Life

  1. mall Steatoda spider hoisting a lizard
    Animals

    How a tiny spider uses silk to lift prey 50 times its own weight

    Dropping the right silk can haul mice, lizards and other giants up off the ground.

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  2. mosasaur Xenodens calminechari scavenging a plesiosaur carcass
    Paleontology

    This ancient sea reptile had a slicing bite like no other

    Right up until 66 million years ago, the sea was a teeming evolutionary laboratory with a small, agile, razor-toothed mosasaur patrolling the waters.

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  3. an illustration of a Brontosaurus
    Animals

    50 years ago, scientists made the case for a landlubbing Brontosaurus

    In 1971, a scientist argued for a landbound Brontosaurus instead of a swampy swimmer. Recent evidence comes from studies of its ancient environment.

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  4. A tuatara, which looks like a spiny lizard
    Genetics

    Lizard-like tuatara carry two distinct mitochondrial genomes

    Having two mitochondrial genetic instruction books, a first for vertebrates, may help explain tuatara’s unique ability to tolerate cold temperatures.

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  5. Naked mole-rat
    Animals

    Naked mole-rat colonies speak with unique dialects

    Machine learning reveals that these social rodents communicate with distinctive speech patterns that are culturally inherited.

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  6. Venus flytrap grabbing a weight
    Tech

    A robot arm toting a Venus flytrap can grab delicate objects

    By attaching electrodes to the plant’s leaves, researchers found a way to snap its traps shut on command.

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  7. Orange and black bat species
    Animals

    A new orange and black bat species is always ready for Halloween

    A new species from the sky islands of Africa’s Nimba Mountains shows bats’ colorful streak.

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  8. illustration of ancient bobbit worms
    Life

    Giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor to ambush prey

    20-million-year-old tunnels unearthed in Taiwan may have been home to creatures that ambushed prey similar to today’s monstrous bobbit worms.

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  9. Dermasterias imbricata
    Animals

    Some bacteria are suffocating sea stars, turning the animals to goo

    For years, researchers thought an infectious pathogen was behind sea star wasting disease. Instead, bacteria deplete the starfishes’ oxygen.

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  10. sand goanna monitor lizard
    Life

    Monitor lizards’ huge burrow systems can shelter hundreds of small animals

    Two species of Australian monitor lizards dig nests four meters deep. Now scientists reveal that the burrows are home to far more than their creators.

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  11. Volta's electric eel
    Animals

    Some electric eels coordinate attacks to zap their prey

    Electric eels were thought be to solitary hunters, until researchers observed over 100 eels hunting together, releasing coordinated electric attacks on corralled prey.

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  12. crested rats
    Plants

    Rats with poisonous hairdos live surprisingly sociable private lives

    Deadly, swaggering rodents purr and snuggle when they’re with mates and young.

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