23 March 2008

Spicy Foods and Adolescent Mammoths--Random Biological Thoughts of Little Value

1. Do any species of non-human animals like spicy food?

As a kid, the spiciest thing I ever ate was the mild taco sauce at Taco Bell. Then in college I discovered jalapenos. I have a vivid memory of eating a pizza with extra jalapenos with my friend, Dan Koerner, at the Pizza in Greenville, Illinois, as we competed to see who could go longest without taking a drink (out of desperation, we agreed to a tie, and simultaneously took a big gulp of soda pop).

When I moved to San Francisco, I discovered Thai food, and then married into a Dutch-Indonesian family, and became devoted to Indonesian food (so rare to find here in the States).

But what about other animal species? It seems unlikely, but then why would humans be different--what would be the cause?

2. Adolescent male mammoths were sexually frustrated.

I watched a documentary on mammoths yesterday. Apparently the males reached sexual maturity at about 15 years of age, but had no hope of successfully competing for mates until they were about 35, leaving them 20 years of raging hormones. The researcher interviewed claimed this caused a lot of bad behavior among young male mammoths, much like young male humans.

Now this makes more sense. We're social mammals, mammoths were social mammals, so I'd expect a conclusion like this.

But....how do they know?!

And would they have acted even worse if they'd been chewing jalapenos?

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