Ticks—those unbreakable, blood-lusting arthropods that haunt your summer camp memories—have some fascinating genetic secrets. The tick genome tells a tale of weaponized spit, expandable armor, and how to drink 100 times one’s body weight in blood. Strangest of all, it’s utterly enormous.
Science, isn’t it great? Especially when it’s bringing us fascinating insights like this one: there could be up to 500 species of arthropods—insects, spiders, mites, and centipedes—living right alongside you in your home. Apparently, the war on bugs was always a lost cause.
The Sunburst Diving Beetle has great eyesight, in part due to a bifocal lens. The larvae of the beetle go through multiple molting periods in their trek to adulthood—which means it reshapes its own eyes.
It’s official: Parasitic wasps are the slave drivers of the insect kingdom. But if you’re thinking whips and chains, you’re not giving evolution nearly enough credit. Wasps enslave with biological warfare, genetically programming caterpillars to be the perfect hosts.
Yesterday, Burning Man organizers revealed the truth: the annual desert arts festival is infested with bugs. Swarms of them. Piles of them. What are they? Why has nobody ever seen them before, in over two decades of building mega-party spaces in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert? We found out.
KQED’s excellent science series Deep Look (previously here, here, and here—can you tell we’re fans?) just kicked off a new run of videos with an episode about how ants use leaves to harvest fungus. Which, sure, fungus harvesting is fascinating in its own right, but wait until you find out what the ants are harvesting…
Bug-eating evangelists like to talk about how crickets are caloric magic, claiming the insects can transform table scraps into a crunchy, healthy protein. A new study debunks at least one aspect of what’s being touted everywhere as the food of the future.
Anyone who’s ever dropped an ice cream cone knows that ants love sugar. But for ants that live on city streets and pavements, junk food may be a matter of survival.
Nature doesn't end at the borders of a city — it's just transformed. That's why scientists are finding new animal species in urban areas, where the ecosystems favor scavengers, hardy weeds, and junk-eaters. It probably comes as no surprise that the sprawling city of Los Angeles is home to its own unique fly species.
You're probably going to want to sit down for this one. And hold your loved ones near if you've got them, because it's time to wake up from our slumber of lies—apparently Jurassic Park is, in fact, not scientifically accurate. All because of one little, mistyped mosquito.
If you didn't grow up inside of a zombie ladybug, you really missed out. That's how the larvae of a species of parasitic wasp spend their formative days, using a half-alive, twitching ladybug husk as an incubator and a shield from predators.