Monday, September 04, 2006

 

Snakes on the Brain (New York Times)

Smooth Green Snake NASA Isbell Primate Vision (Evolution Research: John Latter / Jorolat)Op-Ed article by Lynne Isbell: Snakes hit a nerve in people. How else to explain why the movie "Snakes on a Plane" became an Internet sensation months before it was released in theaters? The very idea was all it took to rouse attention.

That humans have been afraid of snakes for a long time is not a fresh observation; that this fear may be entwined with our development as a species is. New anthropological evidence suggests that snakes, as predators, may have figured prominently in the evolution of primate vision - the ability, shared by humans, apes and monkeys, to see the world in crisp, three-dimensional living color. [Theatres, Colour]
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The blog report of the news release "Fear of Snakes Drove Pre-Human Evolution" (posted Saturday, July 22, 2006) contains this link to the Abstract of Isbell's paper "Snakes as agents of evolutionary change in primate brains" (Journal of Human Evolution).

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