Water bears, known to scientists as tardigrades, are famously adorable microscopic creatures who can survive anything: freezing, total dehydration, radiation bombardment, and even the vacuum of deep space. Now scientists have sequenced a tardigrade genome, and are very surprised by the results. »
So you’ve probably seen that viral video showing cats having the bejeezus scared out of them by a particularly snake-like vegetable: the lowly cucumber. Hilarious, right? Sure—if you’re a human. As a veterinary technician points out, this trending activity could cause lasting psychological problems for your feline… »
For the first time ever, scientists have documented the elaborate tap dancing courtship displays of cordon-bleu songbirds. Invisible to the naked eye, these birds execute their rapid-fire steps in as little as 20 milliseconds. »
A film crew working off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia, has captured remarkable footage of a transient killer whale using its tail to launch a Pacific harbor seal some 80 feet (20 meters) into the air.
This still, taken from a Sept. 29 video shot by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, captures the first sighting of a humpback whale in Hawaii this season. The whales head to Hawaii to breed every winter, after spending the summer feeding in Alaskan waters. »
Marine biologists have long thought that blue whales indiscriminately scour the oceans as they feed on krill. A new study shows there’s a lot more to the grazing habits of these massive mammals than just blindly swimming through the water.
In what appears to be a growing trend among animals these days, a seal was spotted riding on the back of a humpback whale off the coast of Australia’s New South Wales. »
As if arachnophobes didn’t already have enough to worry about, biologists working in Panama and Peru have discovered a nocturnal hunting spider capable of steering while in free fall—an unprecedented adaptation in tree-dwelling spiders that’s offering fresh insights into the evolution of flight. »
Cephalopod experts at UC Berkeley have discovered that the larger Pacific striped octopus—seen here outstretched—employs a rare hunting strategy. Instead of pouncing on its prey with all eight arms (a common technique among octopuses), it extends a single limb, like a grabby toddler, and startles its prey into… »
Remember that 8-year-old girl who receives small objects from crows in return for feeding them? Well, her parents are now facing a $200,000 lawsuit accusing them of running a large-scale feeding operation out of their backyard. »
Millions of landmines remain strewn across Angola, remnants of the country’s long civil war. Remarkably, some elephants have learned to sniff out and avoid these hazards, and even alert an entire herd to the danger. Intrigued, the U.S. Army is now testing the ability of elephants to detect chemicals found in landmines… »
The sounds of fireworks and revelry echoed through the warm Oregon night as people throughout Portland celebrated Independence Day. It was July 4th, 1970. And among the crowds were three young men enjoying the triple pleasure of a holiday, a summer evening, and the vigor of youth.
Mathematicians are fond of prime numbers. Infinitely numerous yet utterly unique, they play an integral role in number theory and a baffling one in such longstanding mysteries as Goldbach’s conjecture. Nature is partial to primes, as well, as demonstrated by the dramatic 13- and 17-year life cycles of periodic cicadas. »
Scientists have long wondered whether polar bears are able to enter a physiological state resembling hibernation in response to food shortages, an adaptation some researchers have speculated could protect the species even as their hunting grounds melt away. Today, we have an answer—though it’s not the one we’ve been… »
A senior reserves officer was walking through England’s Northamptonshire’s Pitsford Water Nature Reserve when she spotted what appeared to be a plastic bag caught in some tree branches. But on closer inspection it was bee hive — but without its typical external casing. »
Scientists filming unexplored depths of the South Pacific have observed a surprising range of animals—including sharks, rays, and jellyfish—living inside Kavachi, a highly active undersea volcano near the Soloman Islands, a remote archipelago east of Papau New Guinea. The animals seem unruffled by what were presumed… »