Brazil begins cloning of endangered wild species

As one of the largest countries in the world, Brazil is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. At the same time, however, it also boosts a number of unique species currently threatened with extinction. Recently, scientists have embarked on a quest to clone wild animal species under threat of obliteration in attempt to aid in

Tick bite helps spread vegetarianism

What would you like with your burger? Some anaphylaxis, maybe? No? How about nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, congestion, sneezing, headaches or asthma? If this would happen to me, I would definitely say pass. What does this have to do with a tick or with anything for that matter, one might ask. As it turns out, if you get

Crocodile skin around its jaws is 10 times more sensitive than that of human fingertips

Considering their heavy scale armor, and ferocious apatite, “sensitive” might not be the first adjective that comes to mind when describing crocodiles or alligators. A new study has sought to answer a long lasting riddle for biologists after it finally found the purpose of peculiar black spots or domes on crocodile and alligator heads. Apparently, these act as extremely sensitive sensors,

Amazing animals: the harp sponge

The harp sponge, or the candelabra sponge, as it is sometimes called is a species discovered recently, surprising not only due to its aspect, which is quite unique, but also through its behavior: unlike most sponges, which filter water and retain food, the harp sponge is actually carnivorous. Here’s a video explaining how this fascinating creatures goes by.

Wrens teach password for food to their eggs

The superb fairy-wren is a small Australian bird whose nests are often invaded by cuckoo birds. The cuckoos lay their eggs in the wrens’ nests, leaving their young to be taken care of by the wren family. This is bad for the actual wren chicks, because it limits the amount of resources, like food, that they receive. The fairy-wren has

Cockatoo figures out how to use tools – and manufacture them

For researchers working with the bird, it came as a shock that Figaro was able to learn how to use a tool at all – let alone learn it by himself. While a hook-like twig might not be the most complex tool in the world, it still did the job, allowing the bird to grab the nut he was longing

World’s rarest whale, thought to be extinct, beached on New Zealand

The first recollection of the spade-toothed whale came in 1872, but no actual proof of its existence has been found ever since. Recently, biologists were dumbstruck when they heard not one, but two specimens of the highly elusive whale species beached on the shores of New Zealand. Unfortunately the two whales, mother and cub, died however scientists have learned a

How animals hold elections – democracy isn’t an exclusive human social trait

Elections in the States are currently topping headlines all over the world, as people debate over their favorite candidate and the direction this country is heading towards. Still, as always, elections seemed to be plagued by scandals, lies or manipulation. Yes, democracy is far from being perfect, the alternatives aren’t any better either. I don’t mean to stir into politics,

Researchers find contamination in Canadian oilsands operation, but aren’t allowed to talk about it

Researchers from Environment Canada (EC) and the University of Alberta have published a study in which they showed contaminants accumulated in the snow near oilsands operations, despite what oil companies are claiming. They also discovered contaminants in precipitation from testing in the region.   Perhaps even more disturbing is that fact that researchers were discouraged to talk about their results,

Half-black, half-orange lobster discovered and on display, just in time for Halloween

I swear this isn’t some practical joke for Halloween. Massachusetts fisherman recently caught a highly peculiar lobster with a genetic anomaly which caused it to have one half colored in black, and the other in orange. According to the New England Aquarium, this kind of  coloring isn’t entirely unheard of, but it happens once in every 50 million lobsters. Splits, which are

‘Penis worm’ pokes holes in 100 year-old theory

The largest branch of animals in the tree of lifes are the protostomes – historically defined by the order in which they develop a mouth and an anus as embryos. But new gene-expression data conducted on “penis worms” suggests otherwise. The mouth and the anus Biologists will have to rename and rethink the protostomes, explains Andreas Hejnol, an evolutionary developmental

9 colorful, tree dwelling, extremely small tarantulas found in Brazil

Biologists working in Brazil have discovered nine new species of orange, purple and pink tarantulas lurking around in the trees. The haul of new spider species came from a lengthy study conducted in the Amazon by tarantula specialist Dr Rogerio Bertani of the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo. He described these new findings in the ZooKeys magazine. “These are the

Bees can bite too, not only sting

Honeybees are among the most well armed insects, remarkably enough however it seems that we’ve only seen one side of their undercoat. Apparently, according to a recent discovery by Greek scientists, honeybees use a biting attack to ward off intruders. The bite delivers a toxin that paralyzes their victims, don’t worry though, they can’t bite humans. Actually, researchers are considering

Hermit crabs socialize in order to back stab their neighbor and steal their ‘homes’

There are around 800 hermit crab species living in the ocean. These crustaceans like to mind their own business and are rarely seen alongside one another, hence their species’ name. The dozen or so terrestrial hermit crab species, however, are forced to engage socially in order to survive. Their social pattern reveals a selfish agenda, though, after a recent study

Ornithologists remotely tracks endangered Yosemite Great Gray Owls with sound tech

The Great Gray Owls of Yosemite are a unique species, after they separated from their cousins some 30,000 years ago when an ice age forced them into isolation. Though similar to the Great Gray Owls, commonly encountered through out North America and the Asian taiga forests, the Yosemite branch is genetically distinct, but unfortunately also endangered with only 200 specimens

Dung beetle uses poop ball cargo as air conditioning

The dung beetle is an extreme survivor. Not only does it feed on poop, but it also fashions a hefty ball out of it, up to 50 times its own mass, that it rolls through the scorching desert. We’re talking 60 degrees Celsius here. A new study that has closely followed this truly remarkable creature has found that the dung

Beluga whale makes human-like sounds: tells diver to get out

US researchers were shocked to discover a beluga whale that spontaneously emits sounds very similar to those we humans produce. Scientists have known for quite a while that dolphins can be taught to mimic human voices, but no animal has ever tried to do that spontaneously – until now, that is. It all started when the nine-year old whale called

‘Archaeologist’ stray cat finds ancient catacomb in Rome

Fusing ancient, medieval, renascent and modern influences, the city of Rome is truly relic of time. It’s actually so old, that many construction projects in Rome have to go through a tiresome process before they can even start work, since there’s always the chance some forgotten tomb or catacomb of some sort might lie  underneath.  If you’re wondering what are the chances of finding a new

Oil barons and hunters threaten polar bear protection

As the global oil supply is starting to grow thin, the Arctic area seems to be more and more interesting to oil barons, but of course, there’s the problem of those pesky protected animals – so what do we do? Get rid of that, of course. A group of plaintiffs including the state of Alaska (who has already said they

Evolution dictated by brawn instead of brain

For scientists, the most common method of assessing an animal’s intelligence is by looking at its relative brain size, with respect to its body size. The human brain, for instance, is small compared to other animal’s brain, however it’s exceptionally large when considering our body mass. A new study, which analyzed the relative brain size of a myriad of species