January 20th, 2008

Marèye Sclayène

Spotted hyena cubs mounting adults.

Okay, the spotted hyena is quite well known by the particularities of the female anatomy and the reproduction, for more info's check http://www.geocities.com/hyaenaresearch/IntrotoSpottedHyaena.html for example.

But the amount of male hormones on alpha females, e.g. when they're pregnant, have some consequences on the behavior of male cubs of the alpha females: see http://www.livescience.com/animals/060426_hyena_cubs.html :

After studying hyenas in Kenya for nearly two decades, researchers discovered that in the final stages of pregnancy, high-ranking females provide their developing offspring with higher levels of androgen — a male sex hormone associated with aggression — than lower-ranking mothers provide to their developing young. (...) Since the sons of alpha females are born hyper-aggressive, they start trying to mount females at just a few months old, giving them a better shot at sealing the deal later in life.

Weird enough to be WTF'ed.
Hello

How will humans become extinct?

MSN Video has a fascinating mini-clip from the History Channel on a theory on how humans may become extinct. There's also a short clip afterwards about nuclear winter. The videos are kind of quiet, but the ads they shove in your face between the clips are louder, so keep your finger on your mute button.

Link is here.
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