science
Which Creature Is Most Likely to Cause the Next Catastrophic Pandemic?

The vast majority of infectious human diseases come from animals, yet we know surprisingly little about which animals pose the greatest risk. A new study helps resolve this shortcoming, ranking the mammals that are most likely to spread infectious diseases to humans. Read More >>

watch this
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 >>

environment
Some Good News on Coral Reefs for a Change

A global coral bleaching event that’s been killing reefs around the world since early 2015 finally appears to be ending, according to a report just released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. That said, reefs aren’t out of hot water yet. Read More >>

science
Why Do Sick Bodies Turn Poop into Diarrhoea?

Despite thousands of years of pant-crapping history, there’s a surprising amount we don’t know about diarrhoea. There’s a couple ways we’ve figured out how to treat the symptom. But lots of scientists’ understanding of diarrhoea — from illnesses like traveller's diarrhoea — is more based on intuition than data. Read More >>

science
Two-Headed Porpoise Just Wants Love, Validation

Last month, a group of Dutch fishermen discovered a double-headed harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). The unusual little fellow was definitely DOA, and fearing that keeping it would get them in trouble, the fishermen took a few photos of the beast and threw it back in the ocean. What the crew didn’t realise was they’d found the first case of dicephalic parapagus — or partial twinning — in harbour porpoises. 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 >>

health
A Third of All Humans Are Now Either Overweight or Obese

Over two billion people around the world are now affected by weight problems, according to new research published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. At the same time, more people are dying from weight-related health conditions than ever before—a development the authors are describing as a “growing and disturbing global public health crisis.” Read More >>

robotics
This Robotic Exosuit Could Turn You Into a Super Athlete

Researchers from Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS have developed a soft robotic exosuit that significantly boosts a person’s running performance. The device requires a tether and external power supply to work, but once it becomes portable, it could help athletes run faster and further than before, smashing their existing running records without having to undergo additional training. Read More >>

awww
Why Prairie Voles Cuddle The Shit Out Of Their Partners

Here’s some news you desperately need today: A team of intrepid scientists has boldly gone where others have never dared, into the minds of tiny prairie voles in love. By studying the neural circuits of these adorable rodents, the researchers have uncovered some of the mechanisms behind their social bonding. Apparently, prairie voles cuddle for the same reasons we do—to show affection toward our partners—and goddamn is that cute. Read More >>

science
This Freaky Frog is So Transparent You Can See its Internal Organs

Introducing Hyalinobatrachium yaku, a newly-discovered species of glassfrog that lives in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador. Like other glassfrogs, it features transparent skin on its belly, but this tiny critter takes things to another level by exposing the entire contents of its underside—heart and head included. Read More >>

science
This Monkey Crime Ring Will Hold Your Shit Ransom

Sopranos superfans will be glad to know that the mafia is still alive and well — sort of. A temple in Bali, Indonesia has apparently been overrun by mafioso macaques that have been stealing tourists’ items in exchange for food. New research suggests the unusual phenomenon is a learned behaviour, and goddamn is it a good one. Read More >>

science
Male Tortoises Mysteriously Stop Boning

There are only a few things in this life animals really have to do. They have to eat, they have to shit, and they have to bang. So when conservation biologists transplant a bunch of wild animals in order to save them, but half of them stop getting laid as a result, it’s cause for concern. Read More >>

animals
Adorable New Elfin Toad Is Straight Out of Middle-Earth

Far up in the Langbian Plateau in southern Vietnam, a dense, dark forest gently breathes with a passing breeze. Billowing fog continually invades and shrouds the canopy. Thick, verdant moss blankets every rock and tree, and the landscape weeps with trickling rivulets of water. This gorgeous setting feels like it could host any number of magical beasts, and now, a team of researchers has revealed a new woodland creature that looks particularly at home. Behold, the elfin mountain toad. Read More >>

science
The Wild Reason Whales Got So Freakishly Big

Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are vacuums of the sea. The blue whale, which is one of 12 species of baleen whales, is the largest animal in the world — AKA the biggest sea vacuum. It fuels its 200-tonne body by eating tiny crustaceans called krill, which get filtered through the blue whales’ baleen. New research suggests that over millions of years, baleen whales’ filter system — and a hell of a lot of krill — allowed these beasts to grow into giants. Read More >>