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. »
An international team of marine biologists has made the first-ever field observations of rare Omura’s whales—one of the least known species of whales in the world — while working off the coast of Madagascar. »
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.
Over at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Steinhart Aquarium biologists say that it’s not enough to keep octopuses fed and healthy. The highly-intelligent cephalopods get unhappy if they don’t have things to do with their minds. »
Therapy dogs may actually make a difference in the health of the patients they visit by reducing anxiety and leading to more stable blood pressure. »
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.
Out in the country, birds are always singing happily. But in the city, they squawk and fly into your face. Now scientists say there’s actually a reason why city birds can be such aggressive jerks — and no, it’s not the same reason why urban humans can be so terrible. »
The war between cats and mice just took a chilling turn, as a team of Russian researchers announces that early exposure to a chemical in cat urine can condition mice not to flee from an approaching cat. This can’t end well for the mice. »
We all eat the wrong thing sometimes, but this 12-foot-long South African python made a major error. It swallowed a porcupine whole. Spoilers: No, it did not survive. »
Fisheries biologist John Shepherd once said that “counting fish is like counting trees—except you can’t see them and they move.” This can make animal behavior research extremely difficult. And while increasingly advanced electronic telemetry tags can tell us a lot, there’s just no substitute for seeing a behavior on… »
Some species of moth can produce ultrasonic emissions that confuse echolocating bats, and they do it by rubbing their sex organs together.
Deer aren't the slim, graceful vegans we thought they were. Scientists using field cameras have caught deer preying on nestling song birds. And it's not just deer. Herbivores the world over may be supplementing their diets. »
For the first time, filmmakers in the forests of Borneo's Mount Kinabalu have documented the so-repulsive-it's-captivating behavior of a large, red, worm-guzzling predator. While it remains unclassified by science, the animal is known to the area's tribespeople, fittingly, as the "Giant Red Leech." »
Many animal species use tools, from insects, elephants and sea urchins to apes, badgers and octopuses, but there are only two animals who make hooks to catch food: humans and crows. Why we both do this is a mystery — and unraveling it could explain the reasons why tool use evolved in the first place. »