Life

  1. A brown widow spider crawling along a garter snake trapped in its web against a white wall
    Animals

    Snake-eating spiders are surprisingly common

    Spiders from at least 11 families feed on serpents many times their size, employing a host of tactics to turn even venomous snakes into soup.

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  2. image of Mt. Rushmore
    Earth

    A new book reveals stories of ancient life written in North America’s rocks

    In ‘How the Mountains Grew,’ John Dvorak probes the interlinked geology and biology buried within the rocks of North America.

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  3. researcher releasing a great hammerhead shark into the ocean
    Animals

    A hammerhead shark baby boom near Florida hints at a historic nursery

    Finding an endangered shark nursery in a vast ocean is like finding a needle in a haystack. But that’s just what scientists did near Miami.

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  4. picture of a green caterpillar-like creature walking across a leaf
    Animals

    Viruses can kill wasp larvae that grow inside infected caterpillars

    Proteins found in viruses and some moths can protect caterpillars from parasitoid wasps seeking a living nursery for their eggs.

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  5. illustration of a polar bear standing on a cliff as a rock falls toward a walrus standing on a rock below
    Animals

    Polar bears sometimes bludgeon walruses to death with stones or ice

    Inuit reports of polar bears using tools to kill walruses were historically dismissed as stories, but new research suggests the behavior does occur.

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  6. image of the mesh skeleton on a modern bath sponge
    Life

    If confirmed, tubes in 890-million-year-old rock may be the oldest animal fossils

    Newly described wormlike fossils may be ancient sea sponges. If confirmed, the fossils would reveal a remarkably early start to animal life.

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  7. close-up of a tardigrade from above
    Life

    Near-invincible tardigrades may see only in black and white

    A genetic analysis suggests that water bears don’t have light-sensing proteins to detect ultraviolet light or color.

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  8. an anole lizard
    Animals

    How some lizards breathe underwater

    Researchers have figured out how some anole lizards can stay underwater for as long as 18 minutes.

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  9. polar bear
    Life

    ‘Wild Souls’ explores what we owe animals in a human-dominated world

    The new book Wild Souls explores the ethical dilemmas of saving Earth’s endangered animals.

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  10. microscope image of archaea
    Paleontology

    3.42-billion-year-old fossil threads may be the oldest known archaea microbes

    The structure and chemistry of these ancient cell-like fossils may hint where Earth’s early inhabitants evolved and how they got their energy.

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  11. illustration of flamingo-like flying dinosaurs, with two in the foreground and several in the background
    Paleontology

    Pterosaurs may have been able to fly as soon as they hatched

    A fossil analysis shows the flying reptile hatchlings had a stronger bone crucial for lift-off that adults and shorter, broader wings for agility.

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  12. Venus's-flower-basket sea sponge
    Animals

    How intricate Venus’s-flower-baskets manipulate the flow of seawater

    Simulations show that a deep-sea glass sponge’s intricate skeleton creates particle-trapping vortices and reduces the stress of rushing water.

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