What We're Reading

Hey, Dads! I got you a present for Fathers Day! A whole bunch of great articles about evolution, climate change, and…fatherhood. You’re welcome!

  • We Finally Know Why Birds Are So Freakishly Smart, Gizmodo, June 13 2016 — Turns out bird brains have more neurons per square inch than mammalian brains. Author George Dvorsky explains: "This means that birds pack more brain power per pound than mammals, offering an explanation for their remarkable cognitive talents. What’s more, the study shows that evolution has found more than one way to build a complex brain."
  • First Mammal Species Goes Extinct Due to Climate Change, National Geographic, June 14, 2016 — The Bramble Cay melomys, which has not been seen since 2009, has been declared extinct.  This small rodent lived exclusively on its namesake island.  Its habitat was reduced by 97% by sea level rise.   
  • Antarctic CO2 Hit 400 PPM for First Time in 4 Millions Years, Scientific American, June 16, 2016 —The last station on Earth to record CO2 at 400ppm has reached the threshold in the modern era. This concentration of atmospheric CO2 has not been found over Antarctica for four million years.  These data further demonstrate that this phenomena is global and unprecedented in human history.  CO2 emissions in population centers impact even the most remote parts of the Earth.
  • The Science of Fatherhood, Scientific American, June 16, 2016  — If you really want to do a deep dive into all things “Father” + “Science”, you’d do well to check out this special report from Scientific American that collects a whole bunch of father-related science stories. Were dinosaurs good fathers? Does fatherhood change the brain? You’ll find answers to those questions and more.
  • A Fathers Day Shout Out to Animal Dads, JSTOR, June 17, 2016  — Maybe we humans are just coming around to recognizing that fathers can do more than bring home the bacon, but it’s no surprise in the animal world, where there are a lot of different ways to split up the parenthood duties. This article highlights some of the animals where fathers are the primary caregivers.

Photo credit: By Hieronymus Bosch. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23997245