Scientists Discover a Tiny Monster in Canada’s Arctic Ice

No one said that monsters needed to be big or even scary. But when James Dwight Dana first spotted one strange plankton species back in the 19th century, he knew he had something weird on his hands. “Little monster,” Monstrilla seemed like as good a name as any. After all, scientists can name species after pretty much anything, even penises. Read More >>

This Star Wars-Inspired Simulation of Human Reproduction Is Awesome

The microscopic processes involved in human fertilization are a difficult thing to convey visually, but a group of scientists, using Star Wars as their inspiration, have managed to do just that, creating a highly entertaining and informative video—while accidentally stumbling upon a new scientific discovery in the process. Read More >>

Here Are the Best Wildlife Photos of 2017

The Natural History Museum of London has announced the winners of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. Highlights of this year include bioluminescent termite mounds, hoards of giant spider crabs, a juvenile gorilla lounging on the forest floor—and an absolutely heartbreaking image of a poached black rhino. Read More >>

Captive Orca Whales Are So Bored They’re Destroying Their Teeth

An investigation into the oral health of captive orca whales is raising serious concerns about the health and welfare of these majestic creatures. Out of boredom and frustration, many of the whales turn to chewing on concrete and steel tank surfaces, causing wear and tear that leads to further problems. Read More >>

star wars
Porgs Are Lies: The Last Jedi’s Adorable New Characters Would Struggle To Actually Fly, According To Science

Move over Ewoks. Shut your big, stupid mouth Jar Jar - there’s a new mascot in town. As Star Wars Episode 8 hits cinemas this Christmas, expect to see your world increasingly overflowing with porgs. Read More >>

Scorpions Can Tweak Their Venom in Response to Changing Threats

New research shows that some scorpions can tailor their venom depending on the task at hand, whether it be snatching its next meal or protecting itself against predators. It marks the first time that scientists have documented the ability of an animal to adjust the toxicity of its venom according to need. Read More >>

This Could Be How Durians Get Their Stinky Smell

One sweaty New York City day last month, my friend and I ate snails for lunch and durian for dessert. I don’t know why we did this, but something about how affordable everything is in Chinatown encourages me to make strange decisions. I didn’t dislike the fruit’s taste, which was somehow both sweet like custard and meaty like steak and onions. We didn’t notice the smell as we ate the fruits’ sections standing on the sidewalk, of course—New York smells like rotting garbage anyway. Read More >>

This Horrible Stick Bug Is No Longer Extinct, Sorry

A tiny island sits almost four hundred miles from the Eastern coast of Australia. Upon that island once lived a large population of giant stick insects—six inch-long “land lobsters” dwelling in trees—the Dryococelus australis. But a hundred years ago, mankind came along, bringing pests, black rats, with them. The bugs went extinct at the hands of the rats. Read More >>

Mice Are Evolving to Survive Life in New York City

>Spend enough time in New York City, and there won’t be much that can surprise you. Two-hour lines to get a doughnut? Yeah, that makes sense. Mummified bat corpses in the alley behind the local church? Of course, that’s where mummified bat corpses belong. Human faeces inside a Chinese takeout box on the floor of the subway station? Not my first choice, but I get it. Read More >>

This 10-Foot-Long Jurassic Crocodile Once Menaced Britain’s Seas

A reanalysis of a heavily damaged fossil found nearly 150 years ago has revealed the existence of an absolute monster of the ancient seas. And the discovery of the new species, nicknamed the “Melksham Monster,” shows that an extinct group of ancient reptiles appeared on Earth millions of years earlier than previously thought. Read More >>

‘There Are No Words’: Tourists Spot Hundreds of Polar Bears Swarming Whale Carcass in Siberia

There are around 26,000 polar bears on the planet out there doing their best as the ice caps melt. We’ve all seen the infamous starving polar bear picture, which has become symbol (rightfully or not) of the impact of climate change on vulnerable species. But last week, instead of starvation came a story of gluttony. Read More >>

Exquisite Skeleton of a Neanderthal Kid Offers Clues to Human Evolution

He was just seven-and-a-half when he died some 49,000 years ago, an otherwise healthy Neanderthal boy whose cause of death remains a mystery. An analysis of his well-preserved skeleton is providing new insights into how these extinct humans developed and matured, revealing an extended period of growth in certain aspects compared to modern humans. Read More >>

Migrating Bats Are Basically Flying Weather Stations

Common noctule (Nyctalus noctula). (Image: MPI f. Ornithology/ K. Safi) Read More >>

This Extinct Frog Probably Ate Crocodiles and Dinosaurs

Poison aside, frogs are generally weak and pathetic. Dinosaurs, meanwhile, range from weak and pathetic to huge and strong, so I’m going to say they’re generally “not weak.” But 70 million years ago, things were different. Extinct species of frogs like the Beelzebufo ampinga grew to be ten pounds in size. Maybe they even ate the weakest dinosaurs. Read More >>