Anatomy and Things

Lauren here. This is my anatomy, nature, inspiration, and tutorial reblog blog. My art blog is over at puppy-chow, where I keep most of the things I draw, big or small.

antinwo:

Occupy Monsanto

woah what? Since when has GMOs killed bees? The things killing bees are the commercial industry of trying to make as much food as possible, shipping hundreds of hives across-country packed tightly together on a truck with no ability to leave or excrete and allowing themselves to be exposed to various host parasites and bacteria, the fact that they are pressured into constantly moving in the first place, various pesticides and fungicides sprayed while bees are working and pollinating, stress, and other things that I can’t recall off-hand. But there is NO correlation between bees dying and GMOs, but there are a TON of correlations between colony collapse disorder and the things I mentioned above.

If you want to know more, the documentary More than Honey has a lot to say on it, and it never once mentions GMO foods.

(via lampfaced)

we-are-star-stuff:

The Most Unfortunate Design Flaws in the Human Body
Sometimes evolution is stupid, and the human body is proof. Here are the most problematic physical and behavioral “scars of evolution” we humans have to deal with.
In some respects, these “scars” can be seen as vestigial traits, but that’s not quite accurate. Rather, they’re examples of the various trade-offs and side-effects of evolution. They’re also not physical or psychological limitations per se (like our poor sense of smell or inability to grasp large numbers — those traits weren’t adaptive in our recent evolutionary past).
The Dual Function of the Pharynx
This is one of the most problematic “features” of the human body — and the cause of innumerable deaths throughout human history. Like many other primates, we’re forced to use the same anatomical structure for both ingestion and respiration. But when obstructed, airflow is blocked, which can lead to choking, and in some cases, death.
Our Inability to Biosynthesize Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a crucial role as an anti-oxidant and in collagen synthesis. But certain animals, such as primates, guinea pigs, and some bats and birds, have completely lost the ability to synthesize this compound. So, when Vitamin C-rich food sources are scarce, such as fruits, we experience a weakened immune response.
Also, because we can’t make all the vitamins we need, we carry a host of deadly bacteria in our bowels, which produce them for us. But when this process is disrupted, like a hole in the intestine, it can flare into peritonitis.
The Close Proximity of our Genitals to our Rectum
Not only is this aesthetically displeasing, it’s also unhygienic. Combined with our short urethras — especially in women — this leads to frequent urinary tract and bladder infections (UTIs) (remember, front to back, ladies).
Our Multi-Function Genitals
Relatedly, our genitals are forced to perform multiple functions. While on the one hand it can be seen as conservation in design, it creates health problems. Again, it’s unhygienic. For women, sexual intercourse pushes bacteria further into the urethra, leading to UTIs. Additionally, both men and women can contract UTIs from two sexually transmitted bacteria, chlamydia and mycoplasma. And of course, for women, this is also the part of the body where, in addition to sex and urination, newborn babies come out.
The Extremely Narrow Human Birth Canal
Speaking of which, human females have an unreasonably narrow birth canal, resulting in significantly increased risks to both mother and child during birth. In fact, death in childbirth used to be the leading cause of death for women during their reproductive years. This is a consequence of our quick evolutionary leap from quadrupeds to bipeds, resulting in our narrow pelvis — the passage through which newborn babies pass.
Our Over-Loaded Lower Backs
This is also a consequence of our transition from four-legged to two-legged creatures. According to paleoanthropologist Bruce Latimer of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio,

When humans stood upright, they took a spine that had evolved to be stiff for climbing and moving in trees and rotated it 90 degrees, so it was vertical. But so as not to obstruct the birth canal and to get the torso balanced above our feet, the spine has to curve inwards, creating the hollow of our backs. That’s why our spines are shaped like an “S.” All that curving, with the weight of the head and stuff we carry stacked on top, creates pressure that causes back problems. “If you take care of it, your spine will get you through to about 40 or 50” said Latimer. “After that, you’re on your own.”

