Anthropology / Everything Human

When Sperm Compete, Nature’s Call Leads to Bigger … Testicles

Biology

  • Animalia

    The 19th Century anatomist Jones Quain dissected the human testicle, as illustrated by this engraving.

    When Sperm Compete, Nature’s Call Leads to Bigger … Testicles

    [In humans, the testes] are from an inch and a half to two inches long, about an inch and a quarter from the anterior to the posterior border, and nearly an inch from side to side. The weight of each varies from three-quarters of an ounce to an ounce, and the left is often a little the larger of the two. —Quain’s Elements of Anatomy, 1867 Success in …

  • "Race"

    The Black Lives Matter movement has brought issues of race to headlines across the United States.

    Why We Must Talk About Race

    I grew up a black woman in urban Los Angeles during the age of the civil rights movement. “Race” was all around me, woven into the fabric of my personal life, my community, my country. Perhaps it was inevitable that I would become a cultural anthropologist who studies how race works in the world. I’ve always wanted to know why. Why do we live in this community, and …

  • News

    Humans and Neanderthals interbred about 50,000–60,000 years ago. The genetic legacy of those liaisons, including possibly depression, is only now coming to light.

    I’ve Got the Neanderthal Blues

    New research suggests that depression risk, smoking addiction, and other health and cognitive traits may be partially shaped by the Neanderthal DNA that persists in modern humans.

  • Animalia

    What Is an Animal?

    What is an animal? Take a moment to think about it. Without doubt your dog and cat are animals, as are the birds singing out your window. What about an earthworm? Or a flea? Certainly they are. Have you ever walked along the beach and spotted a jellyfish or picked up a sand dollar? They are also animals. What do all of these creatures have in common, and …

  • Origins

    Homo erectus: The Winnie-the-Pooh of Fossil Hominins?

    Did you hear about the Homo erectus who lost all but one of his teeth? He died long after the empty sockets healed, his jaw bones almost as smooth as a sea turtle’s. This intriguing specimen (a cranium and mandible with museum numbers D3444/D3900) hails from a site called Dmanisi, in the Republic of Georgia, and paleoanthropologists involved in its discovery noted that it raises some interesting questions …

  • Origins

    Monkeys All the Way Down

    Everyone’s likely heard it or seen it written on a protest sign: “I didn’t evolve from a monkey.” It’s a well-worn refrain of those who resist the evolutionary perspective. The pat response we often hear is, “You’re right! We didn’t evolve from monkeys. We share ancestors with them.” However, this talking point isn’t entirely honest. Yes, we share ancestors with monkeys; we share ancestors with every living thing. …