Muhammad Mahdi Karim‘s photo of Rock Pigeon, Columba livia, Bangalore India
Muhammad Mahdi Karim‘s photo of Rock Pigeon, Columba livia, Bangalore India

Cosmic Queries – Animal Outlaws with Mary Roach

Muhammad Mahdi Karim/ The making of this document was supported by Wikimedia CH. For all the files concerned, please see the category Supported by Wikimedia (GFDL 1.2 or FAL), via Wikimedia Commons
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Video

About This Episode

What happens when nature commits a crime? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Paul Mecurio discuss law-breaking animals with Mary Roach and her new book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks The Law. Can we hack nature?

What animals in nature would break laws if they were a part of our society? We discuss the ways animals exist in human society, deer crossings, and when animals jaywalk. Can animals keep up with changing technology? Learn about FID, flight-initiation distance, and what Neil has against pigeons. Why are there no white pigeons? What strange alliances exist in the natural world? Are bears worried about farmed salmon?

Is there a reason that humans hunt apex predators? Discover the story behind pigeons in New York City, how the 1918 pandemic impacted leopards, and what “rewilding” means. Can a parcel of undisturbed land become a beautiful forest or must it be managed? Discover the history of flightless birds and stoats in New Zealand. Can we ever stabilize an environment? Can we coexist with the natural world?

In what ways have human contributions helped other animals? Find out about danger trees and how explosives can be good for wildlife. We beg the question: Do bald eagles have any dignity? How do wildfires impact wildlife? Are animals able to escape the blaze? You’ll learn about how cities are making animals larger and what repercussions that has on nature. How come rats aren’t bigger than they are? Are humans speciesist? Is it possible for advanced civilization to be more balanced? All that, plus, what’s the deal with a rat’s ass? 

Thanks to our Patrons Hunter Cutone, Roman Cain, Yoshi Wiklund, Tec MySelf, Jonathan Harries, Net Identification, and William Davis for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.


In This Episode

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more

Episode Topics