Nature

Why Scientists Are Actually Super-Excited About Hawaii’s Massive Volcano Eruption

Through the laze and vog, Kīlauea is giving up some of its secrets. The volcano that began a new round of eruptions on May 3 is proving to be a bonanza for volcanologists, as it cracks apart at its base and blows periodically at its top to jettison lava and plumes of ash across much of an anxious Big Island. …


Nature

The Few Birds That Survived The Dinosaur Extinction Had an Unexpected Advantage

For quite a while now, scientists have known that birds made it through a deadly asteroid catastrophe when most dinosaurs didn’t. But, according to a new study, it was really just a lucky handful of avian ancestors that survived.    The deadly asteroid strike in Chicxulub, Mexico happened some 66 million years ago, and it wiped out three-fourths of all …


An Incredible Fossil Just Changed What We Know About The Split of Pangaea

A 130-million-year-old fossil has revealed that the ancient super-continent Pangaea may have broken apart more slowly than scientists previously thought. The fossilised skull, which was found in eastern Utah, has revealed an entirely new group of reptile-like mammals that existed in North America.   “Based on the unlikely discovery of this near-complete fossil cranium, we now recognize a new, cosmopolitan …

These Lynx Yelling at Each Other Sound Like People, And It’s Hilarious

A video recently captured in Ontario, Canada shows a truly rare sight: two Canada lynx, yowling their furry little faces off at each other – seeming for all the world like they’re locked in an intense debate, but without any physical blows.   The encounter was filmed by Edward Trist and his girlfriend Nicole Lewis on a rural logging road. “We …

Amazing Photos Have Captured The Moment an Eagle Swooped a Fox Clutching a Rabbit

It only lasted for a savage, fleeting instant, but for 8 intense seconds last week an eagle, a fox, and a rabbit flew across the sky as one. In an incredibly rare scene, photographers have captured the moment a bald eagle swooped down upon a young red fox clutching a rabbit, and in its whirlwind attempt to steal the fox’s …

Giant Predatory Worms Quietly Invaded France, And Biologists Are Shocked

When Jean-Lou Justine received the first photograph of a giant worm with a head like a shovel, the biologist was astounded. Hammerhead flatworms, which grow to a foot or more in length, do not belong in European vegetable gardens.   “We do not have that in France,” said Justine, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. …

A Man Was Stalked by a Pig in The Middle of The Night, So He Called The Police

When you’re out late at night, realising that you’re being followed can be pretty scary. But one man in Ohio wasn’t so much terrified of his stalker as baffled by it, and ended up calling the police at 5:26 am last Saturday.   “Uh, hi, I’m walking from the Elyria train station to my house in North Ridgeville and a …

Humans Are Just 0.01% of Life on Earth, But We Still Annihilated The Rest of It

Humankind is pathetically lightweight in comparison to the mass of almost all other living things on Earth, but while our bodies (and thinking) may be tiny, our crushing footprint is not.   The most comprehensive study ever of the weight of all living biomass on the planet has discovered humans account for only about 0.01 percent of life on Earth …

Scientists Are About to Catalogue All The Life in Loch Ness Once And For All

Some claim it’s a prehistoric relic. Others believe it’s a giant sturgeon. Many think it’s just a figment of our imagination. The legend of the Loch Ness monster has been around since the Dark Ages, but despite a few disputed photographs and sonar readings, evidence for the mythical creature has remained purely anecdotal.   For over a thousand years, humans …

The First Known Injury From Hawaii’s Volcano Eruption Has Been Reported

Hawaii officials on Saturday reported the first known injury related to heightened volcanic activity from Kilauea after a Big Island resident was hit by lava spatter while standing on a third-floor balcony.   That person, identified only as a homeowner on Noni Farms Road, shattered his leg from his shin to his foot when lava spatter struck him, a spokeswoman …

This Nightmare Shark With a Snake Head And 300 Teeth Is Absolutely Horrifying

Maybe it’s time we Homo sapiens reevaluated our relationship with the oceans of the world. It has been a good few millennia, sure, but our love affair may have been a little rushed. After all, what do we really know about the ocean? Roughly 95 percent of it remains unexplored, and it seems as if every other day we’re finding …

Some Lizards Have Green Blood That Should Kill Them And It’s a Scientific Mystery

If you were to see certain New Guinea skinks lose their tails, you’d notice that their blood isn’t the usual red colour we’re used to but rather a virulent shade of green. What’s even more bizarre is that the substance that’s responsible for the green colour of the lizards’ blood (and bones, tongues, muscles and mucous membranes) would be toxic …

