Reviews Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life's history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature. In the mids, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life's diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer HGTor the movement of genes across species lines.
Has Success Spoiled The Crow? For instance, me--I've developed a theory about crows. It goes like this: They suffer from being too intelligent for their station in life. Respectable evolutionary success is simply not, for these brainy and complex birds, enough.
They are dissatisfied with the narrow goals and horizons of that tired old Darwinian struggle. On the lookout for a new challenge. See them there, lined up conspiratorially along a fence rail or a high wire, shoulder to shoulder, alert, self-contained, missing nothing.
Waiting, like an ambitious understudy, for their break. Dolphins and whales and chimpanzees get all the fawning publicity, great fuss made over their near-human intelligence.
But don't be fooled. Crows are not stupid. They are merely underachievers. Most likely it runs in their genes, along with the black plumage and the talent for vocal mimicry.
Crows belong to a remarkable family of birds known as the Corvidae, also including ravens, magpies, jackdaws, and jays, and the case file on this entire clan is so full of prodigious and quirky behavior that it cries out for interpretation not by an ornithologist but a psychiatrist.
Or, failing that, some ignoramus with a supple theory. Computerized ecologist can give us those fancy equations depicting the whole course of a creature's life history in terms of energy allotment to hunger and motherly love, but they haven't yet programmed in a variable for boredom.
No wonder the Corvidae dossier is still packed with unanswered questions. At first glance, though, all is normal: The home life is stable and protective. Monogamy is the rule, and most mated pairs stay together until death.
Courtship is elaborate, even rather tender, with the male doing a good bit of bowing and dancing and jiving, not to mention supplying his intended with food; eventually he offers the first scrap of nesting material as a sly hint that they get on with it.Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life's history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature.
In the mids. "Walking Out" is the story of a father (Cal, played by Matt Bomer) and son (David, played by Josh Wiggins) reunited on an annual hunting trip.
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Oct 05, · Even when its plot starts to sag, “Walking Out” remains beautiful to watch. Set almost entirely in the wilds of Montana, the film revolves around a hunting trip taken by a father, Cal (Matt.