It's Alive

  1. Langsdorffia hypogea male and female
    Plants

    This parasitic plant consists of just flashy flowers and creepy suckers

    With only four known species, Langsdorffia are thieves stripped down to their essentials.

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  2. one-celled algae with flagella
    Life

    Algae use flagella to trot, gallop and move with gaits all their own

    Single-celled microalgae, with no brains, can coordinate their “limbs” into a trot or fancier gait.

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  3. rodeo ant
    Animals

    Texas has its own rodeo ant queens

    New species of rodeo ants, riding on the backs of bigger ants, turned up in Austin, Texas.

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  4. Saharan silver ant
    Life

    Saharan silver ants are the world’s fastest despite relatively short legs

    Saharan silver ants can hit speeds of 108 times their body length per second.

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  5. tumbleweeds
    Plants

    Why tumbleweeds may be more science fiction than Old West

    A tumbleweed is just a maternal plant corpse giving her living seeds a chance at a good life somewhere new.

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  6. Pufferfish
    Animals

    There’s more to pufferfish than that goofy spiked balloon

    Three odd things about pufferfishes: how they mate, how they bite and what’s up with no fish scales?

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  7. black coucal
    Animals

    Parenting chores cut into how much these bird dads fool around

    Frantic parenting demands after eggs hatch curtail male black coucals’ philandering excursions the most, a study finds.

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  8. joshua tree
    Plants

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.

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  9. Pallas's long-tongued bat hovering
    Animals

    How nectar bats fly nowhere

    Exquisitely sensitive tech makes first direct measurements of the forces of bat wingbeats.

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  10. a loggerhead skrike
    Animals

    These songbirds violently fling and then impale their prey

    A loggerhead shrike that skewers small animals on barbed wire gives mice whiplash shakeups.

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  11. a giant clam
    Animals

    How a squishy clam conquers a rock

    Old boring clam research is upended after 82 years.

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  12. Oak processionary caterpillar
    Animals

    These caterpillars march. They fluff. They scare London.

    Oak processionary moths have invaded England and threatened the pleasure of spring breezes.

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