Chimp Nests Have Fewer Fecal Microbes Than Our Own Beds, But It Actually Makes Sense

We all have our nightly rituals: A nightcap and a bestseller, a vigorous floss, a last compulsive scroll through Twitter. Chimpanzees, our closest genetic relatives, have their bedtime habits, too.   Every evening, a chimp makes a new bed, in the literal sense, weaving branches and sticks into baskets that hang as high as 30 feet above the forest floor. …

These 6 baby squirrels accidentally got into a ‘rat king’ situation

Last week, animal control officers at the Nebraska Humane Society received an unusual call. A homeowner in Elkhorn said he had found a clump of six baby squirrels, in distress, with their tails knotted together.   It all started when Craig Luttman heard screeching outside his home. When he went out to look, he found the six-headed cluster, climbing a tree …

The explosion geologists feared from Hawaii’s volcano has just happened

Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano erupted explosively early Thursday, tossing boulders hundreds of feet and sending a plume of ash about 30,000 feet (9,144 metres) into the predawn sky.   A webcam at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory caught the aftermath of the short-lived eruption: an onslaught of wet, dusty ash raining on a darkened landscape. From the summit of Mauna Loa volcano, …

Hippos poop so much, sometimes their waste kills all the fish

Suffocating because of faeces probably ranks pretty high among the most unpleasant ways to die – but that’s exactly what happens to fish in Africa’s Mara River. Not just once, either. It happens repeatedly, and it turns out the hippos are to blame.   The phenomenon was clocked when researchers noticed dead fish sometimes left behind on the banks when …

A Florida teacher accused of enlisting kids to drown raccoons in his science class

A Florida teacher was placed on administrative leave after school officials were told that he had students help him drown wild raccoons during class. A 14-second video published by WKMG-TV in Orlando show a group of students filling a big tub of water using a hose and later keeping a raccoon, which was inside a metal wire trap, submerged.   …

A new Yellowstone Park discovery points back to the origins of life

Scientists have found a new lineage of microbes in the famously hot and acidic spring waters of Yellowstone National Park in the US, a discovery that promises to teach us more about the origins of life on our planet.   These single-cell organisms, from the archaea domain of life, seem to thrive in the thermal springs of Yellowstone where iron …

This GIF of a Dandelion Posted on Reddit Is Blowing People’s Minds For a Crazy Reason

What comes to your mind when picturing a dandelion? Maybe it’s a vibrant yellow flower with lots of petals. Or maybe it’s a puffy white thing you can blow on and release its airborne seeds?   Of course, they are both the same plant. But a surprising number of people are baffled by this fact of life, and we had …

Massive, hairy ‘globster’ has washed ashore in the Philippines, and nobody knows what it is

A huge shaggy mess of unidentified sea creature has washed up in the Philippines, frightening onlookers who don’t know what to make of the giant, bedraggled carcass the ocean has deposited on their doorstep.   The unspecified ‘sea monster’ has yet to be identified by authorities, so locals have taken to simply calling it the ‘globster‘ – a term reserved for …

Scientists have finally captured an enigmatic jellyfish that looks like a plastic bag

One of the ocean’s more mysterious jellyfish has been difficult to study because of its natural habitat in the dark depths of the ocean. But technology is opening up those depths to our curious eyes – which recently led to a 10-minute encounter with the peculiar, tentacle-less Deepstaria enigmatica.   First discovered in the 1960s and described in 1967, Deepstaria …

Scientists say they’ve transplanted a memory from one snail to another

In a scientific first, researchers claim to have transferred memories between sea snails by injecting RNA from a trained sea snail into one that hasn’t been trained – and observing the trained response in the second snail.   The research wasn’t done to create some sort of mollusc mega-mind, but to help understand the physical basis of memory – and …

A mysterious ‘two-headed deer’ was found in a forest. Now scientists have analysed it

Sometimes mushroom hunting can yield much more than you bargain for. In the case of a forest delver in Minnesota, the discovery was straight out of a twistet tale on mutant creatures – a deceased, two-headed deer fawn.   “It’s amazing and extremely rare,” says deer ecologist Gino D’Angelo of the University of Georgia, formerly of the Minnesota Department of …

