A male dog will whine and beg in deference to a stronger dog, but will lower its voice into a guttural growl if it thinks it has a fighting chance.
Men unconsciously do a similar thing, scientists say.
A new study finds that the lower the pitch of a man’s voice, the more physically dominant other men think he is. And men lower their voice pitch when addressing a man they believe to be less dominant than themselves, but raise it when speaking to someone they think is more dominant.
The findings, detailed in the July issue of the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, could help explain why vocal pitch in men and women are so different.
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(Image: J Racusin)
In March, astronomers spotted the brightest gamma-ray burst they’d ever seen. It had detonated from halfway across the universe but was so bright it was visible to the naked eye. What made it so dazzling? It turns out it was a sort of cosmic death ray – when a massive star in the distant universe died, it shot out a high-speed jet of particles straight at Earth. It’s a good thing the star lay safely 7.5 billion light years away – GRBs within 6500 light years of Earth could produce enough radiation to strip away the ozone layer and cause a mass, or even total, extinction – a terrifying prospect indeed.
Saturn’s moon Mimas looks for all the world like the Death Star – the planet-destroying space station from the movie Star Wars – in this Cassini image taken in 2005. The giant crater at the centre of the image, called Herschel, was probably gouged out by an enormous asteroid impact. If the asteroid had been any bigger or had been moving much faster, it probably would have split the moon in two. (Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)