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Category Archives: Wild Life
Genetic analysis of hair attributed to Bigfoot found no support for that claim, but hairs linked to the Yeti were determined to belong to a mysterious bear species that may not yet be known to science. The research, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, marks a rare intersection of peer-reviewed science and cryptozoology, which is the search for, and study of, animals whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated. The study solely focused on hair samples, … Continue reading
Glaucus atlanticus, commonly known as the sea swallow, blue angel, blue glaucus, blue dragon, blue sea slug and blue ocean slug, is a species of small-sized blue sea slug, a gastropod mollusk in the family Glaucidae and to our eye extremely beautiful. These sea slugs feed on other pelagic creatures including the venomous cnidarian, the Portuguese Man o’ War. Because the sea slug stores stinging nematocysts from the cnidarian within its own tissues, a human picking up the sea slug … Continue reading
Australia can no longer claim to the origins of the iconic New Zealand kiwi. The kiwi isn’t the first New Zealand icon Australia has controversially laid claim to – think Russell Crowe and the Pavlova. But ancient DNA has now proved that the kiwi officially didn’t originate in Australia and its closest relative isn’t the emu, as previously thought. Instead, scientists from the University of Adelaide have discovered its closest relative is the extinct Madagascan elephant bird – a two … Continue reading
Gardeners wanting to rid their spring flowerbeds of pesky snails can ditch the beer traps and egg shells and instead develop a strong throwing arm. This is according to a new study in the journal Physica Scripta, which has used statistical models to show that removing snails out of the garden by a distance of over 20 metres or more is just as effective as simply killing them. According to the researchers, from Queen Mary University of London and The … Continue reading
For over a decade, a disease called colony collapse disorder has been destroying bee populations worldwide. Because bees pollinate many of our staple crops, their deaths threaten our food supplies. Now, new evidence is solidifying a case against the likely culprit in their deaths. Researchers have previously argued that colony collapse is being caused by neonicotinoids, a form of insecticide that works by damaging the insects’ brain functions and shutting down their nervous systems. After a period of excitability, insects … Continue reading
As if you needed another reason not to drink sea water! David Liittschwager, an accomplished award-winning photographer who has created numerous marine wildlife photos for National Geographic, has created an image showing the microfauna that exists inside a single drop of seawater! By magnifying the water 25 times, he showed that the salty taste of seawater isn’t just salt – there are bacteria, worms, fish eggs, crab larva, diatoms, and a whole host of other creepy crawlies all fighting for … Continue reading
Dual-sex butterflies! These visually astonishing creatures are bilateral gynandromorphs, which means half their body is female, half male. The genetic conditions isn’t unique to butterflies; dual-sex birds, lobsters, caterpillars and spiders have also been found. Via Facebook.
Paul Nicklen describes his most amazing experience as a National Geographic photographer – coming face-to-face with one of Antarctica’s most vicious predators – the Leopard seal. Image credit - Paul Nicklen
Believe it or not, a bird made this. Vogelkop gardener bowerbirds from New Guinea go to extraordinary lengths to build a love nest from interwoven sticks and decorative objects to appear more attractive to a female. Via Facebook.
Chance discovery could be unique to whale bone habitat A new species of bug, similar in appearance to the common woodlouse, has been found plastered all over a whale carcass on the floor of the deep Southern Ocean. Scientists say that Jaera tyleri is the first in its genus to be found in the southern hemisphere, and may be unique to the whale bone habitat. The bones themselves are a remarkable chance discovery. They were spotted on a live video … Continue reading
Narrated by David Attenborough, this video shows the battle that dung beetles face in order to survive.
The tweets of Puerto Rico’s unofficial mascot, the common coqui frog, became higher pitched during the past two decades, while the animals grew shorter. At the same time, the island increased in average temperature. “We think the animal adapted to temperature change by becoming smaller, which we believe causes the differences in their calls,” said Sebastiaan Meenderink, a UCLA physicist and co-author of a recent study documenting the declining dimensions of the coqui frog, in a press release. Male coqui … Continue reading
Crows are as smart as an average five to seven-year-old human child, according to a new study. The research shows that the crow behavior described in a popular Aesop’s fable is real and that crows actually understand water displacement. Science has known for a long time that crows and other members of the corvid family are intelligent. Now, researchers at the University of Auckland found that New Caledonian crows, Corvus moneduloides, can solve the pitcher puzzle in Aesop’s fable with reasoning abilities … Continue reading
Tardigrades or Waterbears are classified as extremophiles, organisms that can thrive in a physically or geochemically extreme condition that would be detrimental to most life on Earth. For example, tardigrades can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, pressures about six times stronger than pressures found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for more … Continue reading
The waxy monkey leaf frog, is a type of tree frog from Central and South America. It has adapted to meet the demands of life in the trees and does not need to return to the ground during the mating season, it lays its eggs down the middle of a leaf before folding the leaf and sandwiching the eggs inside. Its nest is attached to a branch suspended over a stream, so the hatching tadpoles drop into the water. The … Continue reading
A team of researchers in Spain has found that at least one species of cuckoo bird may actually help its nest-mates survive. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how in studying the great spotted cuckoo, they found that crow hatchlings were actually more successful due to the presence of an uninvited bird. Most everyone knows that cuckoo birds are the ultimate free-loaders. Mothers lay their eggs in the nests of birds of different species, leaving … Continue reading
Crinoids are marine animals that make up the class Crinoidea of the echinoderms. Crinoidea comes from the Greek word krinon, “a lily”, and eidos, “form”. They live both in shallow water and in depths as great as 6,000 metres. Sea lilies refer to the crinoids which, in their adult form, are attached to the sea bottom by a stalk. Feather stars or comatulids refer to the unstalked forms. Crinoids are characterised by a mouth on the top surface that is surrounded … Continue reading
Sea anemones are classified as being animals, but two new genetic studies have found that these water-dwelling creatures are technically half plant and half animal. The discovery does not change the classification of sea anemones, but the studies — both published in the latest issue of the journal Genome Research — reveal just how interconnected life on Earth is. “All animals living now, including humans, are equally distant (i.e. distantly related) to plants,” project leader Ulrich Technau told Discovery News. “However, … Continue reading