When I first saw today’s Google Doodle, with the initial animation of a goose nurturing its young, I thought it must be Konrad Lorenz’s birthday. But then the cheetahs and rabbits appeared, and I knew Lorenz didn’t study those. Then I had my “aha” moment: it’s Mother’s Day.
What I like about the Doodle is its depiction of a connection between maternal behavior in taxonomically diverse species which, to me, means a commonality of natural selection promoting that behavior: kin selection. Behaviors promoting the nuture of relatives also promote the replication of genes fostering those behaviors. So, though I don’t know if Google intended it, there’s an evolutionary lesson.
Here’s the animated Doodle:
My own mother is long gone, but for those of you who still have one, or are mothers yourself, remember that the celebration of Mother’s Day is also a celebration of the power of evolution to mold behavior!