Recent Paper Decent Puzzle is hosted by Dan Riskin, and produced by Meagan Perry. It’s a podcast with two parts: First, Dan breaks down a recent scientific journal article for the curious non-expert. Then Dan presents a fun puzzle.
This week early tetrapods pull themselves up on land by their eyes… metaphorically, that is. It’s the Buena Vista hypothesis and you’re going to love it.
MacIver, M. A., L. Schmitz, U. Mugan, T. D. Murphey, and C. D. Mobley. 2017. Massive increase in visual range preceded the origin of terrestrial vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1615563114.
…and the puzzle is about diagnosing a disease called stinky stink (perhaps named after something my 5-year-old says).
This week Shelby Riskin guest hosts to present this paper:
Flores, B. M., M. Holmgren, C. Xu, E. H. van Nes, C. C. Jakovac, R. C. G. Mesquita, and M. Scheffer. 2017. Floodplains as an Achilles’ heel of Amazonian forest resilience. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1617988114.
…and her puzzle is about Phosphorus. Enjoy!
If you want to check your answer for the Martini question, here’s a nice little PDF from Evan Brock.
Rattlesnakes use heat sensors to find warm-blooded kangaroo rats. So what will the k-rat do when it sees a snake? Have a listen.
The paper is:
Schraft, H. A., and R. W. Clark. 2017. Kangaroo rats change temperature when investigating rattlesnake predators. Physiology & Behavior DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.02.004
Mosquitoes make a different sound from other flies their size because they beat their wings twice as fast as other insects their size. With such a high frequency, you knew something weird had to be going on.
The paper is:
Bomphrey, R. J., T. Nakata, N. Phillips, and S. M. Walker. 2017. Smart wing rotation and trailing-edge vortices enable high frequency mosquito flight. Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature21727
…and the puzzle is about a martini.
When you hear people laugh, you are more likely to laugh. This kind of thing has never been shown for a bird before, so let’s do some playback experiments with keas!
Schwing, R., X. J. Nelson, A. Wein, and S. Parsons. 2017. Positive emotional contagion in a New Zealand parrot Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.020
Evan Brock has solved the mystery of Andy’s Heart. How this guy comes up with a graphic of a spleen, of all things, is beyond me!
This week we learn a lot about Neanderthals from the DNA in the crap in their teeth. There’s some neat stuff here.
The paper is:
Weyrich, L. S., S. Duchene, J. Soubrier, L. Arriola, B. Llamas, J. Breen, A. G. Morris, K. W. Alt, D. Caramelli, V. Dresely, M. Farrell, A. G. Farrer, M. Francken, N. Gully, W. Haak, K. Hardy, K. Harvati, P. Held, E. C. Holmes, J. Kaidonis, C. Lalueza-Fox, M. de la Rasilla, A. Rosas, P. Semal, A. Soltysiak, G. Townsend, D. Usai, J. Wahl, D. H. Huson, K. Dobney, and A. Cooper. 2017. Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature21674
This week’s puzzle is about coffee.
This week it’s a great story about “ant-loving” (i.e. ant parasitizing) beetles that hide among army ants by looking and acting and smelling like one of them. This has evolved independently multiple times, even though the rove beetles are a very old group with lots of time diverge.
Maruyama, M., and J. Parker 2017. Deep-Time Convergence in Rove Beetle Symbionts of Army Ants Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.030
The puzzle this week is called Andy’s Heart. Enjoy!
Puzzle 34 was called Ten Gloves, and Evan Brock has kindly provided a solution.