Origins and Extinctions: A Lesson from the Penguins of the Northern Hemisphere

Question:  What kind of bird is flightless, waddles standing upright on the ground, is an excellent swimmer, breeds in colonies on rocky shores, lives on a diet of fish and has a white belly and black back, and most importantly is not a penguin? The answer: The extinct great auk. You can think of the […]

NH Notes: Heat Sharing Huddling Penguins – A Benefit of Selfish Behavior?

In a paper entitled, “Modeling Huddling Penguins” in PLosOne (an Open Access journal) a few months ago mathematicians take on a difficult question in biology:  Do individuals organisms make decisions to share a resource for the greater good (altruism) or do they generally act only as selfish individuals.  It is very difficult to test the cause […]