There is Technically No Such Thing as an Electric Eel

There are, however, electric fish: eight-foot long, 600 volt, mouth-breathing, alligator-killing fish. Read More >>

Sorry Cat Lovers, Cats are an Invasive Species, Too

When we think of invasive species, we tend to think of the exotic: Burmese pythons, Asian carp, or any of the bizarre creatures terrorising Florida. But the truth is, our beloved cats can also be bad news for other species. Read More >>

Romantic Picnic Goes Astray When (Alleged) IT Consultant/Sheep Molester Turns Up

The classic romantic scene: grassy meadows, songbirds tweeting, sheep munching on grass and...a naked 61-year-old IT consultant trying to get it on? Read More >>

Insect Nervous System Copied to Boost Computing Power

Brains are the most powerful computers known. Now microchips built to mimic insects' nervous systems have been shown to successfully tackle technical computing problems like object recognition and data mining, researchers say. Read More >>

How to Make the World’s Most Expensive Cup of Coffee

Between the dark brew, the flavoured lattes, the frozen caffeinated treats, and the whirling gadgets, coffee is now a thirty billion dollar industry. Coffee is big business and companies like Starbucks, Pret A Manger and Costa have spent gobs of money to get people to drink more of it. Despite all of that, the most expensive coffee probably can't be found in your downtown coffee shop. No, the most expensive coffee in the world lives alongside feces in the intestinal gut of an Asian palm civet. Read More >>

Did Unicorns Ever Exist?

On November 30, 2012, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's government "news" agency, reported that scientists had "reconfirmed" the existence and location of the final resting place of the unicorn ridden by King Dongmyeong, the founding father of Goguryeo of an ancient Korean kingdom. The unicorn's grave was located under a rock near the North Korea capital of Pyongyang with an engraving that read "Unicorn's Lair." Read More >>

China is Cloning Pigs on an 'Industrial Scale'

A new report by the BBC reveals that China isn't just experimenting with cloning—it's doing it on an "industrial scale." Which is at best interesting and at worst more than a small cause for concern. Read More >>

monster machines
How the US Railway Wiped Out Passenger Pigeons (and Nearly Bison, Too)

The advent of widespread railway systems from the Industrial Revolution and beyond collapsed our notions of time and space, and it carved out entire industries —we of the 21st century have only the internet for comparison. It also swallowed entire species. Read More >>

How Saving an Endangered Bird Almost Doomed it Again

Have you ever heard of a copulation hat? Well, perhaps we should talk about human-assisted bird reproduction for a minute. Read More >>

How a Poorly Camouflaged Insect Reshapes Its Ecosystem

For an insect trying to avoid becoming dinner, the consequences of bad camouflage are clear. What's less obvious is how the effects then ripple like an aftershock through an entire ecosystem, subtly changing which shrubs are eaten and which critters thrive. For example, the consequences of a single species of badly camouflaged walking stick insect can cascade throughout the California hills. Read More >>

Tobacco Eating Caterpillar Has Toxic Nicotine Filled Breath

Nicotine is a poison—in fact, poisonous enough to use as a pesticide and poisonous enough to use for murder. That's why tobacco plants bother to make nicotine in the first place: to keep insects less industrious than the tobacco hornworm from chomping on its leaves. (Interesting, isn't it, that humans have created a whole industry out of drugging themselves with nicotine, a social exposure to plant toxins.) To eat nicotine filled plant leaves, tobacco hornworms first need to safely get rid of the poison in its waste — but it also keeps some of the nicotine as a special, nasty surprise. Read More >>

Australian Sharks Will Now Be Tweeting Their Locations

There's a great, bloody shark war going on in Western Australia right now. After six deaths in two years—making Western Australia the deadliest place on earth for shark attacks—the state has ratcheted up its side of the war by deciding to kill sharks. Lots of 'em. Any shark within one kilometre of the beach will be trapped and shot according to their controversial cull strategy. Remember, humans can be a vengeful species. Read More >>

Why These Bison in California Were Put on Birth Control

This is a story about bison, Hollywood, and a glycoprotein. A rocky outpost off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island was originally home to exactly zero bison. In 1924, however, when the island was owned by William Wrigley Jr. of chewing gum fame, a film crew imported 14 buffalo for a movie shoot. The crew left; the bison did not. The finished film, The Vanishing American, contains exactly zero scenes with bison. Read More >>

Science Proves That Rudolph's Nose Really Does Glow

It might not be bright red, but Rudolph's nose really does glow. These thermal images of reindeer acquired by scientists show that Santa's flying friends have incredibly warm noses. Read More >>

Amazing Landforms Shaped By Animals

Humans have their dynamite; wind and water have time on their side; but animals, too, can reshape their landscape on a massive scale. None of these are the work of a lone gopher or even a single mighty elephant, but generations and generations of animals slowly chipping away. Read More >>


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