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Curious Case of The Sex Reversed Insects

Curious Case of The Sex Reversed Insects

They say there is nothing new under the sun. But consider this newly discovered genus Neotrogla with four insect species, in the caves of Brazil. The females have the equivalent of the penis; the males have a cavity like the vagina.   Now, wait a minute. Did the researchers simply mislabel the specimens you ask? In biological terms, it is the female who gives birth – so there is no confusion about that. Here, the female has the spiky, penis-like structure called the gynosome, which […]



An Avian Villain Does Good — Sometimes

An Avian Villain Does Good — Sometimes

Great spotted cuckoos, found all along southern Europe during breeding season, are notoriously lazy parents. They lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting carrion crows, which raise them alongside their own, and at their expense — or so we believed. Researchers in Spain report an unexpected finding in Science this week: cuckoo hatchlings, in fact, confer protection on the entire brood. Each spring, on average, the crow lays five eggs and doesn’t seem to worry about an egg or two the cuckoo might’ve snuck in. […]



Of Math & The Monkey God

Of Math & The Monkey God

Centum is Latin for hundred. I don’t know if Italians use the word anymore, but some people in India still do. To them, centum is what a smart kid would score on a math test. In the middle class neighborhood where I grew up, many adults seemed to believe that math scores were a perfectly good indicator – indeed, the only indicator – of a child’s I.Q. – the equivalent of a Mensa rating. Alas, my scores in arithmetic could never be rounded off to […]