1. Animals

    Costly Sexiness: All that flash puts birds at extra risk

    Distinctive his-and-her plumages increase the chance that a bird species will go extinct locally, according to an unusually far-ranging study.

  2. Animals

    Careful Coots: Do birds count their eggs before they hatch?

    A coot may tally the eggs in her nest, a rare example of an animal counting in the wild, suggests a new study.

  3. Animals

    Secret Signal: Fish allurement that predators don’t see

    In a rare demonstration of secret messaging in animals, a swordtail fish uses ultraviolet courtship signals that are invisible to a predator.

  4. Animals

    At last, a bird that nails killer chicks

    For the first time, researchers have found a bird species—Australia's superb fairy-wren—that reacts when all its own chicks disappear and a giant imposter takes their place.

  5. Animals

    Techno Crow: Do birds build up better tool designs?

    Researchers surveying tool use by New Caledonian crows propose that the birds may be the first animals besides people shown to ratchet up the sophistication of their technology by sharing design improvements.

  6. Animals

    Ants lurk for bees, but bees see ambush

    A tropical ant has perfected the un-antlike behavior of hunting by ambush, but its prey, a sweat bee, has developed some tricks of its own.

  7. Animals

    Fish That Decorate: Females prefer nests with pizzazz

    If scientists give foil strips to male stickleback fish, the fellows carry them back to their nests for decoration, and it turns out that females seem to like guys with lots of shiny stuff.

  8. Animals

    Vampire bats don’t learn from bad lunch

    For the first time, a mammal has flunked a controlled test for developing a food aversion after getting sick just once, and that unusual creature is the common vampire bat.

  9. Animals

    Flowers, not flirting, make sexes differ

    Thanks to lucky circumstances, bird researchers find rare evidence that food, not sex appeal, makes some male and female hummingbirds look different.

  10. Animals

    Sibling Desperado: Doomed booby chick turns relentlessly violent

    The first known case among nonhuman vertebrates of so-called desperado aggression—relentless attacks against an overwhelming force—may come from the underling chick in nests of brown boobies.

  11. Animals

    He and she cooperate on anti-aphrodisiacs

    Scientists have for the first time identified a chemical that serves as a butterfly anti-aphrodisiac.

  12. Animals

    Better Than Real: Males prefer flower’s scent to female wasp’s

    In an extreme case of sex fakery, an orchid produces oddball chemicals to mimic a female wasp's allure so well that males prefer the flower scent to the real thing.