Life

  1. A Scott's oriole, with black neck and head, black-and-white wings and yellow underbelly, perched on a branch
    Science & Society

    Racism lurks in names given to plants and animals. That’s starting to change

    Racist legacies linger in everyday lingo for birds, bugs and more. Some scientists see the chance to change that.

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  2. Hyloscirtus tigrinus frog eye up close
    Animals

    Frog and toad pupils mainly come in seven different shapes

    Analyzing over 3,200 species revealed that the colorful eyes of frogs and toads have pupils shaped as slits, diamonds, fans and more.

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  3. giant tortoise lunging toward a bird on a log
    Animals

    A giant tortoise was caught stalking, killing and eating a baby bird

    Video captures the first documented instance of a tortoise hunting another animal.

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  4. a fossil of an ancient horseshoe crab in brownish rock, with white marks showing the fossilized brain
    Paleontology

    How fossilization preserved a 310-million-year-old horseshoe crab’s brain

    A 310-million-year-old horseshoe crab’s brain was preserved in clay, thanks to an uncommon fossilization process that protected the fragile neural tissues.

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  5. a greater sac-winged bat pup clings to a tree and vocalizes
    Animals

    These baby greater sac-winged bats babble to learn their mating songs

    Greater sac-winged bat pups babble their way through learning their rich vocal repertoire, similar to how human infants babble before speaking.

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  6. a yellow and white Triantha occidentalis flower
    Plants

    A well-known wildflower turns out to be a secret carnivore

    A species of false asphodel wildflower snags prey with gluey, enzyme-secreting hairs, leaving a trail of insect corpses on its flowering stem.

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  7. male greater double-collared sunbird
    Animals

    Sunbirds’ dazzling feathers are hot, in both senses of the word

    Iridescent feathers reflect vivid colors. But they also become scorching hot in the sunlight, a study finds.

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  8. orange and pink soft coral
    Life

    Probiotics help lab corals survive deadly heat stress

    In a lab experiment, probiotics prevented the death of corals under heat stress, suggesting beneficial microbes could help save ailing reefs.

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  9. a group of Ayta people in front of huts beside a river
    Genetics

    An Indigenous people in the Philippines have the most Denisovan DNA

    Genetic comparisons crown the Indigenous Ayta Magbukon people as having the most DNA, 5 percent, from the mysterious ancient hominids.

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  10. titmouse bird plucking fur from a fox
    Life

    Scientists have a new word for birds stealing animal hair

    Dozens of YouTube videos show birds stealing hair from dogs, cats, humans, raccoons and even a porcupine — a behavior rarely documented by scientists.

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  11. illustration of nerve cells in the hippocampus
    Health & Medicine

    Ripples in rats’ brains tied to memory may also reduce sugar levels

    Brain signals called sharp-wave ripples have an unexpected job: influencing the body’s sugar levels, a study in rats suggests.

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  12. a fox squirrel in a tree
    Animals

    Squirrels use parkour tricks when leaping from branch to branch

    Squirrels navigate through trees by making rapid calculations to balance trade-offs between branch flexibility and the distance between tree limbs.

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