Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Cover Story

Cover Story

Lions of the Caribbean

 The red lionfish hides in plain sight using stripes and fins that disrupt the b

The red lionfish hides in plain sight using stripes and fins that disrupt the body shape.

By Oona Lönnstedt & Mark McCormick

Despite the extravagent appearance of red lionfish, these voracious carnivores are virtually undetectable by small prey and are causing massive problems in the Caribbean. So why aren’t they taking over the Great Barrier Reef?

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Brilliant Memories for Dark Places

haunted house

By Oliver Baumann

We are usually not aware of it, but emotions exert a powerful influence over our memories by playing a key role in determining what we remember and what we forget.

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Were dinosaurs warm-blooded?

T. rex

There are several lines of evidence that the basal archosaurs were endotherms

By Roger Seymour

An analysis of muscular power reveals that cold-blooded crocodiles are poor models for our beliefs about dinosaur physiology.

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The Sacrificial Urge

Praying

Atheists aren’t immune to an irrational tendency to make sacrifices to a higher power.

By Stephen Luntz

A study finds that atheists will offer sacrifices to appease a higher being even if they experience no benefit – or even a punishment.

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The Obesity Paradox

Credit: iStockphoto

Credit: iStockphoto

By Tim Olds

In the past 10 years there has been no increase in the fatness of kids, either in Australia or in many developed countries. At the other end of life, fatter adults are living longer than lean adults. What can be going on?

Professor Tim Olds is group leader of the University of South Australia’s Health and Use of Time program.

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Final Resting Place of an Outlaw

The Baxter/ Kelly skull

The Baxter/ Kelly skull was stolen from the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1978, and handed in to authorities by Tom Baxter in 2009. A tooth, which had been in the family of a workman present at the gaol in 1929, fitted the skull perfectly. Credit: VIFM

By Samir S. Patel

Archaeological and forensic detective work led to the remains of Ned Kelly, one of Australia’s most celebrated, reviled and polarising historical figures.

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I Can Feel Your Pain

iStockphoto

Empathy for pain has conceptual commonalities with synaesthesia. Credit: iStockphoto

By John Bradshaw

Empathy for someone else’s pain shares common characteristics with synaesthesia, a sensory condition where individuals can smell music or taste colours.

John Bradshaw is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at Monash University. This article is adapted from a script broadcast on Ockham’s Razor, and has been updated with additional information from Bernadette Fitzgibbon.

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The Language of Emotions in Music

The enjoyment of music differs across dementia types.

The enjoyment of music differs across dementia types and could be something important to consider in the application of music therapies.

By Sharpley Hsieh

Patients who have been diagnosed with dementia are helping scientists determine which areas in the brain are necessary for identifying emotions in music.

Sharpley Hsieh is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Frontier Frontotemporal Dementia Research Group at Neuroscience Research Australia.

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Escape to Madagascar

Propithecus diadema, the diademed sifaka.  Credit: Mitchell Irwin

Propithecus diadema, the diademed sifaka. Credit: Mitchell Irwin

By Karen Samonds

Madagascar’s bizarre assemblage of fauna didn’t evolve from the fossils found on the island, so how did they get there?

Karen Samonds is a palaeontologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland.

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On the Crest of a Gravity Wave

Credit:Henning Dalhoff / Science Photo Library

Credit:Henning Dalhoff / Science Photo Library

By Stephen Luntz

Gravitational wave detectors may soon provide a new way of viewing the universe, but Australia has passed up the chance to have one located here – for now at least.

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