If you’ve ever been stung by a jellyfish while swimming in the ocean, you know firsthand the pain that a venomous creature can inflict, even if it doesn’t outright kill you. But scientists studying the chemical properties of venom might one day be able to develop therapeutic drugs that could save lives.
Sloths are one of the goofiest animals in the animal kingdom. Their passive faces and leisurely lifestyles make them ripe for jokes, but there has to be a biological explanation as to why sloths are so slow. It comes down to what they eat.
Flamingos are regal, but kind of dopey creatures that are known for standing on one leg for reasons that not even scientists can fully explain. If you’ve ever wanted to see them look sillier, check out these chicks, which hatched at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio recently.
Will Burrard-Lucas likes to photograph unsuspecting African animals with strategically placed camera traps. For his latest project, the wildlife photographer sought to capture images of nocturnal animals as they conduct their affairs at night, and the results are spectacular.
Say goodbye to the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rat-like creature that lived on a tiny island near the north coast of Australia. Significantly, it marks the first time that a mammal has been declared extinct anywhere in the world, and the cause has been attributed to human-induced climate change.
Researchers working near the Mariana Trench have captured footage of a jellyfish that boggles the imagination.
Over a century ago, scientists discarded a proposed theory that human limbs evolved from gills, given the lack of evidence in the fossil record. That theory is being revisited in light of new genetic results just published in the journal Development.
In a scene eerily reminiscent of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an escaped chimpanzee sought refuge on the power lines of a Japanese suburb. The chimp was eventually subdued after a frantic two-hour police chase, but you have to wonder: Why didn’t he get zapped by the power lines? Here’s the answer.
Researchers working off the coast of Panama have captured unprecedented footage showing thousands of red crabs swarming together in the oxygen-deprived waters just above the seafloor.
Late last week, an absolutely ginormous python was found caught under a tree that had fallen near a Malaysian construction site. Its length has been pegged at 26 feet (8 meters), which, if verified, would make it the longest snake ever captured.
Trap-jaw spiders hunt by sneaking up on their prey and rapidly snapping their mandibles shut, but scientists weren’t entirely sure about the mechanics involved. Using high-speed video, researchers from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have chronicled just how these spiders manage such an impressive…
In 1820, a sperm whale attacked and sank the Essex, a whaling ship from Massachusetts. The incident inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick, and marine biologists have been wondering ever since if the whales actually engage in ramming behavior. A fascinating new study suggests this may be the case.
A German research team recently discovered what they thought were five distinct species of nematode worms on account of significant facial differences. But it turns out they’re a single species of worm—a fascinating creature that changes the shape of its mouth depending on what food is available.
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.
You’re looking at the smallest snail ever discovered. Measuring just 0.86mm in height, ten of these extreme “microsnails” could fit within the eye of a single needle, though it’s not immediately obvious why they evolved to be so small. Called Angustopila dominikae, the new species of snail was discovered in China’s…
During a recent night dive near the Solomon Islands, a team of scientists were stunned to discover a glowing hawksbill sea turtle. It’s the first documented case of biofluorescence in a reptile.
The world is full of gnarly animals, but it wasn’t until the magic of the internet that we could watch them from a safe distance—thanks to high-def videos like this one, in which a snapping turtle clamps down on a dude’s arm. Thank you, YouTube.
TRICK QUESTION. You’ve already lost.
This year, Discovery Channel promises Shark Week will feature fewer fake documentaries and more actual science. But with shows like “Return of the Great White Serial Killer” on the docket, it’s clear Discovery still has a lot to learn. For critically minded viewers, here are eight alternatives to those episodes of…
Illustrated above is a deep-water marine fish belonging to the family Gonostomatidae. More commonly known as bristlemouths, Gonostomatidae are easily the most plentiful vertebrates on on the planet. How many are we talking? Have a guess; I bet you’ll underestimate. (I certainly did.)