Fluid dynamics shapes beautiful hexagon honeycombs, not the bees themselves

Honeybees are exquisite and majestic beings, which have always caught the imagination of people. Bees are typically associated with feminine energy, because they are ruled by queens, particularly with the roman goddess Venus. In some cultures, bees also represent wisdom. From a biological point of view however, bees could be definitely associated with motherhood. Without bees, a myriad of plants would

Crows remember and respond to people’s faces akin to humans themselves

Crows, like most other species from the corvid family (ravens, rooks, etc.), are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, actually rivaling apes and dolphins. Tool use is common among these birds, but where they shine is in their social and emotional intelligence. For instance, a few years ago I reported how ravens point at things with their beaks

New generation eco-friendly pesticide might work by shutting down insect reproductive system

Farmers, with the help of researchers in the field, have been desperately trying to develop new insecticides that can ward off pests looking to claim their crops. These products work with a varying degree of effectiveness. For one, the insect pests tend to develop tolerance and new solutions have to be developed, and of course there’s always the issue of

Human activity drives evolution of bigger brains in animals

It’s clear that humans are now, more than ever, a driving force in evolutionary biology. Early domestication efforts through breeding and training have changed some species to the point that they’ve grown to be as we wanted them to become. The effects of climate change, a great part of which is anthropogenic, actually influence animals all over the world in

Deadly Mers virus found in tomb bat – not the one spreading it to humans

Many months later after scientists isolated thousands of samples taken from different bat species found close to the home of the first known victim of the Mers coronavirus – a deadly virus which first emerged in the Middle East last year, killing 47 so far (~50% fatality among infected) – scientists found the evidence of the presence of the virus in

Decapitated Worms Retain Memories – Transfer to Regrown Brains

Imagine having your brain completely severed from your body, but being able to not only regenerate it – but also retain all information back into your newly regenerated brain. That is impossible – right? For humans the possibility is, indeed, impossible – but for the Planarians, it is their way of living and certainly not something out of a Kountry

Skinny dippers in Scandinavia, beware! Pacu fish can bite your testicles off

While in the Amazon, a certain pointy fish that crawls up a certain male organ sends shivers in the spines of potential swimmers, in Scandinavia, another Brazilian fish is threatening the genitals of unsuspecting skinny dippers; it’s not the famed piranha, but its cousin – the Pacu. The Pacu naturally has a small mouth, eating nuts, fruit, and small fish,

First vertebrates with ‘teeth’ reveal some of their secrets

Conodonts – Greek for “having cone-shaped teeth” – are extinct chordates resembling eels, classified in the class Conodonta. These are some of the most primitive vertebrates in recorded fossil history, and are of particular interest to scientists because of their toothlike structures that lend the group its name. For a while it had been unclear how these animals, which died off

Experiment shows that crabs and lobsters feel pain, suggests we don’t really understand animal pain

I have never in my life eaten a crab or a lobster, because ever since I was a kid, boiling an animal alive seemed extremely cruel; it just didn’t make sense that an animal doesn’t feel pain – and even today, it doesn’t, to me. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is damaged and needs fixing. It

Dolphins remember their friends after 20 years

Dolphins are simply stunning creatures – they think, and empathize; they have names, hang out in cliques, they talk like humans, and they almost always try to rescue their wounded friends. They can go without sleep for 15 days, and every day they show us that they are simply ‘non human persons’. Now, another research has shown that they can

Faith in humanity restored: disabled pet fish that can’t swim fitted with life jacket

This isn’t a cyborg gold fish from a borg’s aquarium, this little amazing fellow is called Einstein. He unfortunately ended up with a disability caused by a disease that has basically made him useless in water: he can’t swim anymore. Not by itself, at least. Feeling heart broken by seeing his pet fish so helpless, his owner Leighton Naylor, a 32 year-old

What’s the chance of being attacked by a shark – the hard numbers

It’s summer, so beach season is naturally in full swing. A lot of people diving trough coastal areas in the Atlantic and Pacific are worried, however, of being attacked by sharks. So, what are the chances of being attacked by one? In short: really, really slim. Popular Hollywood flicks like Jaws and its sequels, as well as a sort of

Will a sheep’s wool grow ‘forever’? Apparently, yes.

This is quite possibly the woolliest sheep in history, Shrek the sheep. He was found in this condition in 2004, in the very land of sheep – New Zealand – after escaping the annual spring shedding for six consecutive years. If you ever wondered what a really woolly sheep might look like, here you have it. This begets a different

Dolphins Have and Respond to Names

Humans are proud to be one of the only species to have identifying names and words that separate them from the other members of the animal kingdom.  For a long time it was thought that humans were the only ones with a language.  But it recently has been found that now they are not the only ones with such capabilities. 

Mammals Can ‘Choose’ Sex of Offspring, Study Finds

An extremely challenging study published by a team of researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine claims that through some unknown mechanism mammals can bias  the sex of their offspring in order to win the genetic lottery and produce extra grandchildren. The holy graal of modern evolutionary biology After analyzing 90 years of breeding records from the San Diego Zoo,

After being decapitated, flatworms not only grow back their head but also regain memories

Research on nematodes have always been convenient for scientists. For one, they grow and breed really fast, making them ideal for work pertaining to genetics. Some of them have amazing properties, like  the planaria or “flatworm”, which some scientists believe it possesses the indefinite ability to regenerate its cells and thus practically never grow old. It soon became the object of

Cockatoos learn to pick locks, cognitive study shows

What if the world’s greatest unsolved heists were made by aviary burglars? Bear with me for a second. A bird is small enough to fit through cages and window cracks, it can fly in and out fast and on the sly, and if it ever gets caught, it won’t turn its partners in crime since … well, it can’t speak.

Hawk moths jam the bat sonar signals by rubbing their genitals

It’s a dog eat dog out there, and any advantage you can get is more than welcome – as strange as it may be. According to a research published in Biology Letters on 3 July, Hawk moths create an ultrasonic noise that could be used to scare off an attacking bat and to jam the bat’s sonar. Radar jamming is

Huge mosquitoes 20x the size of normal ones invade central Florida

In the aftermath of heavy rains from  Tropical Storms Debby and Andrea, a giant mosquito species has surfaced and invaded central Florida. Authorities have issued warnings to residents to be extra careful of these very aggressive bloodsuckers that can grow up to 20 times the size of a typical mosquito. Their bite isn’t a lot more painful though, however seeing how

Laser-light sheets used to image life at its earliest stage [GREAT PICS]

A new visualization technique developed by researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute used a thin sheet of laser light that beams, stepwise, into different planes of a specimen to create intricate and detailed snapshots of cells. In these pictures featured above and below you can see how zebrafish and fruit fly embryos were imaged using this novel technique. Here’s how it all