The Overly Complicated Human Foot
Anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva of Boston University put it this way:

Starting with the foot, DeSilva held up a cast with 26 bones and said: “You wouldn’t design it out of 26 moving parts.” Our feet have so many bones because our ape-like ancestors needed flexible feet to grasp branches. But as they moved out of the trees and began walking upright on the ground the foot had to become more stable, and the big toe, which was no longer opposable, aligned itself with the other toes and our ancestors developed an arch to work as a shock absorber. “The foot was modified to remain rigid” said DeSilva. But the bottom line was that our foot still has a lot of room to twist inwards and outwards, and our arches collapse. This results in: ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and broken ankles. These are not modern problems; fossils show broken ankles that have healed as far back as 3 million years ago.
A better design for upright walking and running, DeSilva said, would be a foot and ankle like an ostrich. An ostrich’s ankle and lower leg bones are fused into a single structure, and their foot has only two toes that aid in running. “Why can’t I have a foot like that?” asked DeSilva. One reason is that ostriches trace their upright locomotion back 230 million years to the age of dinosaurs, while our ancestors walked upright just 5 million years ago.

The “Blind Spot” in Our Eyes
Our so-called “blind spot” is the result of a quirk that happens during embryological development. To deal with this, we’ve had to evolve elaborate and costly perception-correcting mechanisms. Esther Inglis-Arkell describes it like this:

Light gets into the eye by passing through the pupil. It hits the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is covered with light-sensing proteins. They relay what they sense to the optic nerve which carries the information back into the brain. The problem is, the optic nerve ends in the field of the retina itself. It creates a dark spot. Most of the time, the other eye will see what’s happening in its partner’s blind, but if the blind spots overlap while looking at a certain object, or if the person is only looking through one eye, the brain just fills in the spot looking at the surrounding picture.

A Single Set of Adult Teeth
This is where evolution got unreasonably cheap on us, providing humans with just one set of teeth for our entire adult lives. Once we hit 35, our teeth start to go — one of many signs that evolution primed us for reproduction, followed by a brief period of child-rearing, and pretty much nothing else.
Our fondness for sweet, salty, and fatty foods
Our bodies need sugar, salt, and fat — just not in extreme quantities. But in a state of nature, these foods are often scarce or difficult to preserve. That’s why we find these food unreasonably delicious and irresistible. But most of us now live in a world of tremendous abundance, and we consume these foods in ridiculous quantities, leading to all sorts of modern health problems.
Tribalism
Humans have a kind of ingrained fear or distrust of the “out-group”. It’s a previously adaptive trait that binds small groups of individuals together and prevents them from wandering off or joining other groups. But it also leads to ethnocentrism and divisions between groups. Studies show that oxytocin, while strengthening feelings of trust between individuals, increases fear of “the other”. This characteristic was obviously important back when we lived in family clans or tribal arrangements, but today it leads to all sorts of social problems, including racism, prejudice, and our inability to empathize with people we don’t immediately know.
Any Number of Cognitive Biases
Many of our cognitive biases — annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions — are a consequence of our limited intelligence and predisposed tendencies. Examples include the confirmation bias (we love to agree with people who agree with us), our tendency to neglect or misjudge probability, and the status-quo bias (we often make choices that guarantee that things remain the same). Some of these are adaptive traits, but others are simply cognitive deficiencies.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
This is an example of how we’ve potentially pathologized a perfectly “normal” human psychological characteristic. Because ADHD appears to have a genetic component (it affects about 5% of school-aged children), questions have been raised about its prior role as a trait required for survival, namely its adaptive function in hunter, fighter, and wader theories. But today, we see it as something maladaptive — something that needs to be treated. Put another way, and like our penchant for sweet, salty, and fatty foods, it’s a trait that’s not so much nonoptimal as it’s ill suited for present-day society.
[source]

we-are-star-stuff:

The Most Unfortunate Design Flaws in the Human Body

Sometimes evolution is stupid, and the human body is proof. Here are the most problematic physical and behavioral “scars of evolution” we humans have to deal with.

In some respects, these “scars” can be seen as vestigial traits, but that’s not quite accurate. Rather, they’re examples of the various trade-offs and side-effects of evolution. They’re also not physical or psychological limitations per se (like our poor sense of smell or inability to grasp large numbers — those traits weren’t adaptive in our recent evolutionary past).

The Dual Function of the Pharynx

This is one of the most problematic “features” of the human body — and the cause of innumerable deaths throughout human history. Like many other primates, we’re forced to use the same anatomical structure for both ingestion and respiration. But when obstructed, airflow is blocked, which can lead to choking, and in some cases, death.

Our Inability to Biosynthesize Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a crucial role as an anti-oxidant and in collagen synthesis. But certain animals, such as primates, guinea pigs, and some bats and birds, have completely lost the ability to synthesize this compound. So, when Vitamin C-rich food sources are scarce, such as fruits, we experience a weakened immune response.

