Animals

Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma

Scientists have shown that trauma can leave epigenetic marks - chemical changes that affect how DNA is expressed without altering its sequence. Basically, your traumatic experiences genetically affect your offspring. Scientists have recently focused on the long term after effects of trauma, finding them to be numerous and diverse. The offspring of traumatized people are at […]

The world’s most evolutionary distinct birds

We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with […]

Rhinos could become virtually extinct by 2020

The new year came with a grim report, after South African authorities reported 1,004 rhinos were pouched in the previous year or 50% more than in 2012. Just six years ago, only 13 rhinos were slaughtered by poachers, but since then demand for rhino horn has soared. If the current trend is set to continue, than […]

First video ever of the “snub nosed monkey” – a monkey species discovered only in 2010

Rhinopithecus strykeri, also known as the Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkey or Sneezing Monkey was discovered just a few years ago, in 2010. Their small numbers and elusive behaviors made them very hard to find, and since them, even harder to study. All the species of snub-nosed monkeys have short stubby noses, but R. strykeri’s is just […]

Leopard seal gets up close and personal with a National Geographic photographer, tries to feed him for 4 days

While documenting leopard seals in Antarctica for a 2006 National Geographic magazine story, photographer Paul Nicklen had a truly fantastic experience, which he documents in the video below. Seriously, watch the video – it will blow your mind! Make no mistake – leopard seals are remarkable predators! They’re pretty much on top of the food […]

Scientist finds the worst places to get stung by a bee – by experimenting on himself. In order, it’s the nostril, lip, and penis

Talk about dedication to science! Michael Smith, a graduate student at Cornell University mapped which parts of the body are most painful when it comes to bee stings – by testing it on himself! Smith’s work focuses around the behaviour and evolution of honeybees. It all started when a honeybee flew up his shorts and […]

Cricket virus acts like an aphrodisiac, but effectively castrates its hosts

The characteristic “chirp” a cricket makes is created when the insects rub their legs, in an attempt to draw the attention of any nearby female. If he is successful and finds an interested counterpart, the couple quickly gets down to business. Interestingly enough, it’s the female that mounts the male, but that’s less important here; […]

Lions’ origin revealed by genetic analysis

The origin and evolutionary history of modern lions has been revealed through genetic analysis. This recent study suggests that the lions’ most recent common ancestor lived around 124,000 years ago. A fallen king Modern lions evolved in two different groups – one of them currently lives in Eastern and Southern Africa, the other includes lions […]

Documents reveal that SeaWorld gives its orcas antidepressants and psychoactive drugs

As if SeaWorld didn’t have enough press with the shocking Blackfish documentary, a document released by Buzzfeed reveals that the marine park gives its whales psychoactive drugs and anti-depressants. According to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice affidavit, SeaWorld’s whale trainers give the animals benzodiazepine, which has a valium-like effect on the mammals. The document […]

UN court rules against Japan whaling

In what may be a  historic decision, the UN’s top court has ordered Japan to stop its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Tokyo’s arguments that whaling has scientific purposes, in a case which many believe will shape the future of the giant mammals. “Japan shall revoke any […]

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