Despite slang terms that imply otherwise, the human penis contains no bones. The same cannot be said for many of our closest evolutionary relatives: Chimpanzees and bonobos both have penis bones (a macaque one is pictured, left), also known as bacula.
To find out why some primates have the feature whereas others don’t, researchers traced the bone’s evolutionary history through time. The baculum first evolved between 145 million and 95 million years ago, as reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. That means it was present in the most recent common ancestor of all primates and carnivores. Why some descendants, like humans, lost their bacula appears to be due to differences in mating practices: In primates, the presence of a penis[ ... ]
As soon as we're born, we're destined to age. Some of us age gracefully - we enjoy years of youthfulness - while others experience hair loss, wrinkles, and greying earlier than expected.
Found in the core of each hair, a pigment known as melanin gives rise to a person's hair color. This universal pigment is also found in our skin and eyes, giving use our unique physical traits. Dark and light versions of melanin - eumelanin and phaeomelanin, respectively - combine in various combinations to create all natural hair colors.
Melanin itself is the product of a specialized cell, the melanocyte, which is found in each hair follicle, from which the hair grows. As hair grows, the melanocyte injects melanin into the hair cells, which contain the s [ ... ]
What sets Homo sapiens apart from other animals? Among other things, our chins do. That piece of bone sticking out from your jaw is somewhat of a mystery - one that's inspired a diversity of wild theories to explain its purpose, according to a paper published this month in Evolutionary Anthropology.
The author of the paper dismisses a number of these explanations, such as the possibility that the chin serves as a sexual signal (such traits usually only appear in one sex - like the mane of a male lion). Another proposal is that the chin acts to protect your throat - an idea the paper's author also shoots down, because for this to be a substantial advantage, humans would have to be constantly punching each other in the face.
Unlike most mammals, mature male orangutans exhibit different facial characteristics: some develop large 'cheek pads' on their faces (as shown above); other males do not. A team of researchers studied the difference in reproductive success between cheek-padded males and males without cheek pads. They found that those with cheek pads are significantly more successful in fathering offspring.
We've all struggled trying to shove magnanimous amounts of information for exams, be it vocabulary, geometry theorems, biology notes, chemistry reactions, physics equations or even just names of acquaintances we meet at weddings or the likes. You might question whether after many years of non-stop learning, be it in a classroom setting, or just basic interactions and do's and don'ts, may we run out of space to absorb all the memories, events and information we encounter.
Our brain, unlike the brains of animals and lower ancestors, is not hardwired by instincts. In fact, we have very little in the field of instincts by comparison. Our brain is a learning brain. It is designed to absorb and interconnect information. Now, which of this inform [ ... ]
The importance of adequate, non-distracted, deep sleep could not be emphasized enough. Recent research has put the brain yet again under the spotlight, this time only to shed some light on one more reason we should be getting our sleep and why. Make sure to watch the video above. It is hands down, one of the best TED talks I have listened to. As for now, I'mma go make my CSF flush my amyloid betas Nighty, night!
Have you ever chillaxed (chilling and relaxing ) under the sun, cloud watching, and all of a sudden noticed transparent blobs floating around? Did you know what these things were? I know I didn't until I saw this:
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