It's Alive

  1. Birgus latro
    Animals

    Coconut crab pinches like a lion, eats like a dumpster diver

    Coconut crabs use their surprisingly powerful claw for more than cracking coconuts.

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  2. California pitcher plant
    Plants

    Meat-eating pitcher plants raise deathtraps to an art

    The carnivorous California pitcher plant ensnares its dinner using a medley of techniques.

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  3. short-beaked echidna
    Animals

    An echidna’s to-do list: Sleep. Eat. Dig up Australia.

    Short-beaked echidna’s to-do list looks good for a continent losing other digging mammals.

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  4. Midshipman fish
    Animals

    Melatonin makes midshipman fish sing

    Melatonin lets people sleep but starts male midshipman fish melodiously humming their hearts out.

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  5. giant bird's nest
    Animals

    Extreme bird nests bring comforts and catastrophe

    Extreme bird nests of Southern Africa’s weaverbirds offer condo living in tough temperatures.

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  6. fat-tailed dwarf lemurs
    Animals

    Dwarf lemurs don’t agree on sleep

    Fat-tailed dwarf lemurs’ surprising hibernation-sleep doesn’t show up in ground-hibernating relatives.

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  7. Cuscuta reflexa
    Plants

    How a tomato plant foils a dreaded vampire vine

    Tomatoes can foil a dodder plant attack by getting scared and scabbing over.

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  8. P. prehensicauda
    Animals

    These lizards bleed green

    Blood and bones turn naturally green in island lizards. Their evolutionary history still needs explaining.

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  9. nursery web spiders
    Animals

    To prevent cannibalism, bring chocolate

    If a date goes bad for a nursery web spider, a romantic gift can serve as a shield.

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  10. cave salamander
    Animals

    Cave-dwelling salamander comes pigmented and pale

    Something’s funny in the family tree of pale, slinky cave salamanders.

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  11. Frog and tadpole
    Animals

    Piggybacking tadpoles are epic food beggars

    Tadpoles beg so frantically among mimic poison frogs that researchers check to see whether they’re just scamming.

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  12. harvester ants
    Animals

    Harvester ants are restless, enigmatic architects

    Florida harvester ants dig complex, curly nests over, then leave and do it again.

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