Animals, Offbeat

Zoo realises it has been trying to mate two male hyenas for four years

Image via Sapporo Zoo.

Zookeepers in Japan have learned that no matter how hard you try and no matter what some Arnold Schwarzenegger movies tell you, two males can’t have offspring. In what seems like an article taken straight from The Onion, staff at Maruyama Zoo in the northern city of Sapporo spent four years trying to get two spotted hyenas to mate, only…

Animals, Feature Post, Great Pics, Other

Amazing Photographs of Black Water Creatures

An octopus holding what appears to be Portuguese man o' war tentacles. Credit: Joshua Lambas

Each night, thousands upon thousands of deep-sea species head to the surface to feed, where they can absorb more oxygen or feed in the more nutrient dense waters. It’s the world’s largest migration and Lambus is there to photograph it so the rest of us mortals can experience a glimpse. …

Animals, Biology, News

Killer whales are so smart they can learn to speak “dolphin”

Image via Animal National.

Killer whales are smart, we already know that; they’re also really scary. But a new study has shown that they are actually scary smart – up to the point where they can learn the language of another species. Killer Smart Killer whales are actually a species of dolphins found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas….

Animals, News, World Problems

Only Six Northern White Rhinos left in the World

Suni at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Suni, a 37-year-old northern white rhino and only the second male of his kind left in the world, died recently of natural causes in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy reserve in Kenya. After his death merely six other specimens are now alive that still carry the legacy of this subspecies. Conservation efforts were heavily direct towards Suni, but now that the rhino is dead, all hope…

Animals, Feature Post

To protect itself, this Moth looks just like a Hornet

Photograph by Gyorgy Csoka.

Acting tougher than you really are is not uncommon in the natural world – but this moth has taken it to the next level. The Hornet Moth (Sesia apiformis) has evolved to mimic not only the look, but also the mannerisms of a real hornet. The Hornet Moth is a large moth with a wingspan of 33–48 mm. It has a…

Animals, Videos

Extremely rare footage shows sperm whales sleeping vertically

sperm-whales-sleeping

The sperm whale (also called the cachalot) the largest toothed predator. Mature males average at 16 metres (52 ft) in length but some may reach 20.5 metres (67 ft), with the head representing up to one-third of the animal’s length. The sperm whale feeds primarily on squid, which it hunts at impressive depths, usually deeper than 2 km. Researchers have believed for some…

Animals, Biology, News

Ancient 385-million-year old Fish pioneered Sex

Microbrachius dicki fossils are very common, yet nobody noticed these vertebrates bore differentiated sexual organs. Photo: ROGER JONES

Paleontologists have identified the first known animals that used internal fertilization instead of spawning – armor-coated swimmers, called antiarchs, which lived around 385 million years ago in lakes in what is now Scotland. The discovery is truly monumental since its the earliest known example of sexual dimorphism or differences in appearance between the sexes in the fossil record. Sex emerged in…

Animals, Biology, News

Males may be Wired to choose Sex over Food

"Adaptive behavioral prioritization requires flexible outputs from fixed neural circuits. In C. elegans, the prioritization of feeding versus mate searching depends on biological sex (males will abandon food to search for mates, whereas hermaphrodites will not) as well as developmental stage and feeding status. Previously, we found that males are less attracted than hermaphrodites to the food-associated odorant diacetyl, suggesting that sensory modulation may contribute to behavioral prioritization," the researchers write in Current Biology. Image: Current Biology.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, or so the old adage goes, but how different are men and women? I won’t go into debates like whether or not men and women are neurologically the same – it’s a far too exhaustive and exhausting subject for such a short article. Clearly, however, men and women are different in…

Animals, Environment, News

Alien Mussels Threaten U.K. Biodiversity

Quagga mussels. Image via 100th Meridian.

The single most threatening species to U.K.’s biodiversity is a species of mussels – the quagga mussel. Coming from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in Eastern Europe, the quagga mussel came with four other freshwater invaders which have now become a huge danger for Britain’s wildlife. The quagga mussel, scientific name Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, is an invasive species….

Animals, Anthropology, News

Chimps Pass down Skills to Peers and Establish Cultures

chimp_culture

Chimps, our closest relatives, can pass down knowledge and skills, like using a new tool for instance, and establish cultural communities, according to a recently study published in PLOS Biology. Communicating and passing down skills, inventions and knowledge is considering a pre-requisite to what we commonly refer to as human culture, and the findings suggest that this kind of behavior can…