biology zoology blog Fathers milk lactation

Father’s Milk

Father’s Milk – a thing of the future?

In an encyclopaedia of 1909, I found the statement that the only mammal in which males are known to regularly supply milk to their offspring was a snowshoe rabbit in the Rocky mountains by the name of Lepus bairdii. Apparently this claim could not be substantiated later on, for the current view is that in spite of the presence of the nipples in many mammalian males, no male is known to normally lactate on a regular basis (but wait!). A combination of oestrogen treatment and nipple stimulation can, however, provoke lactation in male individuals of a wide range of animal species and spontaneous lactation, even in human males, is known. That male and female breast tissues aren’t terribly different is also borne out by the sad, but little known fact, that men, too, can suffer from breast cancer.

biology zoology blog frog Growing Older and Bigger isometrically or allometrically

Growing Older and Bigger: isometrically or allometrically?

Are we growing isometrically or allometrically?

Meeting old classmates at reunions can be enormously interesting, especially if one hasn’t seen one’s former classmates for decades. In my case it was 50 years that I hadn’t seen the “little boys” who as 10 and 11-year olds had been my buddies. Alex, who used to be one of the smallest had grown into a really big and strong man; Lindeman, who was a good swimmer even at age 10 seemed to have grown less upward than sideways and Thomas, who used to have such wonderfully shiny black hair, now was snow white; some of the others had no hair at all. A few had retained their childish features and proportions and even after 50 years were recognizable, but the majority had changed in size and proportions. —>—>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog cainism infanticide cannibalism

Cainism, Infanticide, Cannibalism

They’re not exactly pleasant behaviours

Has it ever happened to you that when you wanted to fry an egg and you cracked it open you found two egg yolks in it? If you had that experience you would probably have wondered whether two chicks could have developed from such an egg. Fact is that although two embryos may initially grow, one soon overtakes the other and causes its death, so that in the end only a single chick actually hatches. Can embryos really be so murderous?