Thursday, January 6, 2011

Editor’s Selections: Mourning Primates, Killer Storks, Language, and Relationship Costs

My first set of Editor’s Selections went live today at Research Blogging. Research bloggers were certainly busy over the holiday—there was no shortage of fantastic posts to choose!
  • Legend of the killer storks. At Laelaps Brian Switek masterfully dissects the news behind several superfluous headlines announcing the discovery of a monstrous stork using–what else?–evidence from the fossil record. Brian acknowledges that the birds may have been a threat to the diminutive Homo floresiensis, but cautions against hasty conclusions in the absence of evidence otherwise.
  • The language tree. Lucas Brouwers draws an interesting parallel between the fluidity of genes and languages at Thoughtomics, and discusses how the traditional model of viewing the evolution of genes and words via organizational trees often overlooks areas that overlap.
  • Mutualist matchmaking made simple. At Denim and Tweed, Jeremy Yoder investigates how the costs associated with mutualistic relationships ensure that mutualists get the best deal from their partners–and suggests that the cost-benefit model can be applied to other sorts of relationships.
I’ll be back next Thursday with more research from the social sciences.

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