It’s happening across the world, from grasslands to savannas to forest to deserts. Earth’s wild ecosystems are emptying out and falling silent.
Meet Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, a newly described dinosaur discovered by a seven-year-old boy in Chile. The theropod was related to famous meat-eaters like T. rex, but researchers think it was a vegetarian. Stranger still: It possessed a mixture of anatomical features unlike anything researchers have seen before.
Like hummingbirds, Australian rainbow lorikeets eat pollen and nectar. In fact, they have a specialized tongue that allows them to do so. So imagine the surprise of bird experts after discovering of a population of lorikeets who have taken to eating meat.
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.
Dinosaur teeth have been studied many times already. Scratches and pits on the surface of herbivore teeth provide clues to how they fed, and what types of plants they fed on. But many of these studies look at only a few teeth, or only a few specimens. Not so with this study.
When it comes to evading hungry predators, prey animals have no shortage of tricks — things like like camouflage, prickly defenses — and a hell of a lot of speed. But they’ve also evolved some lesser known strategies as well. Here are some ingenious ways prey animals avoid becoming a delicious meal.