Studies say: Ice age humans feasted on ancient gargantuan sloths

Our semi-regular roundup of findings from the world of academia

Alberta: People who suffer one concussion are three times more likely to suffer another, according to a study from the University of Alberta that examined a decade of Edmonton emergency room data. The odds get worse. The study found patients who experienced a second head injury were six times more likely to have a third concussion.

Manitoba: Ice age humans living just south of the U.S.-Canada border more than 13,500 years ago feasted on ancient gargantuan sloths, according to a University of Manitoba researcher. After examining a 1,300-kg femur found nearly a century ago in what is now Ohio, the scientist concluded that it bore marks from ancient human stone “cutlery.”

Ontario: Long thought to be absent from the backwoods of Ontario, scientists say wild cougars have returned to the province. From 2006 to 2010, researchers reported sightings and analyzed footprints, droppings and fur. They said the returned cougars likely came from animals that escaped captivity, or were raised as pets and released. But they also said the wild cats might have been there all along.

Quebec: It can be tempting to ignore a howling three-year-old, but a Concordia University study found that toddlers whose parents respond positively to their demands for attention are more eager to learn and develop new skills. It’s not just a matter of how much attention parents give to their toddlers, the researchers noted, but that toddlers who come to expect high-quality attention from their parents will develop better.

Nova Scotia: A study led by a Dalhousie University researcher has found that doctors are advising “surprisingly few” obese patients to lose weight. Less than one-third of obese and overweight Canadians surveyed said their doctors told them to lose weight, while 40 per cent described their girth as “about right.” As obesity rates rise, researchers warn excess weight is becoming normalized.