Part II Beauty, Cooperation, and the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers

In The Evolution of Beauty, Yale ornithologist Richard Prum focuses on how female choice affects natural selection. Among the brightly-colored neotropical manakins, the females do all the work of raising chicks, while the males contribute only sperm. That gives the females the pick of the males. The males respond by dancing and singing on a common ground called a lek. Some males even dance in cooperative groups; the females mate with the alpha male of the group they pick. Prum says this cooperativeness happens because that’s what females prefer. Among the hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe in Tanzania, as reported by Nicholas Blurton-Jones in Demography and Evolutionary Ecology of Hadza Hunter-Gatherers (2016), the women produce 90% of the food. Hadza men and women are extremely cooperative and non-violent. Could this be due to female choice? . . . → Read More: Part II Beauty, Cooperation, and the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers


Some years back a neighbor caught a white mouse that had tunneled into a bag of Purina Dog Chow. Perhaps he was an escaped snake lunch. We put him in a 20-gallon terrarium and called him Manny–for Manhattan Mouse, because he was always busy. All day he zipped around, moving his nest and seed stash . . . → Read More: Mice

The Drug War Comes Home

My father is 96. A month ago, he shuffled around the house, up and down the stairs, quite well by himself. Then, as he puts it, “I fell on my arse!” Oops! Compression fracture of the spine. Treatment: pain killers and bed rest. But, if he is ever to walk again, he must get up . . . → Read More: The Drug War Comes Home