Geneticists: Giant squid are “very weird”

The most comprehensive analysis ever conducted on giant squid DNA has cast some interesting light on these elusive deep sea cephalopods. Despite their global reach, it now appears that there is only one species of giant squid — and they’re all “basically identical.” » 3/20/13 8:20am 3/20/13 8:20am

Barack Obama just had a prehistoric lizard named in his honor. Can you …

Creative taxonomy — it's what happens when scientists discover an as-yet unnamed species and find some way to connect it to a person, place, or thing. Sometimes that person/place/thing is famous. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the connections between the two make perfect sense. Other times the connections are more… » 1/02/13 3:30pm 1/02/13 3:30pm

Holiday Pop Quiz: Metal Band or Microbe?

It's time to test your scientific acumen — or your knowledge of a very specific musical subculture. Plenty of microbes have seriously badass names. Lots of metal bands have names that sound like weird microbial diseases. Can you tell the difference between Thergothon and Eperythrozoon? Take our quiz! » 12/25/12 12:00pm 12/25/12 12:00pm

Why penis worm anuses are getting evolutionary biologists all hot and…

This is a priapulid, otherwise known as a "penis worm," and if you click the video, you'll understand how it earned that phallic moniker. These creatures are currently shaking the branches of the animal taxonomy tree thanks to a mystery surrounding their mouths and anuses. » 10/27/12 4:00pm 10/27/12 4:00pm

An entire genus of fern was just named after Lady Gaga, and the…

When most plants and animals get named after a celebrity (and believe us, this happens often), it's rarely for anything more significant than a poorly-imagined resemblance, or a shared country of origin. Such is not the case with Gaga germanotta and the 18 other species in the newly dubbed "Gaga" genus. » 10/25/12 6:40am 10/25/12 6:40am

The last time we redefined what it means to be human

Over the past decade, you may have noticed more and more articles referring to "hominins" rather than "hominids." Just why are Homo sapiens and her ancestors now called hominins? The answer isn't just semantic — it has to do with a revolution in the way evolutionary biologists perceive humans' place in the tree of life. » 3/12/12 3:53pm 3/12/12 3:53pm