Animal news: sex, violence and tar sands

From the February 2021 Harper’s Findings:

Verbal autopsy revealed many Bangladeshis have been attacked by rabid mongooses, and intergroup violence among wild banded mongooses was found to be initiated by females, who enjoy mating with extragroup males “in the midst of battle,” with the costs of fighting borne chiefly by intragroup males, a dynamic that suggests mammalian aggression occurs more readily when those who incite conflict do not suffer severe consequences.

Wow. So much in this, a lot of which suggests the subtle intelligence and wiles of females.


Canadian petroleum extraction was increasing the fragility of river otters‘ penis bones.

If I’m correct, “Canadian petroleum extraction” refers to Canadian tar sands, or oil sands, which are being mined in ways that have engendered mass protests.

The oil produced from these sands would be transported south via pipe lines. The most notorious pipe line is Keystone. Biden just revoked the Keystone permits. He may not realize he probably also saved the otters’ penises.

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