science
Diseased Ocean Microbes Could Be Messing With the Weather

Our oceans are brimming with microscopic phytoplankton—plant-like organisms that contribute significantly to marine diversity. Tiny though they are, these sea critters, when infected with a particular virus, may influence atmospheric processes such as cloud formation, according to new research. Read More >>

conservation
Native Hawaiians Turn to Ancient Traditions to Save Their Reefs

HE‘EIA, HAWAII—The mountains on the windward shores of Oahu, Hawaii, are prone to clouds. On a recent breezy summer day, though, it wasn’t water vapour that filled the air, but smoke. The mangroves were aflame. Local farmers were burning the invasive species to make room for taro, a native crop Hawaiians have grown since ancient times. Read More >>

science
These Australian Birds Learn About Danger by Listening to Their Friends

If you heard a bear roar for the first time but didn’t see the snarling beast, what would you think? Would you be scared? Maybe, but maybe not—the forest is full of strange noises. But what if, at the same time, one of your friends said, “Holy shit, I know all about that clawed monster and we need to get in the car”? Read More >>

science
Scientist Loses Distinguished Award After Acceptance Presentation Full of Racy Photos

The Herpetologists’ League in the US rescinded its annual Distinguished Herpetologist award after winner Dick Vogt showed racy photos during his acceptance address. Read More >>

ecology
We’re Turning Wild Animals Into Night Owls by Scaring the Heck out of Them

All around the globe, human activity is driving mammals to become more active at night, according to new research. Likely driven by a fear of people, many animals shift their schedules toward nocturnality to avoid running into us. Read More >>

enviroment
Pilot Whale Dies in Thailand After Being Found With 17 Pounds of Plastic Bags in Its Stomach

A male pilot whale struggled for five days to stay alive in Thailand near the Malaysian border after rescuers found it with 17 pounds of plastic bags in its stomach, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, but it ultimately succumbed to its illnesses. Read More >>

science
Stick Bugs Could Be Thriving by Getting Pooped Out of Birds

If you wanna thrive on this planet, you have to figure out a way to be fruitful and multiply. If you’re a stick bug, that could mean getting pooped out of a bird. Read More >>

ecology
Australia Finishes Building World’s Largest Cat-Proof Fence, Cats Accept the Challenge

Australia has completed the world’s longest cat-proof fence, because cats, an introduced species on the island, can be a huge freaking problem. Read More >>

animals
Severed Chicken Head Experiment Shows We’re Underestimating How Many Animals Are Killed by Cars

Roadkill cleanup is a dirty job. But it's not nearly as dirty as it would be without scavengers. Researchers who study these critters think that their roadside eating habits have led humans to seriously underestimate how many animals are killed by cars. Read More >>

science
Are Jupiter and Venus Messing With Earth’s Climate?

Our planet is in a remarkably circular orbit around the Sun, but as new research points out, Earth’s orbit sometimes experiences a slight jolt, thanks to the combined gravitational influence of Jupiter and Venus. Incredibly, this cycle has been going on for at least 215 million years — and one scientist suggests it could possibly have influenced the trajectory of life on this planet, according to the new study published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read More >>

science
First Evidence that Microplastics Travel Up the Food Chain and Into Seal Bellies

You’re familiar with the food chain: little fish eats plankton, bigger fish eats the little fish, then a seal eats the bigger fish, thus consuming the energy from all three smaller animals. But what if the little fish had also eaten an indigestible piece of plastic? New evidence demonstrates the plastic could make it all the way up the food chain into the seal. Read More >>

science
Scientists Set to Explore Mysterious Seafloor Exposed by Antarctica’s Giant Iceberg

Remember the massive iceberg that split away from Antarctica last year? An international team of scientists is about to embark on a mission to explore the newly exposed marine ecosystem underneath—one that’s been hidden for over 100,000 years. Read More >>

science
Snakes Could Be Spreading Flowers By Pooing Mice

You probably have this image of the circle of life in your head where a zebra eats a plant, a lion eats the zebra, the lion dies and fertilises the soil, and then new plants grow. I mean, that sort of happens, but have you considered where snakes fit into all of this? Read More >>

science
Frog Species Breaks Record for Most Sex Chromosomes in a Vertebrate

You may have learned in school that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes: 22 “autosomes” and their partners, which contain pretty much the same genes and in the same order, plus one pair of sex chromosomes that lead to the differentiation in sexual traits. But enough about us. The Amazonian Leptodactylus pentadactylus (smoky jungle frog) has six pairs of sex chromosomes. Read More >>

science
The ‘Shower Rat’ is Very Obviously Not Showering

It’s very easy to look at an animal mimicking a human-like behavior and think “Wow! That animal is doing a human thing! It looks so cute and happy” (because humans are so cute and happy, right?) That is almost never the case. If an animal looks weird, it probably is weird—and not in a good way. Read More >>