Media and Press

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Headbutts hurt the brain, even for a musk ox

Punishing headbutts damage the brains of musk oxen. That observation, made for the first time and reported May 17 in Acta Neuropathologica, suggests that a life full of bell-ringing clashes is not without consequences, even in animals built to bash...

Headbutting animals can accumulate brain damage

Animals like mountain bighorn sheep and muskox compete for mates and social dominance by slamming their heads together with massive force...

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Bovine Neuropathology (HEADBUTTING) with Dr. Nicole Ackermans

Slamming heads together to impress someone: why does this happen? Let’s ask Dr. Nicole Ackermans, whose current job involves receiving sheep heads and painstakingly counting damaged neurons from headbutting concussions. The Neuropathology episode last week gives all the concussion basics, but this one turns the microscope away from accidents and points it right at intentional behaviors in nature, from bighorn sheep to musk oxen, goats, woodpeckers, and some other animals that will freak you out.

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Why some animals evolved to sacrifice themselves

From headbutting muskoxen to self-sacrificing bees, evolution favors populations, not individuals.