There Are Twice as Many Species of Birds as We Thought, Study Finds

Bird-watchers of the world: your list may have just doubled. A recent study published in the journal PLOS One suggests that the way bird species are defined has traditionally been too narrow, and there are actually more than 18,000 bird species in the world—double previous estimates.Aside from making it trickier for bird fans to… Continue reading There Are Twice as Many Species of Birds as We Thought, Study Finds

The Science of Why We Laugh

Laughter is universal. And yet strange when you think about it. One moment we’re doing nothing particularly noteworthy. The next moment we’re convulsing and making these loud staccato guffaws. Odd that. So why do we laugh? It’s a question that Robert Provine, a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has been studying for 20+ years, trying to understand laughter’s… Continue reading The Science of Why We Laugh

Was There a First Human Language?: Theories from the Enlightenment Through Noam Chomsky

During the 17th and 18th centuries, European Enlightenment philosophers discarded the origin stories in religious texts as wildly implausible or simply allegorical. But they found themselves charged with coming up with their own, naturalistic explanations for the origins of life, law, morality, etc. And most pressingly for their inquiries into psychology and cognition, many… Continue reading Was There a First Human Language?: Theories from the Enlightenment Through Noam Chomsky

This Is Why Ligers, Mules and Other Hybrid Animals Can’t Reproduce

Source: Motherboard Excerpt: “Ever wonder why mules and ligers can’t reproduce? This video by MinuteEarth, a YouTube channel that tells stories about science and the planet, explains why hybrid animals are (almost always) sterile. In short, hybrid animals are infertile because they don’t have viable sex cells, meaning they can’t produce sperm… Continue reading This Is Why Ligers, Mules and Other Hybrid Animals Can’t Reproduce