It's Alive

  1. crested rats
    Plants

    Rats with poisonous hairdos live surprisingly sociable private lives

    Deadly, swaggering rodents purr and snuggle when they’re with mates and young.

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  2. male wrinkle-faced bat
    Animals

    A face mask may turn up a male wrinkle-faced bat’s sex appeal

    The first-ever scientific observations of a wrinkle-faced bat’s courtship shows that, when flirting, the males raise their white furry face coverings.

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  3. Langsdorffia hypogaea 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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