science
Newly Discovered Gecko Species Is Extremely Good at Being a Leaf

As night falls on the lowland rainforests in Madagascar, dead, decaying leaves find new life, slowly unfurling in the vanishing light. But as four scaly feet and wide, unblinking eyes emerge from behind the crinkly veil, the leaves reveal their true identities: these are leaf-tailed geckos, unparalleled masters of disguise. Now, researchers have described a species of these secretive lizards totally new to science, discovered in a protected corner of the island. Read More >>

science
The 20-Year Quest to Track Down Every Bird-of-Paradise Species Before They Vanish

Edwin Scholes has taken dozens of bush plane flights, helicopters and boat trips, and spent countless hours hauling gear up muddy mountains in New Guinea, for nothing more than a song and dance. Sometimes, he only manages to capture a few seconds of footage of the rainforest performances he seeks before his subjects become spooked, vanishing amongst the trees. Read More >>

robotics
Swiss Scientists Have Trained Their Dog-Like Robot to Better Fend Off Its Human Oppressors

Engineers in Switzerland say they’ve found a way to make a four-legged robot even harder to fight off during the eventual robopocalypse. In a new paper, published Wednesday in Science Robotics, they describe a system that trains the bot to move faster than ever, while still being able to resist attempts to knock it down. It could even get back up through its own power if it did fall. Read More >>

crowdfunding
‘Goat Fund Me’ Campaign Wants to Raise Money for Firefighting Goats

In the US state of California, devastating wildfires are now simply a way of life for residents—and things will likely only get worse. Since the president’s solution for combating these climate change-fuelled disasters is to threaten to cut disaster relief funding for the state, local governments are taking matters into their own hands. The plan: Goat Fund Me. Read More >>

climate change
Deadly Bird Battles May Be Another Weird Consequence of Climate Change

Climate change seems to be leading to more fatal conflict between a pair of bird species, according to a new study. The research demonstrates an important indirect consequence of a warming globe. Read More >>

science
Monogamous Species Share Deep Genetic Similarities

Regardless of your opinion on monogamy, it’s a trait found across many species, from songbirds to fish to many humans. But surprisingly, there are plenty of examples in which members of one species will form lifelong pairs, but those of a closely related species won’t. An international team of researchers performed a genetic analysis to attempt to understand what the monogamous species had in common. Read More >>

science
Scientists Have a Plan to Turn Seabirds Into Tiny Ocean Science Labs

In the future, cyborg birds may help monitor ocean currents and help ground-truth satellite data. It may sound like an odd prognostication, but a study released in Scientific Reports lays the groundwork. Read More >>

animals
Mysterious Shark Species Discovered in Museum Collection May Already Be Extinct

It’s a new year, and the world has its first new species of shark in 2019. Meet Carcharhinus obsolerus! Though, it’d be wise to temper your expectations if you hope to see the newly-described species in the wild. The unique shark—described based on a few specimens caught many decades ago—may actually be extinct, gone before it was ever named. Read More >>

dogs
Tens Of Thousands Sign Petition To Let Snoop Dogg Adopt Abandoned Dog

Remember the dog who was heartlessly abandoned by the side of the road in Stoke-On-Trent in December? The one who ran pitifully after his owner's car, trying to get back in as the scumbag accelerated and drove away, leaving the dog to fend for itself with just its bed on the pavement for company? Read More >>

science
Some Hummingbird Beaks Are Better Suited for Combat Than Nectar Feeding

With their elongated bills and specially adapted tongues, hummingbirds are built to extract nectar from flowers. As new research shows, however, some hummingbirds from South America have evolved beaks designed to poke, prod, and pinch—at the expense of feeding proficiency. Read More >>

animals
Japanese Sushi Magnate Kicks Off 2019 by Ridiculously Overpaying for Bluefin, Regretting It

A Japanese restaurateur set a record on Saturday by paying nearly £2.4 million (333.6 million yen) for a massive, 613-pound Pacific bluefin tuna at the first auction of the year of Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market, and almost immediately conceded that perhaps he should not have paid that much, Reuters reported. Read More >>

conservation
Eastern Lowland Gorillas Heading Towards ‘Genetic Meltdown’

Eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have endured dramatic population declines in recent decades, leading to a startling lack of genetic diversity and a slew of harmful mutations, according to new research. Read More >>

animals
Snoop Dogg Offers Home To Dog Abandoned In Stoke-On-Trent

Some heartless git who abandoned his dog by the roadside is hopefully about to have the worst 2019 ever, while his former dog gets offered a place at Snoop Dogg's crib. Read More >>

animals
Scientists Find Red Wolf DNA in a Unique Group of Wild Dogs in Texas

One of America’s native wild canines, the red wolf, has teetered on the brink of extinction for decades. And despite the efforts of a captive breeding program started in the 1970s, only about 40 such wolves are known to be still living in the wild today, all in the US state of North Carolina. But researchers at Princeton University have made a strange discovery that might spell good news for the future of the species: A population of wild dogs, isolated off the coast of the state of Texas, that seem to carry red wolf genes, including remnants of DNA thought to be lost forever. Read More >>