1 Comment »Posted on Sunday 30 November 2008 at 12:03 am by Jacob Aron
In Biology, Psychology, Weekly Roundup

We’ve got another one…

It’s the latest in a series of creepy animals! I’m not sure if it’s the Blair Witch style camerawork, or the fact that its tentacles are so long that the continue down to the bowels of the earth, but the Magnapinna squid is possibly the worst of the bunch.

No, no, NO, DON'T EAT ME!!!!!

One of Magnapinna‘s strangest features is that it appears to have elbows. Elbows, I ask you! We actually don’t know very much about ol’Magnapinna, and this video wasn’t captured by a team of biologists. In fact, it was oil company Shell who found the strange creature as they searched for new sources of fuel, two and a half kilometers underwater. So don’t worry, it’s not close enough to get you…yet.

Do cars have personalities?

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the front end of cars often look like faces. Now, researchers at Florida State University have confirmed this to be true – and not only do we ascribe facial features to cars, we also give them personalities.

In a study published in the December issue of the journal Human Nature, 40 people we asked to view 3D computer reconstructions and printed images of 38 cars. A third of participants saw a human or animal face in at least 90% of the cars. They were also asked to rate each car on 19 personality traits such as dominance, maturity, gender and friendliness. It seems that people generally agreed in their ratings, suggest a universal way of reading faces.

Cars viewed as “powerful” had elongated hoods, pronounced lower bodies relative, and more angular headlights reminiscent of a frown. On the other end of the scale, those seen as submissive had headlights with their upper edge relatively close to the middle, and higher sides, suggesting a smile. It seems that even in inanimate objects, we can’t help but see a face.

Polar bear in lack-of-penis shocker

Oh, this is a very silly story, but I just couldn’t help myself. It seems that Japanese zoo keepers have made an interesting discovery: Tsuyoshi, a four-year-old, 200 kg, polar bear isn’t quite the stud they were expecting. The bear was introduced to a female at the Kushiro Municipal Zoo in the hope that the pair would mate, but it turns out there was a slight problem: Tsuyoshi is a she-bear.

“We thought he was a male, so we never had any doubts as we took care of him,” said Masako Inoue.

“But one day we realized that the two bears urinate in the same way, and we thought, is that how males do it? And once we started to look at things that way, we weren’t quite so sure.”

It seems it’s not unusual to confuse the gender of a polar bear, as their long hair can make it difficult to properly identify them, especially when they are young. Poor Tsuyoshi has been living as a boy ever since the tender age of three months.

For now, the Zoo plans to talk to others in the area, to see what to do about the breeding plan. I’d suggest that Tsuyoshi might not be as helpful as they thought…

  1. One Comment

  2. Magnapinna – you’re kidding. I thought this was a screen shot from a video game. Take it away.


    By Tim Jones on Sunday 30 November, 2008 at 11:23 pm

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