I, Science News-18 November 2019

This week your I, Science News Round Up takes a lighter tone to match our weekly radio show (we got drunk and chatted about conspiracy theories – definitely worth a listen). Keep on reading to learn about New Zealand’s bird of the year 2019, a deer back from extinction, and the world’s first Vagina Museum.

Antisocial penguin wins New Zealand’s bird of the year

Following two weeks of intense campaigning, the antisocial hoiho penguin who communicates by screaming (we feel you hoiho – we feel you) has claimed the crown of the prestigious New Zealand bird of the year competition.

The result draws attention to the bird’s conservation status; it received more votes than there are hoiho left (four times as many), and could become extinct in New Zealand within 30 years if no action is taken.

Tiny mouse deer spotted for the first time in 30 years

After being feared to have gone extinct, the silver-backed chevrotain turned up on a camera trap in Vietnam whilst foraging for food.

The rabbit-sized deer-like animal (cute right?) was previously thought to have died out due to poaching and habitat loss (less cute).

“Discovering that it is, indeed, still out there is the first step in ensuring we don’t lose it again, and we’re moving quickly now to figure out how best to protect it,” says An Nguyen, a scientist and expedition team leader at Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).

World’s first vagina museum opens in north London

Are you sick of the misconceptions surrounding vaginas and other gynaecological anatomy? Well get yourself down to Camden as the world’s first vagina museum has officially opened, where its first exhibition ‘Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How to Fight Them’ aims to tackle these myths.

When asked about her motivation for the museum, which only exists thanks to a public fundraising drive, the director, Florence Creed, noted that she discovered a penis museum in Iceland but no vagina equivalent.

She also discusses how intersex and trans individuals aren’t represented in the usual narrative surrounding vaginas, and that the museum is an LGBTQ+ ally and an intersex ally; she hopes that the museum gives the chance to people, including cis heterosexual men, to come and learn.

This week’s news was written by Harry Jenkins, who is studying for an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London. Photo from Wikimedia commons

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