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Arctic creepy-crawlies part II: woolly bear caterpillars

This is the second part of my two-part mini series on Arctic creepy-crawlies. Part I: ice worms can be found here. Part II: Woolly bear caterpillar The Arctic woolly bear moth (Gynaephora groenlandica) is found in Greenland and Canada around the Arctic Circle...

June 29, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Arctic creepy-crawlies part I: the ice worms

Following my previous post on wildlife diseases, I’ve been in a fairly multicellular mood. Rather than try and turn my mind back to bacteria I decided to get it out of my system by finishing the month with a two part mini-series on creepy-crawlies that survive in some of the harshest conditions on earth; the [...]..

June 28, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Diseases in the Wild: the Frog Apocalypse

The best way to prevent a disease from turning into an epidemic is to closely monitor its development and put systems in place before it starts spreading rapidly through populations.

June 14, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Spiny Baby Sea Bass Illustrates Surprising Physiques of Young Fish

Spiny Baby Sea Bass Illustrates Surprising Physiques of Young Fish

Among divers and marine biologists, it’s common knowledge that ocean fish lead double lives. Like birds and butterflies, their young often look nothing like the adults, but unlike birds and butterflies, it is the young that are often more beautiful and ornate than their parents...

May 27, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

In Honor of Linnaeus, a Rogue’s Gallery of New Species

Today is the birthday of one of my science heroes: Carl Linnaeus. Born on May 23, 1707, the Swede turned natural history from a hobby into a science with his masterful systemization and documentation of what had until then been haphazard classification of plants, animals and fungi...

May 23, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

Tiny Hairs Helps Octopus Suckers Stick

Just when you thought octopuses couldn’t get any weirder: It turns out that their suckers have an unexpectedly hairy grip. Octopuses can form an impressively tight grip—even on a rough surface...

May 19, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Caterpillars Use Ants as Butterfly Babysitters

It’s such wonderful warm weather in the UK at the moment, I thought it was time to celebrate with another butterfly post! I particularly wanted to take a closer look at the butterfly Phengaris arion which is rather unimaginatively known more commonly as the Large Blue...

May 18, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Why Don't Octopuses Get Stuck To Themselves?

An octopus might be one of the most intelligent invertebrates, but it doesn’t always know what, exactly, its arms are doing. How these animals manage to avoid tangling themselves up is a major feat...

May 15, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
A universe of nothing but shrimp

A universe of nothing but shrimp

When studying bacteria, human pathogens always get a lot of interest and free press. Pathogens of smaller and less important seeming animals, such as shrimp, tend to generate less press interest...

May 11, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Octopuses Rocking Too Much Heavy Metal

Octopuses are a popular entrée for plenty of predators—including us humans. And for good reason. Octopuses are nutritious, with loads of lean muscle in those amazing arms, and plenty of good minerals...

May 8, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Mating Octopuses Prefer Crab Legs

Male octopuses don’t usually wine and dine prospective mates. But prior to mating, both males and females do seem to be in the mood for one date-worthy food: crab, according to new research published online in the Journal of Shellfish Research...

May 1, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Scientists Learn How to Put an Octopus to Sleep

We can’t really ask an octopus to count backward from 10. Which is just one of the tricky things about putting an octopus under. If knocking an octopus out (for science) sounds like an unusual procedure, well, it is...

April 29, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Frog-Killing Fungus Meets Its Match in Tiny Predators

As I reported in a feature story in Scientific American last December , some fungi have been behaving badly of late, attacking bats, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and people with gusto, driving many species to extinction and others to the brink...

April 28, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

Does the Octopus Really “Fart” Ink? [Video]

It’s true that the octopus is super weird. These animals have blue blood and three hearts. And as online personality and humorist Ze Frank points out in his latest video creation, it seems that they can also “fart ink at a moment’s notice”--pointing to this as “evolution at its finest.” The video’s tongue-in-cheek tone might [...]..

April 22, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
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Self-Awareness or Illusion?

Self-Awareness or Illusion?

Solving the “Hard Problem”