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  • Asia’s Rare River Titans: These Giant Freshwater Fish Are Disappearing

    Asia is a continent of extremes. It’s home to Earth’s highest mountain range (the Himalayas) and one of the largest expanses of forest on the planet (Eastern Siberia’s vast taiga.) Plus, half of the world’s ten longest rivers are in Asia, including colossal waterways like the Yangtze, the Yellow, and Amur Rivers. These huge river systems […] More

  • Firenado: When Wildfires and Tornadoes Collide

    A “fire tornado” doesn’t seem like it would be real. The combination of inferno and whirlwind sounds like the sort of over-the-top phenomenon you’d see in an apocalyptic disaster film. But given the right conditions, “firenados” are very real events with the potential to be incredibly destructive. Watch the incredible footage below to see a […] 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

  • An Intellectually Stimulating Childhood Makes Jumping Spiders Smarter

    Jumping spiders, with their giant, shiny eyes, staccato movements, and stumpy bodies, are among the most charismatic arachnids out there. But all that charisma can’t erase the sense of alienness these spiders give off — perhaps an inevitable side-effect of the hundreds of millions of years of evolution separating them from humans. Now, new research suggests […] 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • The Creepiest Invasive Species That Go Unnoticed by Most People

    As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected across the globe, the unintentional spread of non-native species into vulnerable habitats is creating a growing crisis. Wherever they go, invasive species have the potential to wreak havoc on ecosystems and economies alike, occasionally swelling to scourge status in the absence of native predators or meaningful restrictions on their reproduction. […] More

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