can learn that too. But what if you want to know how a singing bird feels? That, it turns out, is a scientifically uncertain and even controversial question. It's difficult to study animal emotions with formal rigor, and the notion that animals might have rich inner lives was disregarded for much of the 20th century.

On being wrong: Kathryn Schulz on TED Culture The upside of losing an argument and/or being wrong My last fight came after, of all things, the movie Pacific Rim. As my moviegoing companion and I walked out of the theater, he said of Guillermo del Toro’s latest, “That was awesome.” I, on the other hand, thought it was just okay, managing to slightly elevate its robots-versus-aliens premise.

Stephen Hawking: "Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution" Although It has taken homo sapiens several million years to evolve from the apes, the useful information in our DNA, has probably changed by only a few million bits. So the rate of biological evolution in humans, Stephen Hawking points out in his Life in the Universe lecture, is about a bit a year. "By contrast," Hawking says, "there are about 50,000 new books published in the English language each year, containing of the order of a hundred billion bits of information. The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion Warning: content may be triggering for survivors of sexual assault/abuse. "Chimp Riveter" by Nathaniel Gold Elizabeth Wilde’s mouth was stuffed with cloth and her hands were tied behind her back. Hogs rummaged in the yard outside as her master, John Lumbrozo, forced himself on her repeatedly and threatened her with death if she resisted. When the 22-year old indentured servant girl later showed signs of being pregnant, witnesses reported that this respected doctor of Charles County, Maryland gave her a chemical “Phisick” that induced abortion. On a hot day in June, 1663 Elizabeth Wilde gave birth to “a Clod of blood,” while her rapist stood over her and performed the delivery of her dead fetus.

TED Quotes: Facts, insight and humor from TEDTalks — in shareable bites TED Quotes are made possible by Allianz SE Facts, insight and humor —in shareable bites TED Quotes brings you salient bits of TEDTalks, on everything from activism to storytelling, from chemistry to curiosity. Have thoughts about TED Quotes? Evolution in Action: Lizard Moving From Eggs to Live Birth Evolution has been caught in the act, according to scientists who are decoding how a species of Australian lizard is abandoning egg-laying in favor of live birth. Along the warm coastal lowlands of New South Wales (map), the yellow-bellied three-toed skink lays eggs to reproduce. But individuals of the same species living in the state's higher, colder mountains are almost all giving birth to live young.

Inside the mind of the octopus Inside the mind of the octopus by Sy Montgomery Photograph: Brandon Cole The camera that can take a TRILLION pictures in a second - making it fast enough to watch beams of light travelling in slow-motion Even 'travelling at the speed of light' cannot defeat the 'world's fastest camera'MIT researchers film a beam of light hitting Coke bottle and tomato, and slow the footage down for a slow-motion replay By Eddie Wrenn Published: 12:32 GMT, 21 August 2012 | Updated: 17:41 GMT, 21 August 2012 MIT researchers have created a camera which can take images so fast - one trillion of them in just a second - that it can capture light as it travels across objects.

"Lucy" Kin Pushes Back Evolution of Upright Walking? Lucy—a 3.2-million-year-old skeleton discovered in 1974—belongs to , a species which scientists think was an early direct ancestor of modern humans. An exceptionally petite female—her estimated height was 3.5 feet (1.1 meters)—Lucy's small frame has been interpreted as not being totally adapted for human-like, upright walking. (See: "6-Million-Year-Old Human Ancestor 1st to Walk Upright?" Muriqui monkey mothers are key to sons' sexual success There's nothing quite like having mum around when you're trying to get it on with a lady. That is if you are a male northern muriqui monkey, according to a study by anthropologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. According to behavioural studies of wild muriquis combined with genetic data, sexually mature males get helpful access to mates by the mere presence of their mothers and other maternal kin. The northern muriqui is a large, long-lived, socially complex and critically endangered primate -- with only 1,000 animals left in the world, in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

How did life originate? How did life originate? Living things (even ancient organisms like bacteria) are enormously complex. However, all this complexity did not leap fully-formed from the primordial soup. Instead life almost certainly originated in a series of small steps, each building upon the complexity that evolved previously:

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