Also, because we can’t make all the vitamins we need, we carry a host of deadly bacteria in our bowels, which produce them for us. But when this process is disrupted, like a hole in the intestine, it can flare into peritonitis.

The Close Proximity of our Genitals to our Rectum

Not only is this aesthetically displeasing, it’s also unhygienic. Combined with our short urethras — especially in women — this leads to frequent urinary tract and bladder infections (UTIs) (remember, front to back, ladies).

Our Multi-Function Genitals

Relatedly, our genitals are forced to perform multiple functions. While on the one hand it can be seen as conservation in design, it creates health problems. Again, it’s unhygienic. For women, sexual intercourse pushes bacteria further into the urethra, leading to UTIs. Additionally, both men and women can contract UTIs from two sexually transmitted bacteria, chlamydia and mycoplasma. And of course, for women, this is also the part of the body where, in addition to sex and urination, newborn babies come out.

The Extremely Narrow Human Birth Canal

Speaking of which, human females have an unreasonably narrow birth canal, resulting in significantly increased risks to both mother and child during birth. In fact, death in childbirth used to be the leading cause of death for women during their reproductive years. This is a consequence of our quick evolutionary leap from quadrupeds to bipeds, resulting in our narrow pelvis — the passage through which newborn babies pass.

Our Over-Loaded Lower Backs

This is also a consequence of our transition from four-legged to two-legged creatures. According to paleoanthropologist Bruce Latimer of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio,

When humans stood upright, they took a spine that had evolved to be stiff for climbing and moving in trees and rotated it 90 degrees, so it was vertical. But so as not to obstruct the birth canal and to get the torso balanced above our feet, the spine has to curve inwards, creating the hollow of our backs. That’s why our spines are shaped like an “S.” All that curving, with the weight of the head and stuff we carry stacked on top, creates pressure that causes back problems. “If you take care of it, your spine will get you through to about 40 or 50” said Latimer. “After that, you’re on your own.”

The Overly Complicated Human Foot

Anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva of Boston University put it this way:

Starting with the foot, DeSilva held up a cast with 26 bones and said: “You wouldn’t design it out of 26 moving parts.” Our feet have so many bones because our ape-like ancestors needed flexible feet to grasp branches. But as they moved out of the trees and began walking upright on the ground the foot had to become more stable, and the big toe, which was no longer opposable, aligned itself with the other toes and our ancestors developed an arch to work as a shock absorber. “The foot was modified to remain rigid” said DeSilva. But the bottom line was that our foot still has a lot of room to twist inwards and outwards, and our arches collapse. This results in: ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and broken ankles. These are not modern problems; fossils show broken ankles that have healed as far back as 3 million years ago.

A better design for upright walking and running, DeSilva said, would be a foot and ankle like an ostrich. An ostrich’s ankle and lower leg bones are fused into a single structure, and their foot has only two toes that aid in running. “Why can’t I have a foot like that?” asked DeSilva. One reason is that ostriches trace their upright locomotion back 230 million years to the age of dinosaurs, while our ancestors walked upright just 5 million years ago.

The “Blind Spot” in Our Eyes

Our so-called “blind spot” is the result of a quirk that happens during embryological development. To deal with this, we’ve had to evolve elaborate and costly perception-correcting mechanisms. Esther Inglis-Arkell describes it like this:

Light gets into the eye by passing through the pupil. It hits the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is covered with light-sensing proteins. They relay what they sense to the optic nerve which carries the information back into the brain. The problem is, the optic nerve ends in the field of the retina itself. It creates a dark spot. Most of the time, the other eye will see what’s happening in its partner’s blind, but if the blind spots overlap while looking at a certain object, or if the person is only looking through one eye, the brain just fills in the spot looking at the surrounding picture.

A Single Set of Adult Teeth

This is where evolution got unreasonably cheap on us, providing humans with just one set of teeth for our entire adult lives. Once we hit 35, our teeth start to go — one of many signs that evolution primed us for reproduction, followed by a brief period of child-rearing, and pretty much nothing else.

Our fondness for sweet, salty, and fatty foods

Our bodies need sugar, salt, and fat — just not in extreme quantities. But in a state of nature, these foods are often scarce or difficult to preserve. That’s why we find these food unreasonably delicious and irresistible. But most of us now live in a world of tremendous abundance, and we consume these foods in ridiculous quantities, leading to all sorts of modern health problems.

