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There Are Plenty of Octopuses In the Sea—Or Are There?

There Are Plenty of Octopuses In the Sea—Or Are There?

First a moment to celebrate Octopus Chronicles‘ 100th post! Little could I have imagined when I started this blog in November 2011 that there would be so much amazing octopus research to cover—and so many wonderful readers...

December 27, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
The Best (or Worst) of 2014

The Best (or Worst) of 2014

I wrote more than 150 articles about endangered species in 2014. Very few of them could be considered “good news.” But be they good news or bad, here are some of the best “Extinction Countdown” articles of the past year...

December 27, 2014 — John R. Platt
Need a New Year’s Resolution? Believe in Free Will!

Need a New Year’s Resolution? Believe in Free Will!

New Year’s Day is approaching, a time when we—by which I mean I–brood over past failures and vow to improve ourselves: I will be less judgmental with my kids and more romantic with my girlfriend...

December 27, 2014 — John Horgan
Fresh Start for an Extinct Cat?

Fresh Start for an Extinct Cat?

Credit: An 1862 painting of a Formosan clouded leopard by Joseph Wolf, image in the public domain Source: from Could Extinct Clouded Leopards Be Reintroduced in Taiwan?

December 26, 2014 — Kalliopi Monoyios

Holiday Species Snapshot: Christmas Island Shrew

Many species don’t have anything to be thankful for this holiday season. Here’s one that may have already been lost. Species name: The Christmas Island shrew (Crocidura trichura) Where found: This miniscule mammal only exists—if it still exists at all—on Australia’s Christmas Island, a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean that is also home to [...]..

December 23, 2014 — John R. Platt

Along the Tiger's Trail: Trapping Season Begins

Editor’s Note: “Along the Tiger’s Trail” is a  series about the efforts to monitor tigers and their prey in the Malenad landscape in southwestern India that harbors one of the world's largest population of wild tigers...

December 22, 2014 — K. Ullas Karanth

How Robins Became the Birds of Christmas

It's time to wind things down for Christmas, so what better way to do it than to write a short article about robins. And here I mean the `original' or `proper' robin - the European robin Erithacus rubecula - a Eurasian passerine that also occurs in northern Africa and is (conventionally) regarded as the only [...]..

December 20, 2014 — Darren Naish
Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

Two billion year-old water pockets and a revised deep hydrogen content are good news for Earth’s vast subsurface biosphere, and could offer clues to life on Mars and much further beyond...

December 18, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Bacterial Motors Come in a Dizzying Array of Models

Bacteria propel themselves with corkscrew tails anchored in rotary motors. That may seem surprisingly mechanical for a microbe, but it is a system that has been wildly popular and conserved across billions of years of evolution...

December 16, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

Another Northern White Rhino Dies, Only 5 Remain

And then there were five. The death by old age this past weekend of Angalifu, a 44-year-old northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) that lived at San Diego Zoo, reduces the world population of this critically endangered subspecies to just five, all of which live in captivity and none of which are breeding...

December 16, 2014 — John R. Platt
Extinction (or lateral transfer?)

Extinction (or lateral transfer?)

This has been coming for a while, but I needed a push to make it official. I’m not much of a blogger anymore (four posts a year doesn’t quite cut it), so it’s only fair that I wrap things up at SciAm Blogs, at least for the foreseeable future...

December 15, 2014 — Psi Wavefunction
Confrontational behaviour and bipedality in deer

Confrontational behaviour and bipedality in deer

I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of the most familiar and frequently encountered of mammal groups (at least, to those of us in Eurasia and parts of the Americas) - DEER - are weird and fascinating when you get to know them...

December 15, 2014 — Darren Naish
Erin Gee Blends Emotions, Science, Music and Robotic Pianos

Erin Gee Blends Emotions, Science, Music and Robotic Pianos

This week’s video comes from a post by Princess Ojiaku over at Science With Moxie. According to the original post: Erin Gee is a Canadian artist and composer who has created a way to directly feed human emotions into music played by robots that she built and programmed herself...

December 14, 2014 — Carin Bondar
The Greatest Science Music Video Parodies Continue

The Greatest Science Music Video Parodies Continue

Tim Blais of A Capella Science has come up with a few great new science music video parodies. First, a chemistry-themed version of Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Base’, and second an exam-riddled student’s version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’...

December 14, 2014 — Carin Bondar
Parasitic Trypanosomes Contain Nature’s Only Chain Mail DNA

Parasitic Trypanosomes Contain Nature’s Only Chain Mail DNA

The organisms that cause us untold suffering can also be astounding works of art, sculpted by evolution into elegant, deadly packages. Such is the case for the trypanosomes, the protists I discussed last time as the source of Chagas Disease, but which also cause sleeping sickness in Africa...

December 12, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
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