National Geographic

Coyotes Not Only Wily, They’re Also Faithful

  A new study of coyote relationships has found that the only “tail” they chase is probably their own (or the Road Runner’s. Meep! Meep!) A recent study of urban coyotes shows that these canine cousins are loyal to their mates and never stray. Not ever. The surprising bit? This fidelity is helping coyotes to…

National Geographic to Publish Weird Book!

The National Geographic Society has a noble mission: to inspire people to care about the planet. It’s lofty. It’s important. But few know just how weird it can turn out to be. When you’re exploring the world and all that is in it, you tend to uncover some strange stuff—two-faced cats, cannibal stars, and vampire…

Mexican Fish Sports Bizarre Four-Hooked Penis

A new species of freshwater fish found in Mexico has several interesting – and perhaps cringe-inducing – characteristics, including four hooks on the male genitalia, North Carolina State University said this week.

Spiders Take Control as Birds Fade From Guam

As bird populations plummet worldwide, will Earth become the Planet of the Spiders? Research on Guam, a 30-mile-long U.S. island in the Pacific, found that arachnid populations increased as much as 40-fold in the wake of insect-eating birds being eaten into oblivion by invasive brown treesnakes.

Animals Inspire New Breed of War Robots

Apart from being four-legged animals, what do a cheetah and a pack mule have in common? They’ve both inspired what may be the next generation of war machines.

Venom From the Banana Spider Could Be the New Viagra

Shortness of breath, excessive salivation, tremors, and an intensely painful erection are all indications of being bitten by a highly venomous arachnid commonly known as the banana spider. So toxic is Phoneutria nigriventer, a member of the Ctenidae family of wandering spiders, that its bite has been known to kill people. The spider is a…

Disease-Spreading Ticks on the Move as Climate Changes

One more reason to be nervous about climate change: Tick species are on the march. The blood-sucking, disease-spreading parasites are expanding into new territories as wildlife populations, forest habitats and weather patterns change across North America, biologists have found. “This year’s mild winter and early spring were a bonanza for tick populations in the eastern…

For Roosters Comb Size is Big Cue for Sex

The hen with the largest comb gets a bigger dose of sperm, and thus more chicks, according to research published this week. Roosters have figured out what poultry breeders know — combs are a reliable indicator of a hen’s ability to produce more eggs.

What’s a Mola? Behind the Strange Fish Picture Surging on Facebook

The remarkable ability of Internet users to make a post go viral has produced a new treat: an enchanting picture of a Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, undulating just below the surface of the ocean. The image, snapped by photographer Daniel Botelho in 2010, is now making waves around Facebook.

The World’s Weirdest Penis

It is without doubt one of the strangest things I have ever seen in my life, says zoologist Lucy Cooke. She’s describing her first sighting of the bizarre four-headed penis of the echidna, a spiny, termite-eating, egg-laying mammal found in Australia.

Largest Land-Dwelling “Bug” of All Time

The giant extinct invertebrate Arthropleura resembled some modern millipedes, but could grow to be more than one-and-a-half feet wide, and may sometimes have been more than six feet long. Reconstruction of the giant millipede Arthropleura from the Pennsylvanian and earliest Permian of North America and Europe. The head capsule (marked by an asterisk) is shown…

Are we Wired to Be Envious of One Another?

Envy may be a deadly sin, but is it hard-coded into our genes? A Spanish economist thinks it may be part of our evolutionary inheritance. There are powerful evolutionary reasons for being envious, according to a Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) researcher who has tried to understand the economic causes and consequences of the envy.…

America’s 5,000 Backyard Tigers a Ticking Time Bomb, WWF Says

With more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than survive in the wild, the United States needs a centralized federal database to monitor the big cats, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said this week. “Weak U.S. regulations could be helping to fuel the multimillion dollar international black market for tiger parts,” WWF said in a statement…

Unicorn Antelope Captured in Sacred Forest

For the first time in more than ten years, there has been a confirmed sighting of one of the rarest and most enigmatic animals in the world, the saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) from the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said today. “The Government of the Lao People’s…

Eight-foot Sharks Netted in Potomac River

Two big sharks were fished out of the Potomac River this week. Is the U.S. capital swimming with predators? By David Braun The Potomac, fondly nicknamed the “Nation’s River” because it flows through Washington, D.C., is known for its hazards and treacherous currents. But if you can navigate those, and slip past the politicians, there…