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“12/1995,” “6/1997,” and “8/2007,” photographs by Deanna Dikeman, from her monograph Leaving and Waving, which was published last month by Chose Commune © The artist. Courtesy Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, Missouri

Scientists hoped that positive climate tipping points might cascade across human societies. Four decades of research on the Izu Islands indicated that the presence of the Japanese four-lined rat snake forces Okada’s five-lined skinks to operate at higher body temperatures. Baby epaulette sharks may not survive as the seas around the Great Barrier Reef continue to warm, and unborn megalodon sharks practiced intrauterine cannibalism. Octopus rubescens was found to be resilient against rising ocean acidity. The Strait of Messina was determined to be the marine region richest in garbage. The authors of “The Large Obliquity of Saturn Explained by the Fast Migration of Titan” expected Jupiter’s moons to tilt the planet’s axis from six degrees to as much as thirty-seven in the coming five billion years, noting that the planet “adiabatically follows the drift of a secular spin-orbit resonance with the nodal precession mode of Uranus.” Dark matter can be neither ultralight nor superheavy unless it is acted upon by an as-yet-unknown force.

A collaborative expedition to adits in the sky islands of the Nimba Mountains by zoologists and members of the Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée discovered a new species of bat. A potent antibacterial peptide was identified in the skin of the Australian toadlet, and male platypuses were found to have five pairs of XY chromosomes; emus, meanwhile, were found to possess W and Z sex chromosomes. A fossilized assassin bug discovered in 2006 and split down the middle was reunited with itself, revealing an intact penis. Scientists were surprised to learn that despite the strong correlation between male genital shape and reproductive success among fruit flies, sexual selection for those traits is relatively weak. Fruit flies that are disturbed during deep sleep, which is marked by the rhythmic extension and contraction of their proboscises, are more susceptible to traumatic injuries. Obese Yucatán miniature pigs were found to have as many as thirty-five episodes of sleep apnea per hour. “These are very fat pigs,” explained the lead researcher. Sachatamia orejuela glass frogs, whose calls are often drowned out by waterfalls, wave their hands and feet and bob their heads to attract potential mates. Electric eels in a river-fed Amazonian lake were observed hunting cooperatively and corralling their prey into balls to be shocked.

The global spark-plug market was expected to grow rapidly over the next five years, specialized voice training was found to improve the expression of joy in the vowel [a:], and researchers urged a reexamination of the Kondo Effect. An international team of experts warned that humans will be unable to control superintelligent AI, and Cornell researchers published an atlas of the winds. A gendered division of labor may have shaped the human perception of space, women may have been primarily responsible for the domestication of dogs, and a life-size Sulawesi warty pig rendered in red ocher on a cave wall in Indonesia was determined to be the oldest known man-made art. Chumash Indians were using highly worked shell beads for currency as early as the first century. As assessed by the Weber fraction, the palpably indistinguishable weight of many European Bronze Age bronze rings, ribs, and axe-heads points to their use as a prehistoric form of standardized money. Retailers dropped a popular brand of coconut milk over allegations of forced monkey labor.

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August 2023

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