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Species

Author: mackenmurphy.org

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"The host, Macken Murphy, is able to condense vast chunks of information into engaging and digestible episodes. Fact-filled and fun."
— The New York Times
234 Episodes
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Updates | 1.15.23

Updates | 1.15.23

2023-01-1602:47

I'm extremely busy and, unfortunately, pausing production on Species, at least for most of this month. If you sent me a donation in January and you want a refund, contact me through mackenmurphy.org, and I will be sure to send it back to you. My sincerest apologies.
"DNA isn't all that matters, but it matters more than everything else put together." —Dr. Robert Plomin Blueprint: https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262039161/blueprint/ Plomin is one of history's most important psychologists and a pioneer in the field of behavioral genetics. He is a research professor at King's College London, best known for his work on twins. In this podcast, Plomin explains how we know that genes impact our behavior, clarifies all the common confusions about the field, and pushes back against some of Macken's criticisms. Enjoy.
Updates | 12.18.22

Updates | 12.18.22

2022-12-1903:22

TikTok @mackenmurphy: https://www.tiktok.com/@mackenmurphy YouTube @murphymacken (I would buy the @mackenmurphy handle from you, if you have it): https://www.youtube.com/@murphymacken
Mimic Octopus

Mimic Octopus

2022-12-0521:44

Nature's greatest shapeshifter, the mimic octopus is known for their spectacular impersonations of other species. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CrxPPq4mAJpmmQTFIh51KzoHa1SZZv5C4dF-KyFB0ik/edit?usp=sharing
Women compete vigorously over mates but do so more subtly than men. In this episode, Dr. Tania Reynolds teaches us how women use gossip to win mates. Additionally, we discuss friendship, thinness, and the evolution of homosexuality, among other subjects. Tania Reynolds is an assistant professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Her research examines how intrasexual competition and cooperation contribute to psychological and behavioral sex differences. She investigates how pressures for humans' ancestors to select advantageous social allies—and be selected in return—contribute to modern-day preferences, biases, and behaviors. Connect with Dr. Reynolds on Twitter @TaniaArline, and keep up with her work using the links below: Department webpage: https://psych.unm.edu/people/faculty/profile/tania-reynolds.html Research: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tania-Reynolds  
Vegetarian Spider

Vegetarian Spider

2022-11-0622:49

This spider, Bagheera kiplingi, prefers a plant-based diet. Come learn about trees that pay ant security guards in gold, The Jungle Book, and an exceptional animal on this episode of Species. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XSUztDqSZWt1IM_IA9JnkFVqRZ14pd6YHCPQlu2jz4E/edit?usp=sharing
Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig

2022-10-1820:08

Not from Guinea, not a pig. Upcoming live events... 10 AM on October 26th: https://www.talesonmoonlane.co.uk/halftermfestival 2 PM on October 26th: https://www.moonlaneink.co.uk/moonlanestorytellingworkshops 2 PM on October 27th: https://www.moonlaneramsgate.com/
White-Tailed Deer

White-Tailed Deer

2022-10-0220:20

Come learn about predator-prey communication, Bambi, and the most-hunted big game animal in America on this episode of Species. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l947u7nmpJ-6e4_wkQt29WH7Lki-8I_hZLDFBhOWZfg/edit?usp=sharing
California Condor

California Condor

2022-09-1923:311

Find out how sock puppets aided the most insane conservation effort in history and learn everything about America's biggest bird. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SA3gYa9Xrq-sZxWkkqGWBbEbB1X0ZaaUGlFqLg-NN9w/edit?usp=sharing
Infidelity is almost ubiquitous among the Himba, an indigenous group of pastoralists living in Namibia and Angola. In this episode, I speak with a human behavioral ecologist who can help us understand why. UCLA's Professor Brooke Scelza (@bascelza) has studied reproductive decision-making in these people for about a decade. Her fascinating work has made progress towards understanding the rationale behind patterns of parental investment, fosterage, and infidelity. In this podcast, we focus on the last item on this list. Come learn about an interesting culture and view infidelity through a new lens on this episode of Species. 
Birdlike

Birdlike

2022-08-0717:07

An essay about birds, music, and evolution. https://tenderly.medium.com/birds-are-musicians-24b3d2dc5eb2
Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake

2022-07-2522:03

How come some Christians risk their lives to hold snakes? Why do snakes have forked tongues? Do snakes "see" heat? Listen and learn the answers to all these questions and more! Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14zL71mi0U2QGOdivbE_-ZomBBXVXDOKXc49R0yGR0UA/edit?usp=sharing  
Siamang

Siamang

2022-07-1027:501

Come learn about a singing, (mostly) monogamous acrobat! Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O9830gFU8gHBDzF70JSwqo-mvwq3dZ7VogcX3rFzDS0/edit?usp=sharing  
Tardigrade