Tribalism

Humans have a kind of ingrained fear or distrust of the “out-group”. It’s a previously adaptive trait that binds small groups of individuals together and prevents them from wandering off or joining other groups. But it also leads to ethnocentrism and divisions between groups. Studies show that oxytocin, while strengthening feelings of trust between individuals, increases fear of “the other”. This characteristic was obviously important back when we lived in family clans or tribal arrangements, but today it leads to all sorts of social problems, including racism, prejudice, and our inability to empathize with people we don’t immediately know.

Any Number of Cognitive Biases

Many of our cognitive biases — annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions — are a consequence of our limited intelligence and predisposed tendencies. Examples include the confirmation bias (we love to agree with people who agree with us), our tendency to neglect or misjudge probability, and the status-quo bias (we often make choices that guarantee that things remain the same). Some of these are adaptive traits, but others are simply cognitive deficiencies.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This is an example of how we’ve potentially pathologized a perfectly “normal” human psychological characteristic. Because ADHD appears to have a genetic component (it affects about 5% of school-aged children), questions have been raised about its prior role as a trait required for survival, namely its adaptive function in hunter, fighter, and wader theories. But today, we see it as something maladaptive — something that needs to be treated. Put another way, and like our penchant for sweet, salty, and fatty foods, it’s a trait that’s not so much nonoptimal as it’s ill suited for present-day society.

[source]

(via jangojips)

masturdated:

HE HAS A GODDAMN MOTHER FUCKING SMILE ON HIS LITTLE FACE EVERYONE OMFG

He’s actually smiling on his butt
At least he’s happy in the end

masturdated:

HE HAS A GODDAMN MOTHER FUCKING SMILE ON HIS LITTLE FACE EVERYONE OMFG

He’s actually smiling on his butt

At least he’s happy in the end

(Source: awwww-cute, via octoswan)

unfriendlybambi:

f-emasculata:

REALLY just wanna take this chance to remind the people who follow me to not kill/trap opossums if they’re in your yard, and do not call animal control! Seriously.

  1. Opossums are literally 100% BIOLOGICALLY INCAPABLE of carrying rabies. Their body temperature is too cool to incubate it properly.
  2. Opossums are actually quite gentle and NOCTURNAL, so if they’re roaming, they’ve probably gotten lost, been injured, and are looking for a place to hide.
  3. Young opossums tend to try to climb into garbage cans when they’re starving. This is because THEY ARE LITERALLY STARVING. Don’t fucking shoot them or hit them with things because you wanna be some fucking macho top-of-the-food-chain cocksucker.
  4. Mama possums are amazing mothers and if you encounter an “aggressive” opossum, it’s probably because she’s got babies hanging off her nipple and she’s freaking out. They’re clumsy. Sometimes they don’t hear you coming and  you catch each other off guard.
  5. Wanna lure an opossum off of your property? You can set up a box with some greens and cat kibble in it, hide it well, and lure them out that way. They’re actually quite harmless and keep other predators away. they eat lotsa gross stuff.
  6. Opossum mamas who get hit by cars often still have their helpless babies attached to them. Possums get a bad rep and people say they are “the dumbest animal”, but they are incredible creatures who have been around since the days of fucking dinosaurs so treat them well, okay?

Aww!!!

While this is a good sentiment, I want to point out the fact that the Virginia Opossum can, in fact, get and transmit rabies; they are a mammal, and even if they have a lower likelihood of transmitting the disease, they still can get the disease and pass it onto other animals if that animal is attacked. In ANY situation with a wild animal like an opossum, do not approach the animal, especially if it appears during the day. Seeing a mammal like a raccoon, fox, or opossum during a time it is generally not active can mean the animal is sick and can transmit their disease.

So while it is good to be mindful of opossums, the most you should do is never know they are there, because they are shy and keep to themselves. Please remember that even though opossums are resistant to rabies, they

(Source: micromys, via raaynee)

bonemonger:


Babirusa
Babyrouse babyrussa
Indonesia
Right half of skull. Diet: Leaves, roots, fruits and animal material

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

bonemonger:

Babirusa

Babyrouse babyrussa

Indonesia

Right half of skull. Diet: Leaves, roots, fruits and animal material

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

(via blackbackedjackal)