zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog animal round protection

Round is Beautiful

And offers protection

Humans, perhaps because of the form of their own heads (or a distant memory of where their very first nourishment came from), have a particular relationship to round shapes. Big round eyes, bulging foreheads and puffy cheeks touch parental instincts and elicit exclaims such as “Gosh, how cute”. Images of angels, but also seal pups, polar bear cubs and, of course, human babies come to mind. Spheres may be beautiful from an aesthetic viewpoint, but they are also fascinating to mathematically interested people, as they represent perfect shapes whose characteristics like circumference and surface area can only be approximated on account of the open-ended decimals of the number π (pi). —>


Embalmed and Largely Overlooked

Animal mummies

In many religions, past and present, admiration to the extent of idolatry of certain species of animals is commonplace. Little wonder then, that special burial rites evolved to pay homage to the holy or otherwise revered animals and in the USA and many countries elsewhere too, there are nowadays graveyards especially for pets and often proper funeral services. In India even today a pious Hindu family would not simply bury their dead cow, but give it a proper cremation, an honour not bestowed upon the family dog or a monkey in the garden. —>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog sound music Florian Nock

Our Humans’ Musical Past

Where does our musicality come from?

There are some human beings, myself included, who would argue that they could not live without music. It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy singing in a choir (like I did for many years), whistle or hum a tune to yourself or just listen to some good music: music is part of our lives. And it is important to highlight and make major events like inaugurations, celebrations, preparation for battle, funeral ceremonies, birthday parties, etc. more memorable. But what exactly is music and, in addition to humans, aren’t there musical animals as well, howling, warbling, singing, chirping, crooning their melodies into the world? —>