An evolutionary arms race 500 million years ago seems to have unexpectedly caused today's gelatinous comb jellies to armor up -- and they weren't alone.
Red algae have shockingly few genes for a multicellular organism - far fewer than a single-celled green alga - and this may explain why they never colonized land.
A funny thing happened when two Danish college students injected tracking tags into starfish. The tracking tags kept mysteriously winding up on the bottom of the tank.
The Gulf of Mexico is known for many things, and most are bad: hurricanes, oil spills...the infamous Dead Zone. But there is a wonder of nature that the Gulf should be known for but isn't—lakes located inside the Gulf...
The miraculous recovery of a coral and the gargantuan range of a lichen may both result from the surprising evolutionary advantages their "alternative" lifestyles give them
Root fungi may confer dark but useful powers on their plant hosts
No tree is an island, and no place is this truer than the forest
NOAA’s research ship Okeanos Explorer and its ROV Deep Discoverer (aka D2) wrapped up their latest exploration of the seafloor and marine canyons around Puerto Rico last week.
Like a steaming pile of lava or the soggy soil below a melting glacier, the freshly scrubbed hull of a ship is a magnet for new life.
Every two years people around the world suddenly obsessively watch odd niche sports like ice dancing, biathalon, and rhythmic gymnastics. So I wish similar enthusiasm could be summoned for the exploration dives of the Deep Discoverer, NOAA’s ROV aboard the research vessel Okeanos Explorer and vehicles like it, which are streamed live on the internet...
It must be the Year of the Sponge here at The Artful Amoeba, because I can’t seem to write enough posts about sponges and their amazing micro-scale architecture.
Author's note: This is the latest post in the Wonderful Things series. You can read more about this series here. There is a fungus on our planet which is capable of not one, but two audacious and duplicitous acts: it pretends, on separate occasions, to be both to be a flower and a pollen grain, [...]..
An unassuming little fern has left scientists scratching their heads at the feat of reproductive hijinks it apparently represents. The fern, xCystocarpium roskamianum(the prefix ‘x’ indicates it is a hybrid), collected in the French Pyrenees, appeared to be a blend of two ferns they know well...
As fabulous, fantastical gems of evolution go, seadragons are hard to beat. The weedy seadgragon: “Weedy seadragon-Phyllopteryx taeniolatus” by Sylke Rohrlach – http://www.flickr.com/photos/87895263@N06/11259275943/sizes/l/in/photostream/...
If you’re like me, you’ve always wanted Ernst Haeckel in your house. Well, not literally Ernst Haeckel, the great 19th century biologist (although that would be cool, in alive form)...
Let’s say you’re a small cell engaged in heavy manufacturing. Like most animal cells, you are coated only in a thin membrane made a double layer of fluid fat-like molecules.
See these annular structures? They are 492 million years old and come from Wisconsin. Here are some more. Was there a severe shortage of beer coasters in Cambrian Wisconsin?
To look at a rock sponge, which usually has all the visual appeal of a potato, you would never guess that inside lies the Notre Dame of animal skeletons.
The tropical plant Genlisea is a tiny, homely rosette of simple green leaves. If you dig up its roots, you will find what look like an unremarkable bunch long, pale underground roots.
To a human, two billion years is an unfathomable interval. But that, a team of European, Gabonese, and American scientists now say, is how long ago a recently discovered hoard of fossils suggests Earth’s first big life evolved — large enough to see with the naked eye, and in a spectrum of forms that tease [...]..