How Did Dinosaurs Become Birds?

Most paleontologists agree that birds are living dinosaurs, the distant evolutionary descendants of animals like Tyrannosaurus rex. Less clear, however, is how dinosaurs evolved into the birds we know today. » 2/18/15 4:30pm 2/18/15 4:30pm

These Kinetic Bird Sculptures Will Leave You Completely Mesmerized

Some of these moving, biomechanical bird sculptures look like they're about to take flight, while others resemble bizarre Muppets made over in metal. But one thing that they all have in common is that they are deeply satisfying to watch, with possibilities for special effects and industrial design alike. » 12/16/14 3:00pm 12/16/14 3:00pm

Future Astronauts Might Walk, Not Hop, On The Moon

Why do astronauts hop on the moon? After carefully watching hapless volunteers use a treadmill under variable gravity, researchers think it had more to do with the stiffness of spacesuits than anything else. » 10/06/14 11:38am 10/06/14 11:38am

Did You Know Kangaroos Have 5 Limbs?

Kangaroos are famous for their hopping, but a slow-moving roo relies more on its tail to get around than either of its feet. The result is a what biologists call a five-limbed, i.e. "pentapedal," gait. Yes, you read that correctly. The kangaroo is a pentaped – perhaps the only one on Earth. » 7/02/14 3:40pm 7/02/14 3:40pm

Scientists Tackle the "Faceplanting" Phenomenon

Admit it — you've watched those videos where people crash into something and then faceplant into the ground. It turns out that scientists have been watching them too. Here's what they've discovered. » 5/29/14 6:00pm 5/29/14 6:00pm

The Fastest Animal (Relative to its Size) Is Really, Really Fast

The world's fastest land animal (again: relative to its size) is Paratarsotomus macropalpis, a sesame-seed-sized mite native to southern California. Scientists recently clocked P. micropalpis traveling 322 body lengths per second – which, to scale, would be like a person running 1,300 miles per hour. » 5/01/14 9:40am 5/01/14 9:40am

How Do Red And Giant Pandas Coexist? The Secret Is In Their Skulls.

Red pandas and giant pandas have more in common than simply being equally adorable and included on the IUCN Red List. They both eat bamboo and live in the same habitats. How do they coexist without competing over the same resources? The secret might be hidden in their skulls. » 4/10/14 8:47pm 4/10/14 8:47pm

Video reveals incredible "acrobat" and "hunter" birds in flight

Not all birds fly the same way. Hardly a revolutionary statement (you don't need a firm grasp of biomechanics to recognize that a sparrow gets around differently than an albatross). But things get more interesting when you stop to examine the differences. » 8/16/13 4:00pm 8/16/13 4:00pm

Incredible X-ray video captures a bat in flight

To better understand why bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight, a team of biologists at Brown University is examining ultra high-speed X-ray videos of fruit bats as they launch themselves into the air. » 7/07/13 7:30am 7/07/13 7:30am

These super slow-motion clips of birds flying are awesome

Stanford University researchers want to build better flying robots. In order to eventually do this, they are filming birds in flight (including hummingbirds) using an ultra-high-speed video camera. Some of the clips they've acquired are nothing short of amazing. » 7/05/13 9:30am 7/05/13 9:30am

We finally have an accurate measurement of a cheetah's top speed

For years, the top speed of the world's fastest land animal has been listed as 64 miles per hour – but that record is based on a single measurement, taken all the way back in the 1960s. So researchers flew to Botswana, where they outfitted wild cheetahs with motion- and acceleration-tracking collars. After measuring… » 6/12/13 11:22am 6/12/13 11:22am

Allosaurus Ate Like a Terrifying Two-Ton Falcon

Tyrannosaurus rex was a thrasher, prone to vigorously shaking its powerful, prey-packed jaws from side-to-side like a crocodile. But new simulations reveal Allosaurus was equipped to dismember its prey with a little more decorum, stripping flesh from bone not with the head-swinging motion of a croc, but the meticulous… » 5/21/13 12:07pm 5/21/13 12:07pm

Holy crap, this ant's jaws are like a freaking bear trap

Everyone, these are trap-jaw ants. The two featured here are fighting. Watch them closely – even in slow motion, the the spring-loaded snap of a trap-jaw's maw is powerful enough to send both ants twirling in opposite directions in the blink of an eye. » 4/26/13 9:20am 4/26/13 9:20am

Could you outrun a Tyrannosaurus rex?

Just how quick was the great tyrant lizard, exactly? Experts in biomechanics think she was pretty damn quick – but still probably not as fast as you think. » 4/05/13 11:51am 4/05/13 11:51am

Penguins teach humans to walk on ice without getting injured

Loving this little graphic from the folks at TABLET Infographics (see below for the full image). The penguin's waddle is an age-old and oft-cited technique to avoid seriously injuring yourself while walking on ice, but be advised: moving like a penguin can be exhausting. » 2/12/13 11:17am 2/12/13 11:17am

Watch this now. We bet you've never seen a more stunning video of a…

This is the first ever high-definition, super-slow-motion video footage of sprinting cheetahs, which — I think we can all agree — are basically the reason high-frame-rate video cameras were invented. So stop it. Stop what you're doing and watch this. Because this is more important. » 11/27/12 1:28pm 11/27/12 1:28pm

Science settles some decades-old debates about the best way to swim

As we go into the final two days of Olympic swimming — the men's open water 10k is today –- scientists are already telling swimmers how to improve their stroke for the next Olympic Games. Two different studies are reconsidering the biomechanics of swimmers' pulls, a hotly debated topic among coaches and athletes. » 8/10/12 4:02pm 8/10/12 4:02pm

Robot dinosaurs are the future of paleontology

Since dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, there's only so much we can really know about how these creatures moved and lived. But as two scientists explain to us, building robot dinosaurs could unlock the secrets hidden in fossils. » 2/21/12 2:33pm 2/21/12 2:33pm

High-speed video reveals the surprising beauty of moth flight

If asked to describe a moth's flight, I doubt many of us would use an adjective like "graceful." Neurotic? Yes. Flap-happy? Absolutely. But years of watching moths careen headlong into patio lights and bug lamps have left most of us with a decidedly unremarkable impression of these bugs' flying abilities. » 2/01/12 9:20am 2/01/12 9:20am

Tyrannosaurus rex was much, much bigger than we thought

An international team of researchers has used three-dimensional laser scans to determine that Tyrannosaurus rex were likely 30% more massive that we once thought — and a whole lot hungrier. Be honest, now...how many of you woke up this morning thinking you'd hear the words "three-dimensional laser" and "Tyrannosaurus… » 10/13/11 3:15pm 10/13/11 3:15pm