Barbara J King

Barbara J King appears in the following:

This Gibbon Knows Life's A Balancing Act

Sunday, March 29, 2015

At the Monkeyland Sanctuary in South Africa, an 8-year-old white-handed gibbon walks the tightrope of a suspension bridge with admirable nerve and skill:

The gibbon, a female named Siam, was filmed in 2013 (though I first saw the clip this week) at the outdoor sanctuary that rescued her from ...


What Drove Neanderthals To Extinction? Maybe Us.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Imagine that in a discussion with friends, the talk turns to invasive species and the cascading changes they cause in the ecosystems they colonize.

People begin calling out names and places: pythons in the Everglades; cane toads in Australia; lionfish in a wide swath of U.S. and ...


We May Have Snakes To Thank For Our Acute Vision

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In a new paper published in the journal Primates, author William C. McGrew, a former professor of evolutionary primatology at the University of Cambridge, reports a high rate of venomous snake encounters by his team of primatologists seeking to observe unhabituated wild chimpanzees in Mount Assirik, Senegal, West Africa.



Does Being Vegan Really Help Animals?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

More people are moving toward a plant-based diet, owing in part to evidence about human health and environmental sustainability, and in part to the emerging scientific consensus on the breadth and depth of animal consciousness and sentience.

Full disclosure: I am a pesco-vegetarian — I eat an ...


Winter Zen: Taking A Cue From Snow Monkeys

Thursday, March 05, 2015

We are about 15 days away now from the spring equinox — but winter is not yet done with us.

By measures of temperature and precipitation, winter 2015 has brought ongoing hardship to many in the U.S., perhaps especially in and around Boston, where epic blizzards continue ...

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A Toxic Stew: Risks To Women Of Public Feminism

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writer Michelle Goldberg published an op-ed piece last week in the Washington Post with a headline that conveys, in microcosm, an arresting story: "Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire."

In the piece, Goldberg recounts case after case in which a woman ...


Can You Hear Nature's Sounds?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Last week, South Florida's nature came alive for me as much through sound as through sight: the flapping of wings as a great blue heron soared up over a river; the plashing of water when an alligator slipped off the riverbank to swim away; the huffing of a manatee taking ...


A Valentine For People Living With Dementia

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This past weekend, when I visited my mother in her assisted living home as I do once or twice a week, I brought along a present. That's not unusual: She and I share a craving for chocolate, and I often bring her new varieties of dark chocolate, her favorite, and ...


Fossil Provides Evidence Of Early Human Migration To Europe

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Some 55,000 years ago, a person — female or male, we don't know-- lived in Manot Cave in the western Galilee area of what is now Israel. Judging from the partial skull recovered from the cave and described in Nature last week by Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv ...


Plight Of Baby Lab Monkeys Reaches Congress

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Earlier this week, three scientists, a famous actor-activist and a congresswoman spoke on Capitol Hill about why maternal-deprivation experiments conducted on infant rhesus monkeys at an NIH lab in Maryland do not represent ethical or effective science in the 21st century.

I was one of those scientists.

Although I've ...


Mind Your Moods, Cat Owners

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Babies "social reference" by checking out their parents' facial expressions and voice tones when they encounter a new or strange object or event in their environment — then base their own reactions on mom's or dad's. They look to their parents as they wonder: Is it OK to stay calm, ...

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What's Right About A 6-Year-Old Who Breast-Feeds

Thursday, January 15, 2015

When the British newspaper The Mirror reported in late December that a UK mother named Denise Sumpter was still breast-feeding her daughter Belle, who is 6 and a half years old, two experts were invited to weigh in on the practice.

One expert — a registered nurse, midwife and ...


My 'Word Of 2014': Privilege

Thursday, January 08, 2015

What was the top word of 2014?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it was "culture," based on increased frequency of use. "Of the top 10 words in the running for the honor, culture had a 15% year-over-year increase in look-ups on the dictionary company's website and in its app."

Oxford Dictionaries ...


Reflecting On The Year In Animals

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As a writer, my main beat is animals. Yes, I take up all kinds of science-and-society issues rooted in anthropology and psychology, ranging from human evolution to contemporary health, fitness and parenting, to rights for those who express their gender identity or sexual orientation in diverse ways. But animals are ...


Evidence That Chimpanzee Moms Can Be Sneaky, Too

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Because I teach biological anthropology, I'm reading a lot of student work this week that focuses on the African apes, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas. During this end-of-semester grading marathon, I've got a festive balance going: grade a handful of papers; grab a Christmas cookie; grade a handful more; wrap a ...


FIFA Begins Meeting After American Lawyer's Angry Resignation

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Soccer's governing body is meeting Thursday in Morocco, a day after the American lawyer, who spent two years investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cup, quit in protest at how FIFA handled his report.

Michael Garcia's resignation stems from events that began last ...


In Transgender Teen's Fight, Echoes Of Others

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What happens in a small, semi-rural community in a southern state when an "out" transgender student decides to speak up for his civil rights?

Here in Gloucester County, Virginia, where I live — not far from the Historic Triangle of Yorktown-Williamsburg-Jamestown — the answer is that all hell breaks loose.



Would You Run 3,080 Miles For Science?

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Scrolling through my Twitter feed this weekend, I saw a tip to follow biological anthropologist Bryce Carlson at Purdue University. I did — and wow! A fascinating new window on the science of extreme human endurance opened up.

Carlson heads an interdisciplinary team that will study the responses ...


On This Thanksgiving, Celebrating The Wild Turkey

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wild turkeys are a conservation success story in this country. As Washington Post reporter Michael S. Rosenwald noted last week, only 60 years ago fewer than half a million wild turkeys lived in the United States. The number now exceeds seven million.

This species revival came about, in part, ...


Can't Sleep? Maybe Thinking About Evolution Will Help

Thursday, November 20, 2014

If you're reading this after a night of inadequate sleep, or disrupted sleep, you have company. The National Sleep Foundation reports that over half the people in their survey experienced at least one symptom of insomnia "at least a few nights per week" over a year's period.

Tossing, turning ...