Frog Pants and Beyond

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Last month, I wrote a guest post about frog pants for the blog BuzzHootRoar that ended up garnering high levels of interwebs attention. I got the idea for it while reading the first chapter of Robert Martin’s book How We Do It, which I reviewed in the May–June issue of American Scientist. In addition to squeamish, ridiculous experiments (such as the frog pants experiment I talk about in both review and blog post), Martin’s book also draws attention to the inordinate number of questions that remain unanswered about the evolution of human sex biology and behavior. An example from the review:

“No other mammal potty trains its babies, and it remains unclear why people do. (In fact, most mammal mothers swallow their babies’ waste, so perhaps those who are potty training a toddler will not feel evolutionarily shortchanged here.) Breasts are not necessary for effective suckling nor are they reliably correlated with women’s health or nutrition, and no one agrees on why women have them. Some mammalian males do not have nipples. Science has yet to explain why men have retained them.”

You’ll have to read the review to get more of the goodies, or read the whole book. (Art for the BuzzHootRoar guest post, such as the illustration at left, by B. G. Merkle.)


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