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E.g., 04/25/2017
E.g., 04/25/2017
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Your search has returned 1812 articles:
  • Wild Things

    How a dolphin eats an octopus without dying

    Most people who eat octopus prefer it immobile, cut into pieces and nicely grilled or otherwise cooked. For some, though, the wiggly, sucker-covered arms of a live octopus are a treat — even though those arms can stick to the throat and suffocate the diner if they haven’t been chopped into small enough pieces.

    Dolphins risk the same fate when eating octopus — and they can’t cook it or...

    04/25/2017 - 13:00 Animals
  • Rethink

    Beetles have been mooching off insect colonies for millions of years

    Mooching roommates are an ancient problem. Certain species of beetles evolved to live with and leech off social insects such as ants and termites as long ago as the mid-Cretaceous, two new beetle fossils suggest. The finds date the behavior, called social parasitism, to almost 50 million years earlier than previously thought.

    Ants and termites are eusocial — they live in communal groups...

    04/24/2017 - 16:00 Animals, Paleontology
  • Editor's Note

    Scientists find amazement in what’s most familiar

    For her 7th birthday, my niece received a very special gift — a compound light microscope with a set of slides. As soon as we got it out of the package, she became a diligent young investigator, studying the leg of a fly, dog cardiac muscle and onion epidermal cells. But it wasn’t the prepared slides that captivated her most. She wanted to investigate more familiar things. We plucked hairs...

    04/19/2017 - 11:50 Particle Physics, Animals
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers bugged by wine-spoiling stinkbugs

    Eau de stinkbug

    Stinkbugs accidentally harvested with grapes and fermented during the wine­making process release a pungent stress compound. It takes only three stinkbugs per grape cluster to ruin red wine’s taste, Elizabeth S. Eaton reported in “Red wine has stinkbug threshold” (SN: 3/18/17, p. 5).

    “Does contamination of wine by the bugs’ stress compound pose any health risk to...

    04/19/2017 - 11:49 Animals
  • Feature

    Venomous fish have evolved many ways to inflict pain

    Biologist Leo Smith held an unusual job while an undergraduate student in San Diego. Twice a year, he tagged along on a chartered boat with elderly passengers. The group needed him to identify two particular species of rockfish, the chilipepper rockfish and the California shortspine thornyhead. Once he’d found the red-orange creatures, the passengers would stab themselves in the arms with the...

    04/19/2017 - 11:30 Animals, Evolution
  • Science Ticker

    Frog slime protein fights off the flu

    The next flu drug could come from frog mucus. It’s not as crazy as it sounds: For decades, scientists have searched for new antiviral drugs by mining proteins that animals produce to protect themselves from microbes. In lab tests, proteins found in amphibian secretions can defend against HIV, herpes and now the flu.

    David Holthausen of Emory University and his colleagues sampled slime...

    04/19/2017 - 09:00 Biomedicine, Animals
  • Scicurious

    How the house mouse tamed itself

    Got a mouse in the house? Blame yourself. Not your housekeeping, but your species. Humans never intended to live a mouse-friendly life. But as we moved into a settled life, some animals — including a few unassuming mice — settled in, too. In the process, their species prospered — and took over the world.

    The rise and fall of the house mouse’s fortunes followed the stability and...

    04/19/2017 - 07:00 Archaeology, Animals
  • The Science Life

    Early dinosaur relative sported odd mix of bird, crocodile-like traits

    While researching fossils in a museum in 2007, Sterling Nesbitt noticed one partial skeleton that was hard to place. Though the reptile — at the time, unofficially called Teleocrater rhadinus — was thought to be a dinosaur relative, it was an oddball. At about 2 meters long, it was larger than other close relatives, walked on four feet instead of two, and had an unusually long neck and tail....

    04/17/2017 - 14:22 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals
  • Wild Things

    Improbable ‘black swan’ events can devastate animal populations

    Sometimes, the improbable happens. The stock market crashes. A big earthquake shakes a city. A nuclear power plant has a meltdown. These seemingly unpredictable, rare incidents — dubbed black swan events — may be unlikely to happen on any specific day, but they do occur. And even though they may be rare, we take precautions. A smart investor balances their portfolio. A California homeowner...

    04/17/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Science Ticker

    Size matters to lizards, but numbers may not

    The quantitative abilities of lizards may have their limits.

    From horses to salamanders, lots of different species display some form of number sense, but the phenomenon hasn’t been investigated in reptiles. So a team of researchers in Italy set up two experiments for 27 ruin lizards (Podarcis sicula) collected from walls on the University of Ferrara’s campus. In the first test, the team ...

    04/14/2017 - 16:00 Animals, Evolution