animals
When Male Ducks Hang Out Together Their Penises Get Longer

Male ducks have some of the weirdest junk in nature—a ludicrously long, corkscrew-shaped member that evolved on account of an ongoing battle of the sexes. New research shows that the social environment in which the male duck finds himself in has a pronounced effect on the length of his penis, a finding that may finally put the “size matters” debate to rest. For ducks. Read More >>

science
How the Dragonfly’s Surprisingly Complex Brain Makes it a Deadly Hunter

Like a baseball player running to make a catch, dragonflies are also capable of predicting the trajectory of a moving object, typically its next meal. New research is revealing the mechanisms behind this complex cognitive task, which was once thought to be exclusive to mammals. It’s hoped that these insights will lead to innovations in robot vision. Read More >>

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Brutal Drone Footage Shows a Pod of Orcas Attacking a Minke Whale

As apex predators, orcas can prey on whichever marine animal they choose—large or small. During a recent expedition off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, scientists captured rare footage of orcas attacking a 40-foot-long minke whale. Read More >>

animals
Rotting Wildebeest Carcasses Are a Force of Nature in the Serengeti

Each year, thousands of wildebeest drown while making their annual migration through the Serengeti. New research shows how the resulting two million pounds of rotting flesh performs a crucial role in maintaining the region’s vibrant ecosystem. Read More >>

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Watching a Banana Slug Munch a Bunch of Salad Greens Will Soothe Your Soul

Banana slugs are slow. Like, ridiculously slow. Watching them eat is tantamount to watching paint dry, which is why Canadian photographer R. Jeanette Martin wisely set her phone to record in timelapse mode when she encountered a particularly hungry mollusc in her garden. Read More >>

animals
Pigeons Are Misunderstood Mermaids

Most city dwellers would agree that pigeons are sentient rubbish. They eat pizza off the ground and defecate with abandon, sometimes on pedestrians’ heads. Worst of all, they don’t seem terribly bothered by humans—they’ll flap their filthy wings in our faces and move on as if nothing happened. But yesterday just so happened to be Pigeon Appreciation Day (yes, really) so we’re giving them a little extra love. Like a diamond in the rough—or the chip at the bottom of the bin—it’s entirely possible these creatures have some kind of hidden goodness. Maybe. Read More >>

science
Pufferfish Have Some Very Intricate Sex Rituals

Many animals’ mating rituals can be pretty elaborate, and some are borderline disturbing. For pufferfish, the lead up is so stupidly intricate that it’s exhausting and just kind of sad. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be appreciated, so today, we’re celebrating the indefatigable pufferfish and its bizarre sexual habits. Read More >>

science
Baby Humpback Whales Whisper to Their Moms Because the Ocean Is Terrifying

The ocean is dark and full of terrors — including hungry orcas, and horny men looking to bang your mum, if you’re a baby humpback whale. And so, you keep your voice to a whisper to avoid these predatory eavesdroppers. Read More >>

nature
Soldier Ants Come to the Rescue of Wounded Comrades

In a behaviour never seen before in an insect species, predatory ants were observed to retrieve wounded comrades on the battlefield and then bring them back to the nest for recovery. Sounds noble, but these ants — who spend their days attacking termites — are simply being pragmatic. Read More >>

science
These Sea Urchins Have a Terrifying Self-Defence Strategy

Prey animals are capable of defending themselves in an amazing of ways, but when it comes to mounting a sophisticated biological counter-attack, sea urchins have taken it to another level. When attacked by predatory fish, these humble echinoderms release a hostile cloud of tiny jaws that act independently of the urchin itself, attacking the fish and releasing the venom contained within them. Read More >>

science
This Poor Cretaceous Damselfly Has Been Waiting 100 Million Years to Get Laid

Scientists in China have discovered male damselflies caught in the act of trying to court females inside a piece of 100-million-year old amber. It’s an extremely rare find, providing a glimpse of insectoid peacocking behaviour during the age of dinosaurs. Read More >>

snakes
The Deadliest Cobras Also Look the Most Terrifying

Cobras are renowned for their devastating flesh-eating venom, and the dramatic way they rear their heads upwards to flare their hoods. New research clarifies the purpose of these tactics and how they emerged among cobras—insights that could help scientists develop more powerful anti-venoms, and help you spot an especially deadly cobra before it’s too late. Read More >>

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Surgeons Remove 915 Coins From the Belly of a Sea Turtle

In Thailand, it’s believed that throwing coins onto a turtle will bring longevity and good fortune. For many years, a female green sea turtle in the eastern town of Sri Racha had to endure this superstition while wading in a public pool. She consumed 915 coins in the process. Read More >>