Animal Misfits

A kakapo, the world’s heaviest and only flightless parrot. Photo credit: ©Shane McInnes

Nature’s Animal Misfits airs on WSKG TV December 30th at 8pm. Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits, odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures that at first glance seem ill-equipped for survival. Left at the starting line in the race for life, these are the apparent losers in the story of evolution, yet somehow they manage to cling to life and in some cases even thrive. There is great diversity in the animal world, but it seems those species known for their speed, intelligence and strength are often singled out and celebrated, while creatures who may look or act differently are overlooked.

New Normal?

                                                                   photo: (Koshyk/flickr/CC-BY-2.0)
Evolution results from the ability of organisms to change. But how do you tell the difference between a sea change and a ripple in the water? Is a peacenik baboon, a man in a dress, or a cuddly fox a sign of things to come? Or just a flukey outlier from the norm? And is there ever really a norm?

Looking Back

This week on Radio Lab,  we peer into evolution with a surprisingly intimate look at the life and death of two individuals we all call ancestors. Plus! The history of everything, including you.  

The desire to trace our way back to the very beginning has lead to unprecedented discoveries. Today, three stories that give us a surprisingly intimate peek into the life, and death, of those who came before.