Tardigrade

2022-06-2625:33

This microscopic animal can survive in outer space. Find out how and learn about the toughest animal on earth (and off of it) by listening to today's episode! Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NXu2AzNhIj7V_9jcISMvxolWlCAim0uzCLveJDYuFtQ/edit?usp=sharing  
Updates | 4.24.22

Updates | 4.24.22

2022-04-2407:00

Exam season is upon us. Until exams finish, I will be taking a hiatus from the show to focus. Donors, please feel free to pause donations until then; there are never any hard feelings from me, only gratitude towards you. Until we return, please feel free to enjoy the back catalogue, and the content below. - MM Animal Sidekicks: https://neonsquidbooks.com/books/animal-sidekicks/ Sentientist Conversations (definitely not for children): https://youtu.be/vzn-AhproxE Human Evolution: https://frstre.com/go/?a=95595-7e38d9&s=1771291-5cf1d5&p_affiliate.referral_code=mackenmurphy (If you can't afford a Listenable subscription, just use the free trial to listen and then cancel. Also: I get 30% of your subscription if you subscribe through that link, and you can get 30% off online using the promo code: mackenmurphy) Thank you so much for your support through the years, the journey is far from over.
Japanese Spider Crab

Japanese Spider Crab

2022-03-2716:47

This crab could give your car a hug. Come learn about Scottish fairies and fisheries on this episode of Species. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14X6sb9dx9wHqwiiPkm2-nLdnBuFYFXKOL_GzZq7dhkc/edit?usp=sharing
Parasitic Jaeger

Parasitic Jaeger

2022-03-0617:38

95% of this bird's food is stolen. Come learn about the greatest pirate in the animal kingdom and the largest cash heist in world history on this episode of Species. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ESVjx91TyWn3VeJc9dmuYHFCbmb9IEyDvfrKzfh7H48/edit?usp=sharing
Why did love evolve? In this episode, we hear from Dr. Helen Fisher about the three different kinds of love, how they benefited our ancestors, and how we can use our knowledge of them to improve our romantic lives. She gives us data-driven advice on how to choose a partner and how to keep your relationship happy through the months, years, and decades. Dr. Helen Fisher is arguably the world’s leading expert on romantic love. She is a biological anthropologist working as the chief science advisor at Match.com. Her TED talks have been viewed millions of times, she is the author of several books, and you can find her wonderful content at her website: https://helenfisher.com/
Brown Bear

Brown Bear

2022-02-0720:262

They run faster than Usain Bolt, they swim faster than Michael Phelps, they're stronger than Eddie Hall, and they're taller than Yao Ming. Come learn about brown bears on this episode of Species. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1poCmUlq0fHLEfTgdCDLjfSKcN-9PfRzN2wU3I1eJZFA/edit?usp=sharing  
Altruism's Allure

Altruism's Allure

2022-01-1723:35

Why do bad animals do good things? In this episode, Macken discusses some of the main reasons why humans do good, and dives into one of the little-known benefits of altruism. Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xc7hdGeVLuz-oqGH3jemg5lUzcGaL9aWXbfCOkvnXC0/edit?usp=sharing
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Comments (15)

Happy⚛️Heritic

YAY! Another new episode! This podcast is a treasure & the host is second to none.

Jul 11th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

Yay! New episode!

Jun 27th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

YAY!! YOU'RE BACK! -You were very missed.

Oct 12th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE INGRID! SHE'S MY HERO. ♥️

May 24th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

Fascinating! (as always)

May 5th
Reply

W K

Thank you for this passionated and informative podcast!

Jan 29th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

YES! ABSOLUTELY- ANIMALS SHOULD BE LEGALLY CONSIDERED AS PERSONS.

Jan 7th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

FASCINATING EPISODE!! I'm getting every book from this Harvard Professor.

Jan 4th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

Please don't ever apologize for a longer than usual episode! I could & (I would) listen to you for hours. In fact, I already do.... because ever since I discovered this AMAZING podcast a couple weeks ago I've listened to the entire show catalog & working on my second listening binge through them all again! YOU are a rock-star!

Oct 31st
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

The host is knowledgeable & talented- weaving up-to-date animal facts with an insightful & poetic philosophy. Definitely a 5- star podcast! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oct 30th
Reply

Joyce Yu Welch

This is soooo cool! Love your podcast!!

Jun 9th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

Great animal/nature podcast! I can't believe I only just now discovered it. Happy day, happy binge!

Apr 30th
Reply

Tessa Sus

Love this episode :) It shows kind nature of these beautiful birds whose lives are brutally shorten by non humane actions of humans. Great narrative, made me feel that I am just watching close by the life of mourning dove family :) Thank u Macken ♡

Sep 21st
Reply

Melissa Daenzer

had no idea beavers are so social! once happened upon beaver clearing =amazing! Ty 4 demonstrating the 💜 of this common critter! #love #oregon #beaver #podcast

Mar 11th
Reply

Melissa Daenzer

the cowbirds mafia comparison was brilliant! great talk about a common bird!

Feb 11th
Reply
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