Wild Things

The weird and wonderful in the natural world

  1. forest elephants
    Animals

    As IUCN votes on ivory trade, elephants’ future looks bleak

    As the IUCN prepares to debate an end to the ivory trade, two new reports show just how poorly Africa’s elephant species are faring.

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  2. rattlesnake
    Animals

    Tail vibrations may have preceded evolution of rattlesnake rattle

    The rattle on a rattlesnake evolved just once. A new study contends it may have come out of a common behavior — tail vibration — that snakes use to deter predators.

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  3. daddy longlegs
    Animals

    The weird mating habits of daddy longlegs

    Scientists studying the sex lives of daddy longlegs are finding there’s a lot of diversity among this group of arachnids.

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  4. striped plateau lizard
    Animals

    Lizard mom’s microbiome may protect her eggs

    Striped plateau lizard moms don’t do any parenting beyond laying eggs. But they may convey protection from pathogens with help from their microbiome.

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  5. capybaras
    Animals

    Capybaras may be poised to be Florida’s next invasive rodent

    Some capybaras have escaped their owners in Florida. Others have been set loose. Now there are fears the giant rodents could become established in the state.

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  6. birds at birdfeeder
    Animals

    Bird-friendly yards have a major downside — for birds

    Vegetation and feeders bring birds into our yards. But those lures also bring more birds to collide with the windows in our homes.

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  7. Antarctic fur seal pup
    Animals

    Pup kidnapping has a happy ending when a seal gets two moms

    A female fur seal kidnapped another seal’s pup. But this turned out to be a positive the young seal, scientists found.

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  8. Themisto libellula amphipod
    Oceans

    Sea ice algae drive the Arctic food web

    Even organisms that don’t depend on sea ice depend on sea ice algae, a new study finds. But Arctic sea ice is disappearing.

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  9. Fungus-gardening ant
    Animals

    Tiny ants move a ton of soil

    For the first time, scientists have quantified how much soil ants move underground.

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  10. jaguar
    Animals

    For jaguars, armored prey is no obstacle

    With big heads, thick teeth and strong muscles, jaguars have evolved to take on dangerous prey, often animals covered with thick armor.

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  11. willow warbler
    Animals

    When bird populations shrink, females fly away

    In small and shrinking populations of willow warblers, males outnumber females. That’s because girls choose to join bigger groups, a new study finds.

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  12. a burying beetle
    Animals

    Beetles that battle make better moms than ones that never fight

    Female burying beetles that have to fight before reproducing spend more time caring for offspring than beetles with no fighting experience, a new study finds.

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