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Interesting stuffs – 19

Exciting things I learned and read during the week (21 Nov – 26 Nov):

  1. How Wild Turkeys Find Love

“For starters, turkeys of a feather flock together. Males, known as toms, can form lifelong flocks with their brothers. .. These bands of brothers cooperated to court females, or hens, and chase off competing males.”

“Remarkably, though, only the dominant male mated and fathered offspring. The subordinate brothers served as “wingmen,” “bodyguards,” or “backup dancers,” to use Dr. Krakauer’s colorful descriptions. “They have what I think of as a support role,” he said.”

“They’re helping their brother get a lot more females than either of them would get on their own, so this cooperation seemed particularly helpful,” explained Dr. Krakauer. “That seemed to be surprising for people at the time.”

 “While brothers generally cooperate during the mating season, intense fighting breaks out at other times, as they jostle for rank. “

“While males are aggressive with each other, they aren’t aggressive toward females and do not force copulations, despite being twice the size of their mating partners. So while males may strut with abandon, females ultimately choose their mates. They’re picky about partners and know what they want: males with long snoods.”

“Snoods are the fingerlike fleshy protuberances that flop over a turkey’s beak. The animals can contract and relax muscles and blood vessels in their head and neck, causing changes in the organ’s length and color. A tom sporting a long red snood draws the attention of hens like flies to honey — although, to their credit, the hens manage to be coy about it.”

2. Reckoning With Memories of Budapest

3. Meet the Mice Who Make the Forest

“People see that a forest is regenerating,” Dr. Mortelliti said. “But what people don’t see is that the forest is regenerating following the decisions of small mammals.”

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