Wild Things

The weird and wonderful in the natural world

  1. Australian trapdoor spider
    Animals

    These spiders crossed an ocean to get to Australia

    The nearest relatives of an Australian trapdoor spider live in Africa. They crossed the Indian Ocean to get to Australia, a new study suggests.

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  2. kelp gulls and fur seal pups
    Animals

    One creature’s meal is another’s pain in the butt

    Kelp and dolphin gulls in Patagonia have found a new food source. But they accidentally injure fur seal pups to get it.

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  3. fire ants forming a tower in the lab
    Animals

    Fire ants build towers with three simple rules

    Fire ants use the same set of simple rules to produce static rafts and perpetually moving towers.

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  4. wildebeests crossing Mara river
    Animals

    Drowned wildebeests can feed a river ecosystem for years

    Only a small percentage of wildebeests drown as they cross the Mara River, but they provide resources for the river ecosystem for years after their deaths.

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  5. sooty tern flying over open water
    Animals

    Sooty terns’ migration takes the birds into the path of hurricanes

    Sooty terns migrate south from southern Florida and back again. The track sometimes takes the birds into the path of hurricanes, a new study finds.

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  6. kitten in a litterbox
    Animals

    Why create a model of mammal defecation? Because everyone poops

    Mammals that defecate in the same fashion as humans all excrete waste within the same time frame, no matter their size, a new study finds.

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  7. dolphin flinging an octopus
    Animals

    How a dolphin eats an octopus without dying

    An octopus’s tentacles can kill a dolphin — or a human — when eaten alive. But wily dolphins in Australia have figured out how to do this safely.

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  8. black swan
    Animals

    Improbable ‘black swan’ events can devastate animal populations

    Conservation managers should take a note from the world of investments and pay attention to “black swan” events, a new study posits.

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  9. badger burying a calf
    Animals

    Camera trap catches a badger burying a cow

    Badgers are known to bury small animals to save them for future eating. Now researchers have caught them caching something much bigger: young cows.

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  10. woolly mammoth
    Animals

    De-extinction probably isn’t worth it

    Diverting money to resurrecting extinct creatures could put those still on Earth at risk.

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  11. fishing boat full of anchoveta
    Environment

    Most fish turned into fishmeal are species that we could be eating

    Millions of tons of food-grade fish are turned into fishmeal for aquaculture and agriculture.

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  12. black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys
    Animals

    The animal guide to finding love

    Learn to dance, keep an eye on your competition, bring a gift: Animals have some practical advice for finding a mate.

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