Vulturine Guineafowl

A native of northeast Africa, the vulturine guineafowl is the largest bird in its genus. Taxonomically, this bird is more dinosaur than guineafowl. But its sociality is post-modern.

Sessile & Sensitive

Plants are sensitive to touch and respond according to what is touching them. The feel of a neighboring plant receives a distinct reaction from that of an herbivore or falling rain.

Wily E. coli

Autotrophs have it relatively easy. They can produce their own food. For most organisms, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Foraging, hunting, and parasitism are an easier lifestyle than pathogens, which must first find a host and then successfully invade. Getting past host defenses and evading the immune system are just part of the difficulties when infection is your chosen lifestyle.

Livelihoods

How does a protein function? How does a virus infect? How does a cell know what it’s supposed to do? How do seeds start their journey into vegetation? How does a tardigrade spring back to life after being a dried husk? How did life on Earth begin? The answer is selfsame.

Brain-Dead Religion

It is extremely common to read textbooks or magazine articles which state that the brain is responsible for consciousness and cognition. This is nothing more than religious rubbish posing as science. Neurobiology is to psychology what astrology is to astronomy.

Cell Tails

Almost all cells – whether prokaryote or eukaryote – have tails. Eukaryotes evolved from a tail-bearing prokaryote. Only seed-producing plants have cells without tails, though their genomes retain the knowledge.

Beneficial Viruses

The germ theory of disease originated in 1546, when Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro (1476 – 1553) hypothesized epidemic diseases were caused by infectious seeds of some sort. Since that time, bacteria and viruses came to be microbial evil incarnate. Only in recent years have bacteria redeemed themselves a bit by discovery that they define digestion, regulate physiology, and that humans are mostly made up of them. Now it is viruses turn.

Telepathic Parrot

Inspired by famous parrot Alex, Aimée Morgana of Manhattan, New York, acquired a gray parrot: N’kisi. By the time he was 12 years old, N’Kisi had a vocabulary of 1,500 words. He usually spoke in sentences.

Parental Sacrifice

A mother’s willingness to sacrifice for the sake of her children is innate in many species besides humans. Female polar bears starve to nurse cubs. Dolphin mothers stop sleeping to care for newborns. Some spider moms make a meal of themselves for their hatchlings.