Calculating a Fearful Evolution of Godzilla

A movie monster, appearing in different forms in a series of movies, proves inspirational to two calculating scientists. They explain their calculations, in this study:

A Movie Monster Evolves, Fed by Fear,” Nathaniel J. Dominy and Ryan Calsbeek, Science, vol. 364, no. 6443, May 31, 2019, pp. 840-84. (Thanks to Tony Tweedale for bringing this to our attention.)

The authors, at Dartmouth College, explain:

The “evolutionary biology” of Godzilla is a topic of enduring interest among devotees…

Godzilla has grown signficantly since its debut, doubling in size in films produced between 1954 and 1991, a period defined by Cold War tensions and geopolitical instability in the Persian Gulf. Following a return to a more diminutive stature during a period of relative tranquility, it has resumed its rapid growth alongside an uptick in global strife.

BONUS (possibly unrelated): The Taxonomy of Barney