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Animals

The Secret Intellect of Animals, Part 2

In the second of two episodes, Christian and Joe continue their discussion of animal cognition, including animal morality, tool use, mental time travel, culture, and other strange clues to the intellectual complexity of our cousins in the animal kingdom. Afterwards, they speak to Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal about his book and his thoughts on the future of animal intelligence research. See more »

The Secret Intellect of Animals, Part 1

In the 18th century, David Hume wrote that “no truth appears to me more evident than that beasts are endow’d with thought and reason as well as men.” Yet animal cognition has remained a controversial subject in science ever since. In the first of two episodes, Christian and Joe discuss the work of Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal, and ask the question of not just whether animals are smarter than we understand, but why the evidence of animal cognition is often so difficult for we humans to grasp. See more »

Sex Cannibals of the Animal Kingdom

Sexual cannibalism is a rarity in the natural world, and scientists are still attempting to understand the act as practiced by mostly arachnids and insects. Why consume your mate after or during sexual intercourse? Why venture into such a scenario in the first place? Join Robert and Joe as they explore the thoroughly inhuman world of sexual cannibalism. See more »

Osedax: Sex Life of an Ocean Bone Worm

Enter the world of the osedax worm, where mouthless female scavengers liquefy the bones of dead whales with acid-drenched roots -- and where each female's body contains a harem of tiny, sperm-producing males. Robert and Christian discuss the bizarre lives of the osedax worms and invite "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah J. Hardt for a discussion on this and other fascinating modes of deep-water reproduction. See more »

Weaponized Animals: From Fire Pigs to Bomb Bats

Warfare has always played a central role in human civilization, but we've always invited to share the rest of the animal kingdom to share in the violence and misery -- sometimes as actual weapons. Join Robert and Christian as they explore the history of weaponized animals, from flaming war pigs in ancient Greece to high-tech incendiary bats in the Second World War. See more »

Tail as Old as Time: Part 1

Tails are a common feature in the animal kingdom, fulfilling just about every role from comfy blanket to instrument of venomous death. Join Robert and Joe as they explore some of the more outstanding uses, including your dog's caudal language and the scorpion that sheds its own tail and anus. See more »

The Science of Necrophilia

Don't run away! True enough, this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind considers a most repellent sexual atrocity, but there's more to necrophilia than the sexual abuse of human corpses. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss necrophilia in the animal kingdom, including one rare case of "functional necrophilia" that actually produces offspring. Stay for the later half of the episode and you'll also plunge the psychological depths of human necrophilia in all its varied forms. See more »

Animal Sexual Fluidity

Why do some species change sex and how to they carry out this remarkable transformation? This episode of the STBYM podcast takes you into a world of hermaphrodites, clownfish and the high-stakes game of reproduction in the animal kingdom. See more »

What's the largest snake that has ever existed?

Everyone loves a giant snake tale, but what's really the largest serpent on the planet? Hunt for the answer across space and time in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. See more »

Mini-Gallery: Zoo Atlanta's Slimy Scaly Spectacular

A handful of photos from Zoo Atlanta's brand new Slimy Scaly Spectacular reptile and amphibian house... See more »