Findings — From the August 2014 issue
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Octopuses possess a chemical that prevents self-sucking, and can differentiate other octopuses’ severed tentacles from their own, which they rarely eat. Piscivory was reported among spiders on all continents save Antarctica, as was numeracy among blind cavefish who live under the Somali desert. (The fish cannot, however, distinguish between successive integers, expressed in sticks.) Anxiety in crayfish was induced by French scientists using both electric shocks and injections of serotonin, then relieved with injections of benzodiazepine. Sober zebrafish will follow the lead of a moderately drunk zebrafish and will speed up to keep pace; extremely drunk zebrafish will lag behind sober fish. The ferrous metals from which hatcheries are built confuse the magnetic sense of young steelhead. The U.K. National Ballistics Intelligence Service found 3-D-printed guns to be highly prone to explosion. California women presented with an array of blue 3-D-printed penises preferred girthier, but not longer, versions when asked to select for a hypothetical one-night stand. Size does not predict the odds that an aneurysm will rupture. The death by landslide of Maggie reduced to 127 the wild population of the flightless kakapo, the heaviest of all parrots, which is now further threatened by a bad season for its favorite low-hanging fruit.
At Wingham Wildlife Park, a male penguin couple, Jumbs and Kermit, were raising a chick from an egg abandoned by its mother, Isobel, after her partner, Hurricane, refused to share nesting responsibilities. A vixen in Horsforth was stealing a shoe daily; in Rushmere St. Andrew, a fox and a hedgehog were observed dining together; in St. Margaret’s Hope, a car was set ablaze by a starling’s nest; and on Anglesey, the physicist widow of the Breathalyzer’s inventor received a conservation award for stewardship of the island’s red squirrels. Lower-than-average levels of postdeployment alcohol abuse were found in Army National Guardsmen who have killed in combat. In the Marshall Islands, rising seas were carrying away Japan’s war dead. Light-colored butterflies and dragonflies were outcompeting dark-colored ones as Europe warmed. The study of racial disparities in U.S. health care may be compromised by the mass incarceration of black men. The faces of black people as described by nonblack Americans who have been subliminally primed to think of economic scarcity are darker. A sense of entitlement was linked to hostile sexism in American men and benevolent sexism in American women. Building on a previous study that found women’s abnormal urine not to be sterile, women’s normal urine was found not to be sterile. Dinosaurs may have been lukewarm-blooded.
Male Mientien tree frogs (Kurixalus idiootocus) use the concrete drainage ditches of Taiwan to amplify their mating songs, and male crickets on Kauai and Oahu have independently evolved silence. Road salt gives male monarch butterflies larger flight muscles; females, larger eyes. The windshield-wiper fluid of some Arizona school buses was found to contain Legionnaires’ disease. Kawasaki disease was wafting to Japan from China. NASA had failed to sufficiently sanitize planetary probes to avoid the invasion of alien environments by Earth life. Chemists unveiled a forensic test that can determine a person’s ethnicity in eighty-five seconds by burning his or her hair. Mice who overgroomed one another’s hair into mohawks were deemed sufficiently like human autistics to test treatments on. A linguist described, in addition to its antilanguage properties, the deceptive and exclusive circumlocutions of Bangime. Heavily decorated classrooms distract kindergarteners. Deep-brain stimulation caused a sixty-year-old Dutchman to love Johnny Cash. A goldfish piloted a fish tank on wheels with its thoughts.
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