Category Food

Rafting Monkeys

We know of only three species of pre-historic mammals that managed to cross the Atlantic ocean between Africa and South-America. One of them was the now extinct Ucayalipithecus monkey about 35 million years ago. The other species of “immigrant” mammals were New World Monkeys, flat-nosed primates that are found in south and central America today. […]

Guts for Brains

The human brain is generally regarded as the organ that makes us stand out from all other forms of life. People have unusually large brains in relation to the size of the body: About 3x larger than that of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. And since the brain consumes a lot of energy, up […]

Royal (Feynmann) Antelope

The royal antelope is the smallest member of the deer family. It stands only 25cm tall and weighs a mere 3kg. It is closer in size to a pet rabbit than to other antelopes. Its evolution may have been the result of dietary strategy. Antelopes are herbivores, and each species tends to eat specific types […]

Japanese Miniatures: Akakomugi

Japan is the conceptual epicentre of shrink philosophy. Our ongoing series of Japanese Miniatures collects and connects these stories and hopefully eventually will be able to inspire some of the fundamental Japanese sensitivity and desire towards smallness in the rest of the world. Akakomugi, an old dwarf variety of wheat, is yet another perfect illustration […]

Micro-Livestock: A Possible Future

Although animal science has traditionally emphasized bigness, the 1991 report Micro-Livestock: Little-Known Animals with a Promising Economic Future shows that smallness has many advantages. If in the future the human species will become smaller, we will benefit from most of the advantages listed below. Small animals are cheaper and give faster return on investment since they […]

Small Chameleon’s Mighty Tongue

Chameleons employ a power amplification mechanism to ballistically project their tongue as far as two body lengths from their mouth to capture prey. To do so, the tongue is rapidly accelerated off the hyoid with the tongue subsequently traveling to the prey on its momentum alone. Dr Christopher Anderson a postdoctoral research associate at Roberts Lab of […]

The Tall Dutch

The Dutch are the tallest people in the world: its women stand almost 1.71 metres (5.6 feet) tall, and its men 1.84 metres. But how the Dutch became the world’s tallest people is still debated. Now a Dutch scientist, Gert Stulp, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that tall Dutch men […]

Japanese Miniatures: Hara Hachi Bu

In the west we start a meal by saying  “Have a nice dinner” or “Bon appetite”. We refer to the quality of the eating experience but never to the quantity. In contrast, on the Japansese island of Okinawa, they say “Hara Hachi Bu” which means “Eat until you’re only 80% full”. It wishes us to […]

Females to Mars

Last year Kate Greene took part in a NASA-funded research project called HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). It required that she and five other crewmembers live as astronauts on the surface of Mars. For four months they were cooped up in a geodesic dome on the side of the very Mars-like Mauna Loa […]

Co-Ex Interface

When first confronted with the idea of a human species with an average height of 50cm, initially most people express their fear for cats and dogs and how our diminutive size might affect our relationship with them. The Incredible shrinking Man doesn’t deny that this may represent a risk, even if some animals could shrink […]