It's Alive

  1. Animals

    When snakes fly

    A gliding snake gets some lift by spreading its ribs, but much about its flight remains a mystery.

  2. Animals

    Sperm on a stick for springtails

    Many males of the tiny soil organisms sustain their species by leaving drops of sperm glistening here and there in the landscape in case a female chooses to pick one up.

  3. Animals

    A corsage that bites

    The orchid mantis uses a flowery subterfuge to lure prey.

  4. Life

    Fungal fight club

    Combat between fungal individuals is a bit like war between heaps of spaghetti.

  5. Animals

    Pink armadillos ain’t your Texas critters

    It’s a real animal, the smallest armadillo species in the world. At about 100 grams, it would fit in your hands.

  6. Animals

    The colorful lives of squid

    Your calamari, it turns out, may have come from a temporary transvestite with rainbows in its armpits.

  7. Animals

    Vampire reality check

    A vampire bat drinks one meal a night, and missing just three nights in a row would probably kill the animal.

  8. Plants

    Dastardly daisies

    This flower isn’t just any old sex cheat. It can be sexually deceptive three ways and in 3-D.

  9. Animals

    Tiny creature, giant sperm

    Giant sperm appear in various other species, including some flatworms, beetles and a fruit fly species, Drosophila bifurca, with sperm nearly 6 centimeters long.

  10. vampire squid

    The real vampire squid