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  • When Species Collide: Grizzly-Polar Bear Hybrids

    As global temperatures rise, ecosystems and the species they harbor are adjusting in response. Many habitats are either shifting their boundaries polewards—or disappearing altogether—sending wildlife into new regions, where they interact with resident creatures in surprising and often unprecedented ways. When this geographic collision is between two closely related species, they sometimes cross-breed, leading to […] More

  • Bizarre Parasite Turns Male Cicadas Into Sex-Crazed Zombies

    When cicada nymphs emerge from the ground, a certain percentage of them—between 2 and 5 percent—will acquire a fungal infection. The parasite rapidly grows inside these unlucky insects, eventually destroying whole sections of their body. But while the fungus has been known to science for a century, recent research published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports […] More

  • When Species Collide: Red Foxes vs. Arctic Foxes

    As our planet gets warmer, more species are being brought closer together than ever as climate bands shift polewards and key resources move along with them. When the species are closely related, the increased interaction can result in cross-breeding—as is the case between polar bears and grizzlies. But the opposite response can also be true.  […] More

  • Amazing Adaptations: How These Animals Survive Sub-Zero Temperatures

    The coldest time of year can be a bitter inconvenience for humans, but for many species, surviving winter temperatures means wielding evolved biological tricks that appear to cheat Death itself — all of which make grumbling about donning a hat and extra layers a little trivial, in retrospect. From frozen frogs to butt-breathing turtles, here […] More

  • Bacteria or Venom? The Surprising Secret Behind the Komodo Dragon’s Deadly Bite

    A water buffalo moves slowly through a shaded woodland on Rinca Island. It’s the dry season, so the grass rustles with each footfall, and it’s oppressively hot. Without warning, a massive reptile—the size of a full-grown man—bursts through the shrubbery. It’s a Komodo dragon, and before the buffalo can react, it lands a deep, gouging […] More

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    Nature’s Greatest Killing Machines: The Harpy Eagle

    The vibrant rainforests of Central and South America have no shortage of impressive predators. Jaguars slink through the understory, caimans and anacondas patrol murky waterways, and venomous lancehead vipers wait coiled below the leaf litter. But one of the region’s most proficient and deadly hunters rains fear down from the balmy canopy: the harpy eagle […] More

  • African Wild Dogs Are Among the Most Efficient Hunters on Earth

    With their arresting size, cunning, and athleticism, Africa’s big cats—like lions, leopards, and cheetahs—get plenty of attention as avatars of carnivory. But the swiftest death on the sun-baked savanna comes from an animal that doesn’t look all that different from the lovable mutt snoring on your couch. African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are among the […] More

  • Elusive Clouded Leopard Caught on Camera at High Altitude Himalayan Forest

    A rare clouded leopard was caught on camera at one of the highest altitudes ever reported. In a first, a team of researchers captured remote camera photos of a group of clouded leopards in the Nagaland Mountains in northeastern India. The leopards were reported at a remarkable elevation of 3700 meters by the researchers, led […] More

  • Nightmarish Parasitoid Wasps Are Quietly Taking Over the Planet

    In the popular Alien sci-fi film franchise, the titular species—known as the “xenomorph”—targets hapless humans, often horrifically implanting their bodies with its own eggs. When the eggs hatch, the young emerge explosively from their unwilling incubator, with invariably fatal results for the human host. The jarring life cycle seems like something cooked up entirely in […] More

  • 4 Unbelievably Strange Snakes You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

    When it comes to snakes, most of the attention goes to highly venomous varieties (like cobras and vipers) and constrictors (like boas and pythons.) This makes sense since many of these species are either quite dangerous to humans or, at least, perceived to be. But there’s a remarkable diversity of snakes and their lifestyles—and some […] More

  • These Bats Make Epic 100km Trips for Food Every Night

    Most of us are probably familiar with the occasional mid-night voyage to a drive-through window to quell the munchies. Well, one small species of bat takes the concept of long-distance moonlit foraging to whole other level. Lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) are native to a large swath of territory that takes up much of Mexico, […] More

  • From Dinosaurs to Birds: How Dinosaurs Learned to Fly

    Every feathered thing — from the hummingbirds flitting near your feeder to the falcons that haunt lonely cliffs — has something in common, and it’s not just that they’ve got wings. Today’s modern birds descended from a single, surviving line of carnivorous, theropod dinosaurs that became small, delicate, covered in feathers, and were gifted with […] More

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