These Are The ‘Smartest’ Dog Breeds, According to a Canine Psychologist

There’s no easy way to rate dog intelligence. It can be focused on more than one thing. As canine psychologist Stanley Coren wrote back in the ’90s, there’s adaptive intelligence (i.e., figuring stuff out), working intelligence (i.e. following orders), and instinctive intelligence (i.e. innate talent) – not to mention spatial intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and more.   Indeed, as …

These Are The ‘Smartest’ Dog Breeds, According to a Canine Psychologist

There’s no easy way to rate dog intelligence. It can be focused on more than one thing. As canine psychologist Stanley Coren wrote back in the ’90s, there’s adaptive intelligence (i.e., figuring stuff out), working intelligence (i.e. following orders), and instinctive intelligence (i.e. innate talent) – not to mention spatial intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and more.   Indeed, as …

The first evidence that animals can replay memories in their head is here

For the first time, neuroscientists at Indiana University (IU) have demonstrated that non-human animals can mentally replay past memories. That’s a pretty spectacular finding – but it could also potentially help out researchers looking to develop new treatments for memory loss that happens in Alzheimer’s disease and similar afflictions.   “The reason we’re interested in animal memory isn’t only to …

Tourists have been throwing priceless dinosaur footprints into a Utah lake

Tourists visiting Red Fleet State Park in Utah have heavily damaged a site lined with hundreds of priceless prehistoric raptor tracks. Park officials say that visitors have been dislodging the dinosaur tracks, which are imprinted in sandstone, and then throwing the pieces into a nearby lake.   Utah Division of State Parks spokesperson Devan Chavez said by his conservative estimate …

This crow in Japan stole a credit card to buy a train ticket

We know crows are like, really smart, but are they use-a-credit-card-to-buy-a-train-ticket smart? Well, actually… maybe. One crow has been caught in the act of appearing to try just that after stealing a woman’s credit card in Japan.   In the video from Tokyo’s Kinshichō Station, originally posted to Twitter by user @kinoshi42155049, the corvid is filmed inspecting a ticket machine …

Scientists trained a spider to jump on command to figure out how its legs work

Scientists have trained a spider to jump on command in the hopes that it will inspire a new generation of robots modelled on nature. There are lots of spiders that have the ability to jump, and the regal jumping spider (Phidippus regius), which the researchers used in this particular study, is no misnomer.   The regal jumping spider’s technique is …

French bulldogs’ cuteness comes at a steep cost, warn vets

French bulldogs, with their marble-like eyes and pleated faces, are beloved by celebrities and ordinary people alike. Really, really beloved. In the United States, Frenchies didn’t even rank in the American Kennel Club’s top 30 most popular breeds in 2007. Last year, they were No. 4. In Britain, they ranked 76th in 2005. Now they’re in second place and on track to snag the top spot from the …

Hawaii’s most active volcano is shooting lava and ‘extremely high levels of dangerous’ gas into the air

Hawaii’s most active volcano is shooting lava and ‘extremely high levels of dangerous’ gas into the air A day after the most active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii erupted, fountains of lava gushed out of the ground Friday on the eastern side of the island, where residents were forced to flee from threats of fires and “extremely high …

Mistletoe survives without one of the key ingredients for life, and scientists are baffled

A species of mistletoe survives without a key ingredient that all other forms of multicellular life depend on, two independent studies have just revealed – and it could indicate a new type of plant respiration.    The ingredient in question is a protein complex called complex I, which helps the mitochondria power supplies in each cell produce energy-storing molecules called …

Mantis shrimp officially have the weirdest eyes of all animals, study shows

Mantis shrimps throw the fastest punches in the ocean. Using their forelimbs like clubs, the small crustaceans deliver blows so quickly and forcefully that pockets of seawater vaporize in implosions of light and heat.   The shrimp leave ruin in their wake, cracking into snail shells, panes of aquarium glass and human thumbs. Of the more than 450 species of …

This adorable owl family has two mums and a dad, a first for the species

An adorable family of great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) has become an internet sensation after they were discovered nesting on the window of an office building in Reno, Nevada.   “I heard this racket outside my window,” recalled Jim Thomas, a hydrologist at the Desert Research Institute. Looking out onto the window ledge, Thomas saw a pair of great horned …

Mount Everest isn’t really the tallest mountain on Earth

Ever since Sir Edmund Hillary reached its peak back in 1953, thousands of adventures have set out to conquer the deadly summit of Mount Everest. In fact, so many people give it a shot every year that this Himalayan beauty is slowly turning into a literal pile of crap.   Everest owes its popularity to the impressive title of ‘highest mountain in the …

