Animals, Biology, News

How crazy ants carry dinner 100 times their size: coordination and individual leadership

longhorn crazy ants

Different ant species employ various tactics to forage food and keep the colony in tip top shape. Most often scouts will scour for food, and when a source is deemed fit a trail of pheromones guide worker ants to pick up the crumbs, leftover pizza or cheerios. Ants aren’t very picky, you know. What they are is very strong. It’s common knowledge that ants carry loads multiple times heavier than their own weight. Some species, like longhorn crazy ants are able to carry some of the biggest loads among ants by working together, joining in a band to perform the lifting. It’s a curios matter, one you might have often noticed in your very own backyard.

Animals, News, Pollution

Chemical pollution in European waters threatens dolphin reproduction

harbor porpoise

Dolphins in European waters are struggling to reproduce because of the chemical pollution that lingers in their bodies for a very long time – even for their entire lifetime. Scientists were surprised to find polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their bodies, as PCBs have been banned 30 years ago.

Animals, Biology, News

Boa constrictors don’t suffocate their prey. Instead, they cut the blood from the heart

green_boa_constrictor-wallpaper-1280x800

In a first of its kind experiment, biologists found out to everyone’s surprise that boa constrictors kill prey by cutting the blood supply from the heart. It was long thought that suffocation is the snakes’ modus operandi. This makes sense though, according to evolutionary biologists involved in the study. Cutting the blood supply kills prey much faster than limiting oxygen intake. This comes at an evolutionary advantage since this minimizes risks faced from predators.

Animals, Feature Post, Great Pics

Tiny fluffy sea slugs have Japan’s netizens going crazy, and they’ll give you our cute-dose for the day

Image via ダイブストアエグザイル

Japan’s Twittersphere has just rediscovered (and is loosing its collective mind over) what is probably the cutest sea slug ever – Jorunna parva, a sea slug that looks like a fluffy bunny.

Animals, Great Pics

Photographer highlights life just below the sea

“Physalia Physalis” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

Appropriately titled Over/Under, Matty Smith‘s photography shows how life thrives just below sea level, where the ocean’s waters meet the atmosphere. Just below the water horizon, there’s a whole new world for us to discover.   “I have always had an attraction to the water and the tricks it plays on light for as long as I can remember. Some

Animals, Environmental Issues

The world is on the brink of a sixth massive extinction

The rate of extinctions on Earth has grown tremendously following the industrial revolution.

The world’s next massive extinction will most likely be caused not by an asteroid impact, volcano activity or alien invasion, but by us humans. A study that looked at the past and present rates of extinction found that plants and animals are going extinct 1,000 times faster than they did before humans walked on Earth’s surface. So, is it clear

Animals, Feature Post

Animal Files – Sand Cats: The only Cats That Live in the Desert

Image credits: adremeaux

I know, I know, we’ve written about sand cats before, but these are simply not animals you can just write once. Now, we’re back – with more pics, and more info about these adorable yet ferocious predators. These cats are as remarkable as they are cute – the only cats to truly inhabit deserts, they retain a kitten-like appearance throughout their

Animals, News, Videos

Juvenile Great White Shark Gets Stranded on the Sand, Rescued by Beachgoers

beached-shark

We’re more used to whales washing up ashore, but sharks also do it sometimes. This juvenile shark was apparently trying to hunt some seagulls and ventured out of the water too much for its own good. However, after struggles and apparent dehydration, the shark was saved by beachgoers. Initially, we see the two meter shark (7 feet) struggling as people

Animals, Biology, News

This sexually transmitted virus castrates crickets, but encourages sexual activity

A female decorated cricket, with spermatophore attached, dismounts male. Photo: tomhouslay.com

Meet one of slickest and twisted virus nature has to offer. Called  IIV-6/CrIV , researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia  discovered the virus effectively castrates crickets, while promoting sexual activity at the same time like an aphrodisiac so it can spread. It’s an incredibly effective strategy for the virus, but can we learn anything from it? Like with most insects, crickets’

Animals, Climate, Environmental Issues, News

Bumblebees in Europe and North America bumble away from the equator as habitats shrink due to climate change

Image via: pixgood.com

In the most comprehensive study ever conducted of the impacts of climate change on critical pollinators, scientists have discovered that global warming is rapidly shrinking the area where these bees are found in both North America and Europe.