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A Closer Look at a Tiny, Floating Horde

A Closer Look at a Tiny, Floating Horde

It’s a strange but true fact that the young of many familiar sea creatures look nothing like them. Drifting on currents to distribute their kind, they are an unsung part of the plankton, itself an unsung part of the sea...

February 2, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Odd Male Octopus Flaunts 2 Unexpected Arm Phalluses

Odd Male Octopus Flaunts Two Unexpected Arm Phalluses

Is that a case of bilateral hectocotylization, or are you just extra happy to see me? Or so might a female octopus say if she met the young subject of a new report about a certain biological oddityor oddities...

January 31, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
Baby Octopuses: Pickier Eaters Than Baby Humans

Baby Octopuses: Pickier Eaters Than Baby Humans

Baby octopuses are notoriously difficult to keep alive in captivityas in, almost impossible. Like their adult parents, they’re sensitive to water pH and temperature and all of that jazz...

January 24, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

My Favorite Biology Finds in London’s Natural History Museum

  This past year, I made a pilgrimage that every natural history lover should, if possible, make. I visited the Natural History Museum in London, the house that Richard Owen built, the home of the first dinosaur bones ever discovered, the first Archaeopteryx fossil, and a first-edition copy of “On the Origin of Species”...

January 21, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Speedy Octopus Sets Record for Jar Opening

Speedy Octopus Sets Record for Jar Opening

It isn’t every day in the ocean that an octopus comes across a jar to openespecially one that contains a tasty live crab. Which is why it is particularly impressive that these invertebrates can quickly figure out how to twist off a cap in captivity...

January 13, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
Octopuses Make Food for Weird Critters

Octopuses Make Food for Weird Critters

Along with us humans, a range of hungry hunters prey on the scrumptious octopus. The boneless octopus must avoid becoming lunch for sharks, eels, fish and even killer whales.

January 1, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
Octopus, How Do You Count Your Suckers?

Octopus, How Do You Count Your Suckers?

We all know that the male octopus uses his third right arm as a penis. (Oh, you didn’t? It’s true. Sometimes he even detaches it to give to the female.) In fact, all of the arms, if not so specialized, are easily identifiableas numbers one, two, three or four on the left or right side...

December 22, 2013 — Katherine Harmon Courage

The bacteria in breast milk

Bacteria are found in large numbers all over the human body where there is a channel to the outside world, for example in the gut, lungs, and surface of the skin.

December 8, 2013 — S.E. Gould

Plenty of Pheromones in the Sea

As we sat in my car outside a silent movie theater in Los Angeles, my friend anxiously opened a plastic bag containing a white T-shirt she’d slept in for the past three nights.

December 6, 2013 — Julia Calderone
Octopus Suckers Have Groovy Secret for Strength

Octopus Suckers Have Groovy Secret for Strength

Octopus suckers are extraordinary. They can move and grasp objects independently. They can “taste” the water around them. They can even form a seal on rough surfaces underwater...

December 1, 2013 — Katherine Harmon Courage
You Know You Want To Help (6-Legged) Monarchs. Here’s How.

You Know You Want To Help (6-Legged) Monarchs. Here’s How.

Last year, a hard year by monarch butterfly migration standards, 60 million monarchs showed up at their misty wintering grounds in Mexico. This year, so far, a mere 3 million have straggled in — and late, too, according to a disturbing must-read piece (“The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear”) published last Friday in the New [...]..

November 26, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
New Views into the Octopus’s Bizarre Moves

New Views Into the Octopus’s Bizarre Moves

We’ve known for centuries that octopuses get around one of two ways: one, by crawling over surfaces with their arms, or, two, swimming with the help of their siphon’s jet.

November 21, 2013 — Katherine Harmon Courage
What Do Vampire Squid Really Eat? Hint: It’s Not Blood

What Do Vampire Squid Really Eat? Hint: It’s Not Blood

Oxygen-poor zones are not just found off the coast of South America, as we saw last time. “Oxygen minimum zones” may occur throughout the world’s ocean’s at mid-water depths where food consumption is high but supplies of oxygen are low...

October 31, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
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