Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Maasdam - Panama Canal cruisers - Thank You!!

Gatun Locks, Panama Canal from on board Maasdam, May 2016

Dear Friends from the Maasdam,

Thank you very much for being such a great audience!  Hopefully you've had a chance to regale your family and friends with tales of vineyards moving north, the Red Devils of the Sea of Cortez, and cooperative hunters communicating with the whites of their eyes!!

I presented some fascinating research on Human cooperation
(what's wrong with this picture...??)
PS: real apes don't have such highly visible white in their eyes
 In our species the sclera is bright white and the iris is colored, providing sharp visual contrast. When we look at someone, we can clearly see where their eyes are pointing independently of where their face is pointing, even at a considerable distance, thanks to the contrast between the sclera and iris.  Our eyes have evolved to enhance communication and cooperation - i.e., teamwork while hunting.  Other primate species try to keep their eye direction less discernible because they're not as interested in sharing. (see Nature 387, 767-768 (19 June 1997) Unique morphology of the human eye, Hiromi Kobayashi & Shiro Kohshima).  For more on this I highly recommend the book: Evolution for Everyone by David S. Smith.

And now, for your added enjoyment...!! Here's the clip I took of the Black-mandibled Toucan while we were on a shore excursion in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, feeding on the Cecropia tree.

Thanks again for a great voyage... hope to see you on another cruise!!  Our next cruise will be on the Rotterdam, Atlantic Adventurer, October 25 - November 19, NYC to Athens.

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All the best and happy travels!!
George & Jan