Episode 77 – Red-Capped Manakin: The Moonwalking Glitch Bird

“And today we’re talking about a bird that claps for himself. But more on that later.”

Dance is the language of love. Or at least, that’s the motto of a variety of birds in rain forests around the world. Some animals fight for their mates, but why do that when you can settle things with style? One small South American bird takes his dance to the next level buy incorporating some moves that are big on the pop scene. But when your a bird of very small stature, you have to do whatever it takes to catch the eye of an eligible bachelorette in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

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Episode 76 – Cuckoo Bird: Lazy Not Crazy

“Today we’re talking about a crummy parent and a nasty little child. But more on that later.”


Like the social programs that Ayn Rand despises so much, parasites exist to profit off of someone else with no benefit to the host. The cuckoo bird likes making kids, but hates raising them. They’re a lot of work, and they’d rather fly around and squawk at things rather than be parents. So they take the sleazy parasite route. But how can they get anyone else to feed and spank their kids? It’s all about being the biggest bird in the bush here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

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Episode 68 – Honey Badger: The Badger Who Lived

“And today we’re talking about the John Wick of weasels and like John Wick, you just don’t want to get in it’s way. But more on that later.”

The plains of sub-Saharan Africa are a dangerous place for mid- to smallish-sized mammals. There are lots of predators that want to make a meal out of you and your posterity. For the honey badger, there is no middle ground—it’s all or nothing. Don’t let its dame fool you, the badger is always ready to put up its dukes and fight to the death with anything that rubs it the wrong way. To be this aggro, the honey badger needs to have some interesting tools in its survival kit that can only be described here in Life Death and Taxonomy.

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