Sex and Evolution?

I like Michael Stoddart’s books in general–he has some great contributions to make and is one of a few popular scientists promoting olfaction. While reading his most recent book, I have been a bit frustrated by the simplistic view of human evolution and behavior. A recent Guardian piece by him “Smell evolution and the sexContinue reading “Sex and Evolution?”

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The piggy smell of Eurasian genetic landscapes

Between 6000-4000 years ago (according to study published in Nature Communications), indigenous Mesolithic hunter-gatherers acquired pigs from Neolithic farmers immigrating to Europe. I have been interested in Pleistocene pigs for a while (and their continued association with humans into the Holocene). The reason for my interest is that pigs produce a lot of androstenone (aContinue reading “The piggy smell of Eurasian genetic landscapes”

Evolution, Emotion, and Language

In a study on Meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, a team from the University of Zurich found that young meerkats respond to vocalization information about “threat urgency” (via tone) earlier than “threat type” (via variation in vocalization) as compared to older meerkats who can distinguish both pieces of information. The researchers argue this association betweenContinue reading “Evolution, Emotion, and Language”