Some Intriguing New Hints About What Ant Consciousness Is Really Like

They build cities. They farm. They make war. Ants do a lot of things that seem uncannily human — and yet they’re profoundly alien, part of a hive mind called a social organism. What does that feel like to each individual ant? Now a new scientific paper suggests that there is always doubt in the hive mind. » 6/12/15 9:29pm 6/12/15 9:29pm

Your Yard Is A Firefly Meet Market, And You Can Help Scientists Study It

The twinkly flashing lights of fireflies are a classic sign of summer, but the insects aren’t blinking for your aesthetic benefit. They’re courting in an absolutely cutthroat meet market, and some scientists are afraid that human activities could be making it harder for them to succeed. This summer, you can help… » 6/08/15 5:48pm 6/08/15 5:48pm

These Animal Hatching Videos Could Inspire Some Freaky Horror Films

If you want to design a truly bizarre alien creature, you really don’t need to look farther than our own animal kingdom for inspiration. And some Earth-dwelling critters look especially odd when they’re first hatching into the world. Don’t believe us? Check out these videos of not-so-cute hatchlings. » 5/20/15 4:00pm 5/20/15 4:00pm

Three Things You Probably Didn't Know About Crab Lice

Crab lice (Pthirus pubis) aren’t crabs at all—they’re parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood, and their bites can cause intense itching in their hosts. Often, this itching happens in the pubic area, which is why they’re also known as “pubic lice”—which, it turns out, is actually a misnomer. » 5/15/15 4:54pm 5/15/15 4:54pm

This Shrub Uses a Moonlight Beacon to Signal That It's Ready for Sex

When it’s time for sex, many plants literally tap into animal appetites, attracting them with the promise of sugar and smearing them with pollen while they eat. But if you’re going to rely on a third party for sex, you need some really good advertising. One recent study has identified a plant that makes a beacon out… » 5/06/15 2:13pm 5/06/15 2:13pm

The Forgotten Era: When Bed Bugs Were Tested for Combat in Vietnam

In 2004, Brooke Borel got bed bugs in New York. Then she experienced them again in 2009—twice in two different apartments. Because of those experiences, which were part of a widespread bed bug resurgence in the US, Borel, a science journalist, decided to explore why the bugs were back. This excerpt is one of many… » 4/27/15 11:40am 4/27/15 11:40am

Crickets Alone Will Not Save You, Futurist Foodies

Eating bugs is a great idea!” shout future-minded gourmets, the kinds of people who eat waxworm tacos willingly and feed bug cookies to their coworkers. But are insects like crickets and grasshoppers really the solution to our environmental and food-security woes? Well... maybe not. Not entirely, at least. … » 4/20/15 3:40pm 4/20/15 3:40pm

We Fed Cookies Made Out Of Bugs To Our Coworkers. Here's What Happened.

You may feel squeamish about chomping down insects with their eyes, legs, and antennae still intact, but would you eat insects if they were disguised in butter and sugar-filled cookies? We baked chocolate chip cookies made from pulverized insects and brought them to our office where our brave coworkers tasted them. » 2/18/15 12:00pm 2/18/15 12:00pm