April Sci-shimi: Penis Wars and Angry Birds

By Christie Wilcox | May 2, 2014 2:28 am

Welcome to Sci-shimi, my monthly roundup of  great science online! Like a delicious, fresh platter of sashimi, these tasty links are meant to be shared —どうぞめしあがれ 

This month’s mind-blowing science moment: An insect where the female does the penetrating during mating with a sexual organ never before described. Is it a penis? Ed says yes, Annalee says no. What do you think?

Best long-read: What’s in a name? Susan Milius explores fungal taxonomy.

Runner up: Angry Birds Part 1, Barbarism From Above by Jake Buehler. Think birds are fluffy and cute? Think again. (And don’t say I didn’t warn you it is a LONG read…)

Time for a little spring cleaning: Joe Hanson explains the Science of Dust.

A fantastic post from Maggie Koerth-Baker questioning what we consider the “norm” in resource use.

Ed Yong explains how a mouse turns scorpion venom into a painkiller.

Dr. M’s favorite sponge feeds on the flesh of crustaceans by snagging them with velcro-like spicules.

Why do we think our food is toxic? Beth Skwarecki dives into the science of nutritional fears.

How taking another’s crap saves lives: the science of fecal transplants.

Parasites rule: Malcolm Campbell explains why dogs love to roll in worms.

In palaeontology, there are so many things more important than dinosaurs.”

Tons of space, no noisy neighbors: a very Earth-like planet found.

“No really, I’m not contagious”—why you should never trust your sick friends.

Are alligators going to help reduce our dependence on oil?

Really, really bad luck: Carl Zimmer explains how the 1918 flu pandemic may have just been a fluke.

Meet Linda Gormezano, Polar Bear Poop Tracker” Yes, this job exists. And her dog is even better at it.

Where do cosmic words come from? Corey Powell investigates.

No neanderthals—why our closest relatives may not have been as dumb as we thought.

The rats are winning: how losing large mammals increases our risk of rodent-borne diseases.

False front: a leaf-shifting vine that mimics other plants.

Jumping spiders are the corgis of the spider world.”

A “real life Pokemon that can regenerate missing limbs”: meet the axolotl!

Would you use a jellyfish tampon?

Social insects: wasps with facial recognition.

The tsetse fly genome may help scientists fight deadly disease.

Deep science explains why volcanos have different eruptions.

Some serious leaves from a serious native Hawaiian plant—that also happens to be in serious trouble.

Farting away: gas might indicate healthy gut bacteria!

Listen to the world around you—a beautiful essay on acoustics.

Why does this balloon appear to defy physics? Rhett Allain explains.

Who you calling ugly? The blobfish only looks that way when you take it OUT of water!

The crew who brought you Sharknado, now helping to bring you Science!

“There may not be an “I” in “team” but there are two in “championship””—why pro players are more selfish during the playoffs.

The sounds in our oceans are blinding marine mammals.

Eat up! Insects are a great source of protein.


Have something to add? Tweet me link suggestions with the hashtag #scishimi!


Science Sushi

Real Science. Served Raw.

About Christie Wilcox

Dr. Christie Wilcox is a science writer based in the greater Seattle area. Her bylines include National Geographic, Popular Science, and Quanta. Her debut book, Venomous, released August 2016 (Scientific American/FSG Books). To learn more about her life and work, check out her webpage or follow her on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.


See More


@NerdyChristie on Twitter

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar