Calhoun’s prophet rodents and the creation of the “behavioural sink”

I first read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH as a young’un. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was inspired by a series of experiments on population dynamics from the 1940s to the 1970s. The two studies, over a total of eight years, aimed to explore the effects of population … Continue reading Calhoun’s prophet rodents and the creation of the “behavioural sink”

Passing on the good beetle genes

Turns out, males do have a purpose – and yes, it is about sex. According to a new study, published in Evolution Letters, the male seed beetle helps purge bad mutations and retain good genes through strict competition and sexual selection, increasing the long-term genetic health of a population. The researchers, led by Karl Greishop … Continue reading Passing on the good beetle genes

Indigenous arrival huge planned migration

The size of the first population of people needed to arrive, survive, and thrive in what is now Australia is revealed in two studies. It took more than 1,000 people to form a viable population. But this was no accidental mass migration, as our work shows the first arrivals must have been planned. Our data … Continue reading Indigenous arrival huge planned migration