Parental Care and why daddy wasn’t there.

The theory

In humans, children tend to be brought up by their mother and father, but in the rest of the animal kingdom that is not always the case. In some animals, only the female looks after the offspring and in other cases only the male. But why does this happen? What advantage does a parent have in leaving their offspring in the care of another? Why not stay and protect your young?

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Orangutan real-estate provides new hope.

Spending time with a particular animal undoubtedly creates a bond that stays with you for a long time, if not for life. In my life, this has been the case for my horses, dogs, the elephants I looked after at the zoo, as well as a certain cheeky tapir that liked to have his tummy tickled. Another animal I became particularly attached to was the Orangutan.

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42,000 years ago, YOUR ancestors were fishing!

As I have mentioned before, one of my real passions is Human Evolution. I often think about what I would do differently in terms of degree choice if I had the option. I think some of my peers might have picked a degree that had a little more job security at the end! I would probably do biological anthropology, Archaeology or something along those lines. Don’t get me wrong, I love my degree and I love the sheer possibility that I might work in Journalism in the future, but there is something incredibly attractive about learning about how our ancestors lived, interacted, developed etc. Imagine being the first person to see a skeleton, piece of jewellery or remains of a settlement for tens, even hundreds of thousands of years. Such a discovery has recently been made, which for such a small artefact can tell us an incredible amount about how our ancestors lived. That artefact is a simple fishhook – 42,000 years old.

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Nature or Nurture – You decide…. Or do you?

Have you ever known identical twins and wondered why they don’t look exactly the same? Why if two individuals have exactly the same genes don’t they look the same? Similarly, if two children are brought up together and at the same time, why don’t they act the same?

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Communication in the depths: perhaps not as primitive as we would like to think – Coleoid communication.

Have you ever wondered how animals communicate? Some animals have incredibly complex behaviour, and in many cases communication is a vital part of that behaviour. I have recently been researching communication in Coleoids and I wanted to demonstrate to you all how complex, and beautiful in its complexity this communication is.

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