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Red Pendulum, oil, acrylic medium, sawdust, and high-density foam on linen over panel, by Loie Hollowell © The artist Courtesy Pace Gallery, New York City

Knees in Asia are the most likely to have a fabella, and knees in Africa are the least. The humerus can be used to determine the sex of a Thai skeleton. A French courtship researcher retracted his paper titled “High Heels Increase Women’s Attractiveness,” and female In­stagram influencers were found to face criticism for seeming both too real and too fake. Male green-veined white butterflies use volatile flower compounds to create the anti-­aphrodisiac pheromone they transfer to females during mating to make them unattractive to other males. The loudest known avian vocalization was observed among male white bellbirds of the northern Amazon, who scream their crescendo directly at females perched next to them; the study’s authors expressed uncertainty as to why the females put up with the risk of hearing damage. Researchers denominated three essential categories of arrogance and found that narcissists are less prone to depression. Escapism predicts problematic online gaming. Scientists offered a path to freedom for an all-male colony of wood ants who were trapped for years in an abandoned Polish nuclear bunker but had continued to thrive because of cannibalism. Doctors expressed concern that men might unnecessarily second-­guess medical advice by soliciting opinions from Reddit users about photos of their diseased penises. Itchiness makes Europeans about twice as likely to contemplate suicide.

Children find bearded men strong but unattractive and apply the attribute of “brilliance” preferentially to men, but not if they are black. Reward-based labora­tory experiments for assessing animal cognition may not test animals’ actual intelligence. Online cat-food recipes are often nutritionally inadequate or dangerous, and Canadians are bad at measuring portions of dog food. Korean researchers investigated the cognitive effects of pet bugs on the elderly and warned against pointlessly delaying bedtime. European eels retain magnetic memories of their juvenile estuaries’ tidal currents. A cold decorative vase is experienced as more luxurious than a warm one.

Eleven thousand scientists suggested that the human population needed to be curtailed to combat global warming, and archaic mammals may have been nocturnal because they lacked scrota with which to maintain cool sperm. Mice who travel into space do not experience a drop in sperm quality, and rats can lower their stress levels by driving tiny cars. Migrating steppe eagles fitted with cellular trackers by Russian zoologists incurred massive international roaming charges. Welsh marine biologists trained shore crabs to navigate mazes and sampled the parasites of shore crabs at Mumbles Pier. Mussel cancer had crossed the equator, chytrid fungus had spread to frogs in the Peruvian Amazon, half of China’s pigs died or were culled in 2019 as a result of African swine fever, and a newly discovered virus was contributing to stumbling and seizures among bald eagles. The Wizard Rock, a boulder that had vanished from the Prescott National Forest, reappeared. Red deer on the Isle of Rum have been giving birth four days earlier each decade since the Nixon Administration. Five miles off the coast of Maine, lobstermen caught a white-tailed deer, fishermen in Montana caught a bobcat, and three North Carolina cows who had been swept away in a hurricane were found grazing on an island in the Outer Banks. A Scottish tourist was presumed dead after a tiger shark near Réunion was caught in possession of a hand wearing a wedding ring.


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January 2020