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Mary Bates is a freelance science writer living in Boston. She has a PhD in psychology from Brown University where she studied bat echolocation. You can visit her website at www.marybateswriter.com and follow her on Twitter at @mebwriter.

19 New Species of Speedy Praying Mantises Found

Scientists have found 19 new species of mantises that roam Central and South America—and named one of them after Al Gore, a new study says.

Your Shot Pictures: More Albino and Oddly White Animals

See an albino bat, wallaby, deer, and more in our roundup of photos submitted by National Geographic readers.

Weird Purple Frog Seduces Females From Underground

Males calls to females from beneath a thin layer of soil—the only frog known to have such an odd behavior, a new study says.

Beware in the Bayou: Alligators and Crocodiles Can Climb

You might think of crocodiles lurking in the water or perhaps sunning themselves on a riverbank, but it turns out these toothy reptiles’ domain extends to the upper branches of trees.

Extinct “Devil Frog” Sported Spikes, Body Armor

Sporting elaborate spikes and body armor, the extinct amphibian was even more terrifying than previously thought, a new study says.

Pictures: Special Albinos and Unusually White Animals

From elephants to squirrels, unusually white animals often hold a special place in society.

5 Animals That Are Awesome Architects

From dams to nests to body armor, these feats of animal ingenuity will blow your mind—and perhaps inspire you to get up off that couch.

Chemical Camo Helps Frog Pass as Ant—And Avoid Being Stung

The disguise secreted by the skin also keeps the West African savanna frog moist, researchers say.

3-Foot-Long Earthworms Get a Boost in Australia

The dwindling giant Gippsland earthworm is getting a new lease on life as part of an innovative farming program in Australia.

Puzzle of Koalas’ Unusually Deep Voices Solved: A Very Special Organ

Scientists have discovered the secret behind the Australian animal’s unusually deep voice: A unique sound-producing organ.

Text Message Saves Trapped Whale Shark

A text message saves a young whale shark that got tangled in a fishing net off the coast of Indonesia in the Java sea.

Good Vibrations: 7 Animals That Use Vibrations to Communicate

Although we can’t always perceive them, vibrations provide a critical way of communicating for many animal species.

Oldest Fossil of Mating Insects Found; Sex Positions Haven’t Changed

You could call it everlasting love: Scientists have discovered the oldest fossil of mating insects, which lived during the Jurassic period, a new study says.

Repurposed Private Parts: 5 Unexpected Ways Animals Use Their Genitals

From “sword” fights to singing to sonar jamming, here are five of the more unusual ways animals employ their genitals.

Talkative Marmoset Monkeys Take Turns

Marmosets share a unique characteristic with humans: In conversations, these social monkeys wait their turn to speak. During exchanges, which can last up to 30 minutes, marmosets engage in vocal turn-taking and they don’t interrupt each other, researchers from Princeton University report in Current Biology. “We were surprised by how reliably the marmoset monkeys exchanged…