Tiny Dancing Spider Crickets Could Lead to Better Robotics

Spider crickets are masters of aerodynamics. They don’t have wings, but they can jump up to 60 times their body length — equivalent to a human track star jumping the length of a football field. Now a team of engineering students at Johns Hopkins University has videotaped the critters in slow motion and discovered some… »10/23/15 2:20pm10/23/15 2:20pm


This Cricket Courts His Mate During Sex by Tapping Her With Tiny Penis Drumsticks

Like so many other crickets, a Roesel’s bush cricket sings to attract his mate. But his courtship doesn’t stop once a female finds him. As they have sex he’ll use a pair of tiny drumsticks on his genitals to show her he’s the rhythm master she wants to father her young. »9/16/15 9:45am9/16/15 9:45am

We've Identified Those Bugs Infesting Burning Man -- And It's Not Pretty [UPDATED]

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. »8/20/15 2:58am8/20/15 2:58am

Some Intriguing New Hints About What Ant Consciousness Is Really Like

They build cities. They farm. They make war. Ants do a lot of things that seem uncannily human — and yet they’re profoundly alien, part of a hive mind called a social organism. What does that feel like to each individual ant? Now a new scientific paper suggests that there is always doubt in the hive mind. »6/12/15 8:50pm6/12/15 8:50pm

What in the monster hell is this scary bright green and pink gooey worm

It’s just not right. Adult humans should not have to fear monsters. But how in the world will the world ever sleep again after knowing that this terrifying radiator fluid-looking worm goo thing exists? Can humanity survive after seeing this? Just look at the sludge bug shoots out its pink dart and you’ll only dream… »6/09/15 11:04pm6/09/15 11:04pm

Your Yard Is A Firefly Meet Market, And You Can Help Scientists Study It

The twinkly flashing lights of fireflies are a classic sign of summer, but the insects aren’t blinking for your aesthetic benefit. They’re courting in an absolutely cutthroat meet market, and some scientists are afraid that human activities could be making it harder for them to succeed. This summer, you can help… »6/08/15 3:07pm6/08/15 3:07pm

At Last, We Understand What Turns Fruit Flies On

We’ve been breeding the fly Drosophila melanogaster in the lab for decades. We’ve tinkered with their genes — giving them extra legs, curly wings, or odd colored eyes – in pursuit of understanding genetic inheritance and how tissues develop. But until now we didn’t know which chemical made them start to mate. »5/21/15 1:18pm5/21/15 1:18pm

Three Things You Probably Didn't Know About Crab Lice

Crab lice (Pthirus pubis) aren’t crabs at all—they’re parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood, and their bites can cause intense itching in their hosts. Often, this itching happens in the pubic area, which is why they’re also known as “pubic lice”—which, it turns out, is actually a misnomer. »5/15/15 7:25pm5/15/15 7:25pm

This Shrub Uses a Moonlight Beacon to Signal That It's Ready for Sex

When it’s time for sex, many plants literally tap into animal appetites, attracting them with the promise of sugar and smearing them with pollen while they eat. But if you’re going to rely on a third party for sex, you need some really good advertising. One recent study has identified a plant that makes a beacon out… »5/06/15 4:27pm5/06/15 4:27pm

Did You Know Getting Bit By A Tick Could Paralyze Your Face?

30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, making it the most common vector-borne disease in America. Both you and your dog are exposed to it every time you’re outdoors. It can block your heart, cause intense pain and, sometimes, even lead to death. And reported cases are on the rise.
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Watch a terrifying worm bug thing shoot out an attacking web goo

I no longer want to live in this world anymore because I don’t want to share it with this utterly terrifying ribbon worm that has the ability to spit out an even more terrifying web-shaped goo. The way the substance stretches across that person’s hand just makes me want to never ever go outside again. »5/04/15 8:19pm5/04/15 8:19pm

The Forgotten Era: When Bed Bugs Were Tested for Combat in Vietnam

In 2004, Brooke Borel got bed bugs in New York. Then she experienced them again in 2009—twice in two different apartments. Because of those experiences, which were part of a widespread bed bug resurgence in the US, Borel, a science journalist, decided to explore why the bugs were back. This excerpt is one of many… »4/27/15 11:00am4/27/15 11:00am