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Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013

Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013

Its been a good year for strange animals. Which is something you could probably say about every year ever because animals are strange. So heres my Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013, ordered from most strange to slightly less strange...

December 24, 2013 — Bec Crew
Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

A primate that lives only in wetlands? That alone makes the Alaotran gentle lemur unique. But this tiny lemur lives in incredibly limited constrained habitat, which continues to shrink around it...

December 22, 2013 — John R. Platt
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 SOS response: how bacteria deal with damaged DNA

The SOS response: how bacteria deal with damaged DNA

DNA is important stuff. It’s present in all living organisms on the planet (or ‘almost all’ if you wish to remain friends with virologists) and contains the information required to produce and organise the proteins within a cell...

December 22, 2013 — S.E. Gould
A Squamotastic Christmas at Tet Zoo

A Squamotastic Christmas at Tet Zoo

My plan was to get something else finished for Tet Zoo before Christmas but, alas, that just wasn’t possible. So here’s this… And for those of you who want to see more detail, here are enlarged versions… And for all of you Squamozoic fans who need a labelled version… For more on the Squamozoic go [...]..

December 21, 2013 — Darren Naish
Candid Camera (Trap): The Worlds Rarest Big Cat

Candid Camera (Trap): The Worlds Rarest Big Cat

“The Amur or Far Eastern leopard, Panthera pardus orientalis, is the worlds most endangered big cat, and the only one known to be adapted to the cold, snowy environment in which it lives...

December 18, 2013 — Carin Bondar
A Genome is Not a Blueprint

A Genome is Not a Blueprint

Image: 1936 Joy Oil gas station blueprints (top); sequence from human chromosome 1 (bottom). Source: from A Monkey’s Blueprint by Martin Krzywinski on SA Visual When artist Martin Krzywinski was challenged to come up with a graphic that quickly and concisely shows how the human genome is more similar to chimpanzee and bonobo genomes than [...]..

August 27, 2014 — Kalliopi Monoyios

The Great Alien Debate (Part 1)

This post is one in a series covering, and expanding on, topics in the book The Copernicus Complex (Scientific American/FSG).           The conversation usually goes like this: Do you think we’re alone in the universe?...

August 26, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Nuthatch Empire

Today I'd like to focus on passerine birds again, and this time on a group that I don't think I've ever blogged about before: the certhioids.

August 25, 2014 — Darren Naish
SciArt Destinations: The Paleolithic Caves of Cantabria, Spain

SciArt Destinations: The Paleolithic Caves of Cantabria, Spain

Think of the last time you were in the presence of something really old. Was it a cherished possession of one of your family members? Was it a used book or antique that spoke to you from a dusty hole-in-the-wall shop?...

August 25, 2014 — Kalliopi Monoyios

Octopus-Inspired Camouflage Flashes to Life in Smart Material

Octopuses and their cephalopod cousins are the undisputed masters of disguise. An octopus can change its color, texture and luminosity faster than you can say “camouflage.” So far our lowly human attempts at imitation have been quite crude...

August 21, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

How #Selfie Culture is Changing Our Lives

We've all done it: We're at an event, we take a bunch of photos with our phones, we take a selfie and maybe one with a friend, we post all the images online, and we're done.

August 19, 2014 — Mark Fischetti
Call of the Orangutan: How to Find an Orangutan

Call of the Orangutan: How to Find an Orangutan

While many animal researchers use fancy scientific methods to analyze data and samples they've collected, the mechanics of virtually every animal behavior study begins with finding an animal or animals and recording its or their behavior at a given interval to produce what's called an ethogram...

August 15, 2014 — James Askew
Call of the Orangutan: An Ape Named James

Call of the Orangutan: An Ape Named James

It has been an exceptionally exciting and productive first month for me at the Sikundur research station. I couldn't have asked for much more in terms of data, and it's been so hectic that sitting here in Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra, it seems like far longer than a month since I started!...

August 13, 2014 — James Askew

Island Sanctuary Could Save Sex-Crazed Northern Quoll

Life is tough if you’re a northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). These rare, cat-sized Australian marsupials don’t have very long life spans—especially males, which tend to die after their first mating experience when less than a year old...

June 11, 2014 — John R. Platt
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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine