The tree frog Dendropsophus ebraccatus utilizes a strange form of parental plasticity that is almost unique in the animal kingdom. These parents can deposit their eggs in either terrestrial or aquatic habitats. Photo by Charles J Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, BY-SA 4.0 This is extremely rare, seeing as the adaptations for aquatic eggs are quite different than those for terrestrial ones. In water, eggs tend to be specialized to extract oxygen. On land, eggs
Dung beetle (Onthophagus atripennis) parents provision their future offspring by collecting dung. They transport it to a series of underground tunnels that they have excavated for that precise purpose. Once at the blind end of a tunnel, the dung will be shaped into a neat little “brood-ball.” Mom will deposit an egg into a specific chamber on the top of the ball. She seals it with more dung. These balls play an important role in
A certain level of sex-role reversal is observed in insects, amphibians, and birds, but nowhere is it more clearly developed than in the seahorses and pipefishes. In these species, males get pregnant and give birth to live young. Syngnathid fishes are best known for being sex-role reversed. Although the possibility of lactation in male mammals is tantalizing, we don’t yet know enough about how it functions. A system for which we do have an abundance

June 17, 2020

Can Males Lactate?

It is physiologically possible for males to lactate! As we know, the female investment in almost all animals is much higher than that of males based solely on the value of eggs versus sperm. However, in mammals we’ve been dealt a double whammy when it comes to infant care. Not only do females have to gestate embryos within their own bodies, they then become the sole providers of nutritious food for newborns in the form
A point about humanity that I find thoroughly upsetting is trophy hunting. If you have no plans to utilize what you are going to kill to improve your biological fitness, then in my opinion there is no reason to kill it. Other animals are generally a great deal more efficient and purposeful with respect to maximizing biological fitness. I was surprised when I learned that wasteful killing is not restricted to our species. Surplus Killing
Hyena societies are matriarchal, which means that females are the socially dominant sex. They live in groups of sexually mature females and their offspring. When young males reach sexual maturity they are kicked out of the group. Adult males are low on the social scale. They aren’t generally permitted to socialize with the group, and often end up in small bachelor pods or as solitary individuals. There is one alpha female within a hyena clan.
For most members of the animal kingdom, a little extra fat on the body is a good thing. It acts as insulation in cooler climates and can come in handy as an energy source in times of food shortage. However, too much extra weight can hinder basic activities in animals much the same as it does in our species. Photo via Pexels Members of the human species struggle with body size, too. Some of us