Wet sand or soft clay is how the Huygens spacecraft portrayed Titan's surface when it successfully landed on the Saturnian moon on January 14.

Cassini-Huygens homepage: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm

Retinal recordings explain why swordfish have a heating organ in the muscle to keep their eyes 10 to 15 degrees warmer than ambient temperatures: the warmth enables the fish to process visual information 10 times faster, improving the ability to spot prey.

Current Biology, January 11

Regenerating hair cells of the inner ear, and thus restoring hearing, could be possible: hair cells proliferated in mice engineered to lack the Rb1 gene, which helps to regulate cell division.

Science Express Online, January 14

Rats can distinguish spoken Dutch from Japanese. This ability, however, probably is a by-product of general perceptual facilities rather than an indication of linguistic capacity.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, January