Jake Buehler

Jake Buehler is a freelance science writer, covering natural history, wildlife conservation and Earth's splendid biodiversity, from salamanders to sequoias. He has a master's degree in zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

All Stories by Jake Buehler

  1. a leaf-cutting ant, with sharp mandibles visible

    How metal-infused jaws give some ants an exceptionally sharp bite

    Some small animals make cuts, tears and punctures that they couldn’t otherwise do using body parts reinforced with metals such as zinc and manganese.

  2. flames and smoke billow from trees in the Amazon

    Fires may have affected up to 85 percent of threatened Amazon species

    Since 2001, fires in the Amazon have impacted up to about 190,000 square kilometers — roughly the size of Washington state.

  3. male greater double-collared sunbird

    Sunbirds’ dazzling feathers are hot, in both senses of the word

    Iridescent feathers reflect vivid colors. But they also become scorching hot in the sunlight, a study finds.

  4. image of the mesh skeleton on a modern bath sponge

    If confirmed, tubes in 890-million-year-old rock may be the oldest animal fossils

    Newly described wormlike fossils may be ancient sea sponges. If confirmed, the fossils would reveal a remarkably early start to animal life.

  5. a Xerces blue butterfly against a black background

    This butterfly is the first U.S. insect known to go extinct because of people

    A 93-year-old Xerces blue specimen’s DNA shows that the butterfly is a distinct species, making it the first U.S. insect humans drove to extinction.

  6. Twelve-spotted skimmer dragonfly on branch

    Climate change may rob male dragonfly wings of their dark spots

    Less colorful, cooler wings may be advantageous to dragonflies in a warmer world. But the change could mess with the insects’ mating.

  7. a water scavenger beetle

    These beetles walk on water, upside down, underneath the surface

    Many insects can skate atop the water’s surface thanks to water tension, but one beetle can apparently tread along the underside of this boundary.

  8. a woman spots a humpback whale tail

    ‘Fathom’ seeks to unravel humpback whales’ soulful songs

    The film ‘Fathom’ on Apple TV+ follows the quest of researchers on the ocean’s surface to decipher the eerie symphony of humpback whale calls below.

  9. fern colony on a tree trunk

    These ferns may be the first plants known to share work like ants

    Staghorn ferns grow in massive colonies where individual plants contribute different jobs. This may make them “eusocial,” like ants or termites.

  10. photo of a red/pink sea star

    Urchin mobs team up to butcher sea stars that prey on them

    Urchins are important herbivores in nearshore ecosystems, but are not strict vegetarians, with hunger that extends even to munching predatory nemeses.

  11. a mantis hanging from a leaf

    This praying mantis inflates a strange pheromone gland to lure mates

    Researchers stumbled across a first among mantises: an inflatable organ that spreads pheromones, helping mates find each other in the dark rainforest.

  12. lion yawning

    Yawning helps lions synchronize their groups’ movements

    A lion yawn is contagious, and when lions start yawning together, they start moving together. Synchronization may be key for group hunters like lions.