Featured image: A New World inhabitant riding an armadillo, one of the most unbelievable animals Europeans found when they sailed to the Americas. (Courtesy Canadian Library and Archives)
This episode, we interview Florencia Pierri, graduate student in Princeton’s Department of History and historian of science, to learn about reconciling the taxonomy of the Old World with the new discoveries of European explorers. How did mythical creatures–unicorns, dragons, mermaids–come into popular consciousness? How did sailors and merchants comprehend the new creatures they met in the Americas and on the seas? Turns out the absorption of a whole new evolutionary tree is a difficult undertaking for a culture that thought it already knew every animal! Join us to learn why armadillos and hummingbirds were so prized by Europeans, how the Jesuits felt about skunks, and how unicorns gradually receded from maps of the world.
In other 🐢 news:
- A pianist’s brain uses different circuits for playing jazz versus classical music, neuroscientists have found.
- Sea turtles are being scouted from the air: a new study counts them using drones, find that there are far more near the shore at a given time than previously thought!
- Because sea turtles’ genders are determined based on temperature, there are now 116 females for every male in one Australian population.
The playlist is available on WPRB.com or below.