Those supervolcano eruptions we’ve been worried about should give us some very clear warning signs

Yellowstone National Park may be showing some scary signs of “supervolcanic” activity, but new research has found we don’t have to worry just yet. It turns out Yellowstone, along with other supervolcanoes, have very clear signs when an eruption is pending, and Yellowstone is thankfully still in the safe zone.   Although we can do nothing about volcanic eruptions actually …

A dolphin body-slammed a paddleboarder, reminding us dolphins can actually be huge jerks

Dolphin lovers, we have some bad news. You thought that dolphins were nice, caring creatures that love humans? Well, this video of a person being body slammed off a paddleboard by a dolphin might change your mind.   As you’ll see in the video below, a pod of dolphins is cruising through a wave, before one jumps out of the …

London is under siege by a hectic invasion of toxic caterpillars

If you thought Australia was bad, you probably don’t want to be in London right now. The capital of England and the UK is being plagued by an outbreak of toxic moth caterpillars that can cause itching, rashes, sore throats, eye problems and even anaphylaxis.   They’re the larvae of the oak processionary moth, which live in and feed off …

A university library has been evacuated because of a really stinky fruit

An Australian university library was evacuated after a rotting fruit was mistaken for a gas leak. Firefighters arrived at the campus of RMIT in Melbourne’s CBD around 3pm on Saturday after receiving a call about a suspected gas leak. As a precautionary measure, police evacuated approximately 500 students and teachers.   In a statement entitled “Rotten afternoon on campus”, the …

The world’s oldest known spider has died at the age of 43

If we had to guess an age limit for spiders, it would not have been as high as 43 years. But that’s the surprising age at which an Australian female trapdoor spider recently passed away – breaking the record for observed spider longevity.   Number 16, as the Giaus villosus matriarch was known to researchers at Curtin University, broke the …

A huge geyser at Yellowstone National Park has erupted for the third time in 6 weeks

In Yellowstone National Park, the world’s largest active geyser has been experiencing “unusual” eruptions. Over the past six weeks, the Steamboat geyser has erupted three times, including once this week.   But don’t worry, there’s no evidence this is a sign of an impending supervolcano meltdown. “There is nothing to indicate that any sort of volcanic eruption is imminent,” Michael …

There’s something very wrong with this award-winning anteater photo

Beneath Marcio Cabral’s entry, the British Natural History Museum detailed the arduous process the photographer said he went through to snap the award-winning picture. He’d spent three years returning to the plains of Brazil, he told Wildlife Photographer of the Year judges, staking out giant termite mounds dotted with bioluminescent click beetle larvae — and waiting, monklike, for the perfect …

Here’s What Popular Dog Breeds Looked Like Before And After 100 Years of Breeding

Dogs have been our furry companions for thousands of years, but they didn’t always look the way they do today. Many well-known dog breeds have changed a lot physically in the last century, thanks to humans.   By identifying specific traits – such as size, coat colour, and demeanour – and allowing only those animals to mate, we’ve created at least …

Scientists have observed epigenetic memories being passed down for 14 generations

The most important set of genetic instructions we all get comes from our DNA, passed down through generations. But the environment we live in can make genetic changes, too. Last year, researchers discovered that these kinds of environmental genetic changes can be passed down for a whopping 14 generations in an animal – the largest span ever observed in a creature, in this …

Not only can horses read your facial expressions, they’ll hold it against you later

Giving your horse the old stink-eye is a sure way to get it on your bad side, and research backs that up. A new study shows they don’t only notice when you’re in a bad mood, they remember it later, even if you’ve done nothing to upset them.   Evidence based on research conducted by the Universities of Sussex and …

10,000 endangered tortoises were found all over a poachers’ house in Madagascar

It all started with a “rancid stench”. Then the authorities were called. “You cannot imagine. It was so awful,” Soary Randrianjafizanaka, the regional head of Madagascar’s environmental agency, told National Geographic.   A two-story home in the city of Toliara, Madagascar had been filled to the brim with 10,976 critically endangered radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata). “They had tortoises in the …

Africa splitting is just the beginning, Earth’s undergoing massive changes

Compared to our knowledge of other rocky worlds in our Solar System, our planet is an incredibly dynamic one. Water in its various states weathers, erodes, and builds anew. Beneath our feet a slowly churning mantle grinds and spews rock.   The changes rendered by geological and meteorological processes are so gradual, it’s easy to think our planet will always …