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This edition: Season 3, Episode 10: "Zootopia"/TMNT - James Hanken

Episode Details

Original tape date: September 23, 2016.

First aired: February 17, 2017.

In episode #310 of Science Goes to the Movies, Director of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, James Hanken, joins the show to talk about animal behavior as its depicted, and not depicted, in the animated Walt Disney film, Zootopia. Hanken offers insights on the underrepresented and underappreciated complexity of animal behavior—when predators cuddle, for instance, instead of attack, and when prey get predatory. He weighs in on the question of whether the ability to transcend instinct is unique to humans, as is commonly thought, and a possible real-life inspiration for the poisonous plants in the film—called “Nighthowlers”—is revealed, along with Hanken’s favorite reptile TV commercial spokesman—it’s not the Geico Gecko!

Guest List

James Hanken Director, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology

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