All posts filed under: Zoology

The study of animals; from sponges and jellyfish to elephants and humans.

The big sleep

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Astronomy / Health / Medicine / Zoology

Bats, bears and some birds do it, but humans can’t: hibernation. Animals hibernate to save energy through long cold winters. Sounds appealing, doesn't it? NASA wants to know if human hibernation is possible. Why? Because it because it would make the trip to Mars a hell of a lot less boring.

Do you taste what I taste?

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Biology / Health / Myths / Zoology

Confession time: I adore chocolate. I’ll never forget a chocolate experience I had almost 20 years ago when I was given the opportunity to try some <em>Gymnema sylvestre</em>. It’s a herb that suppresses your ability to taste sweetness. And eating chocolate straight after the herb was rather distressing. The chocolate had virtually no taste and had the texture of wax, or maybe soap. I could feel it coating my tongue and teeth and I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to eat it again. That’s the power of our taste buds. But not all animals can taste the same flavours we can.

Living to a ripe old age

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Biology / Botany / Evolution / Health / Zoology

When I was a kid I aspired to live to 100 so I could get my letter from the Queen. These days I have a rather different view of the monarchy and more insight into the pivotal role of good health in old age. If you want to talk old age, there are a plenty of other animals and plants with lifespans far more impressive than ours. The question is: why do some living things live so much longer than others?

Animals have talent

comments 3
Biology / Evolution / Zoology

Chimpanzees use blades of grass to ‘fish’ for termites, and capuchin monkeys use a hammer and anvil to crack open nuts. A mandrill has even been seen using a stick to get dirt out from under his toenails. We’ve known for a long time that other primates use tools but how about animals that aren’t our close relatives?