Birds are Judging You by Your Outfit

You might be able to quickly recognise a friend from afar based on their body language or their personal fashion choices. It turns out that some birds do the same thing, recognising familiar, harmless humans by their clothing. Read More >>

Hawks’ Forbidden Love Results in a Rare Hybrid

She was a common black hawk. He was a red-shouldered hawk. They weren’t in the same genus, let alone the same species, and they normally don’t even live in the same part of the continent. But in a strange twist of fate, none of that mattered: It was love at first screech. Read More >>

Researchers See Eagle Torturing Bat by Repeatedly Dropping It in the Ocean

White-bellied sea eagles are majestic, keen-eyed predators that soar effortlessly above coastal forests and marshes. They can also be colossal jerks. These eagles were recently spotted tormenting an innocent fruit bat, repeatedly carrying it out to sea and dropping it into the waves. Read More >>

Mongooses Stink Less, Have Bigger Balls After Invading Islands

Over the last 150 years, the males of certain invasive mongooses have undergone some serious tweaks to their sexual anatomy. New research suggests that the mongooses’ anal pads – which produce a scent that is apparently very alluring to female mongooses – have become comparatively shrunken, while their testicles have gotten bigger. Read More >>

New Species of Praying Mantis Impales Its Prey on Barbed Spikes

Mantises are elite ambush predators, snatching their victims with a lightning-fast strike of their front limbs. But one newly described species doesn’t just hold its prey in a prickly embrace: It impales it, using long, barbed tines to expertly polish off the squirming morsel like a chunk of bread skewered on a fondue fork. Read More >>

Newly Discovered Widow Spider Lays Bright Purple Eggs

Scientists have discovered a spider living in South Africa that’s truly a sight to behold. The arachnids feature a scarlet, exclamation mark-shaped blotch on their backs, along with a white squiggle pattern that creates the vague shape of a human face, mouth agape in horror. Read More >>

plastic pollution
Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are Consuming a Staggering Amount of Plastic

Manta rays and whale sharks are among the largest filter-feeding fishes on the planet. To power their bulk, they sieve massive quantities of plankton out of the water. But new research off the coast of Indonesia suggests their meals come with an unwanted garnish: an alarming amount of plastic waste. Read More >>

Gollum-Like Daddy Long-Legs Discovered in the Bowels of the Earth

Daddy long-legs – spider-like arachnids technically known as “harvestmen” – are already plenty unnerving, with their too-long-to-be-real limbs, jerky movements, and habit of clustering into a horrible, hairy mass. But researchers have recently unveiled a variety of harvestman totally new to science, and it cranks the creepy up to 11. Read More >>

Backpacking Researchers Accidentally Discover Grasshopper-Eating Wolf

Some of the most serendipitous discoveries about nature can be prompted by just about anything, like finding the first known venomous frog by accidentally grabbing the business end of one, or revealing a new owl species by eavesdropping on its unplaceable hooting. Or, perhaps, you might stumble upon a really weird turd. Read More >>

Not Even a Fire-Loving Bird Can Handle Climate Change’s Heat

Fire is central in the world of black-backed woodpeckers, to the point that the birds pick cavities in recently burned trees to make their nests. But new research suggests that even these fire enthusiasts aren’t able to handle the inferno climate change is already dishing out. Read More >>

‘Ghost’ Fishing Gear Is a Bigger Threat to Sharks Than We Realised

Not even the oceans’ top predators can escape the ruinous embrace of humanity’s plastic waste, suggests new research. The study indicates that over recent decades, many hundreds of sharks have been reported falling victim to entanglement in fishing gear and other marine plastic debris. Read More >>

A Strange New Blend of Rock and Plastic Is Forming on a Portuguese Island

If you go to the beach, you’re likely to see some form of plastic pollution scattered in the waves or sprinkled among the sand grains. A bottle cap fragment here, a transparent piece of packaging there. But researchers have identified a new, and perhaps more permanent type of plastic pollution, one that incorporates itself right into the rocky shoreline: 'plasticrust', a veneer of plastic encrusted right onto wave-licked rocks. Read More >>

Penis-Shaped, Wood-Munching Clams Are More Diverse Than We Thought, Study Finds

Wood-boring clams don’t look like the ones you or I might find steamed with pasta. They’re smaller than a pea, and live exclusively in the deep ocean, tunnelling into sunken, waterlogged trees that were swept out to sea long ago to eat the wood. Now, scientists have determined that there are quite a few more groups of these bizarre molluscs than we thought. Read More >>

World’s Biggest Bee, Once Thought Extinct, Has Been Found Alive

A black, thumb-sized missile sails through the jungle air, a thunderous buzzing announcing its arrival. The massive insect lands heavily on a tree-bound termite nest, taking a moment to fold its brassy wings and stretch its humongous, curved jaws. This is Wallace’s giant bee, the beefiest and bumbliest bee on Earth. After going missing for nearly four decades, the species has just been rediscovered in its native Indonesia. Read More >>

New Tarantula Species Has Big, Weird, Floppy Horn

Tarantulas generally stick to a pretty predictable body plan – eight legs, long fangs, usually fuzzy. But a newly-described species of tarantula in the southern African country of Angola has thrown scientists a big curve ball. The tarantula is about as weird as it gets for spiders, sporting a long, pliable, droopy “horn” on its back, and no one’s sure what it’s even for. Read More >>