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… »
Government researchers in China have asked a select group of farmers to monitor abnormal behavior among their livestock — behaviors that could be indicative of imminent earthquakes. »
White harbour porpoises are so rare that only 15 sighting have been recorded in the past 100 years. Last week, an amateur photographer caught sight of such a creature in the Baltic Sea and captured it on video. »
While fishing off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa, a pair of fisherman were treated to an unbelievable sight — a massive pod of dolphins containing as many as a thousand individuals. »
A six-month-old koala named Phantom was allowed to hold on to his mother while she was being operated on to treat a collapsed lung. »
For the first time ever, scientists have observed a polar bear catching and eating white-beaked dolphins. It’s suspected that the dolphins ventured too far north and became stranded in the ice — a possible consequence of climate change.
Earlier this month, I visited the Smoky Mountain National Park in hopes of capturing the annual firefly “light show” on camera — but it took some seriously creative thinking to make it happen. »
Turns out that African apes and humans have more in common than previously thought. Observations made in the jungles of Guinea show wild chimps sipping alcoholic tree sap from leaf sponges, followed by some characteristically drunken behaviors.
Of all the animals that exist on this planet, only a precious few have the capacity to recognize themselves in a mirror. These fascinating — and at times hilarious — videos taken by photographer Xavier Hubert-Brierre reveal the reactions of various animals as they gaze upon their reflections for the very first time. »
When Grizzler the Border Collie was outfitted with a special camera that snapped a photo every time his heart rate increased, his top subjects were, well, not that surprising: cats, birds, other dogs, and food, as well as random spots that were no doubt emitting some mighty exciting smells. UPDATED: »