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The Global Status of Sharks

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” While he was talking about piracy and salvage in the Florida Keys, there is an ecological attractiveness in this statement that…

How Do Glowing Sharks See in the Dark? New Surprises Revealed

Researchers discover special structures in deep sea shark eyes that allow the animals to navigate their gloomy environment.

Three-Eyed Crab and More Freaks of Nature

Nature isn’t perfect: Sometimes things go awry, which can lead to defects such as two heads, three eyes, and other odd mutations.

Your Favorite Species

For three years I taught Animal Biology labs to undergraduate students at George Mason University. Extra credit assignments were not permitted, so I liked to build in a few intermittent low-ball quiz questions to provide some levity to an otherwise strict and challenging syllabus. My favorite question to ask was “what is your favorite species?”…

Avocado Pollinators and the Need for Weeds

Dino Martins brings us an up-close view of the world of insects everywhere. Meet the wild pollinators that make the popular avocado fruit possible.

Q&A: Inside the Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking in Brazil

Conservation biologist Juliana Machado Ferriera talks about her work to halt illegal wildlife trade in Brazil, which affects nearly 40 million animals each year.

Vampire Bats Gain the Taste of Blood, Lose Their Taste of Bitter

When vampire bats acquired their taste for blood, they lost their ability to sense bitter flavors, according to a new study.

Lionfish Flare Their Fins to Hunt Together

A new study finds that lionfish—those venomous, striped invaders of reefs in the Caribbean and off of Florida—fan their fins to gather a posse while hunting prey.

The High-Flying Ant With a Bite Like a Bear Trap

There’s an invasive species conquering new territory in the southeastern United States. It has gnarly jaws, a formidable sting, and the ability to launch itself into the air like a bottle rocket. These insects are known as trap-jaw ants, and they could be heading to a backyard near you. Most trap-jaw ants belong to the…

Q&A: What Animal Mental Illness Tells Us About Humans

Mental illness doesn’t only affect humans: Animals like dogs and cats suffer from anxiety, dementia, and even phobias, according to a new book.

The Top of the IUCN Red List

The 61 Most-Threatened Species: Identifying a definitive list of the most threatened species is a difficult and sensitive exercise. Although lists are popular and useful, a comprehensive list of the Most Threatened Species depends on what you think makes a species most at risk of extinction and could conceivable contain all 4,286 Critically Endangered species…

Why Don’t Octopuses Tie Themselves in Knots?

A self-recognition system ensures octopus arms remain tangle-free, according to a new study.

Q&A: What Animals Tell Us About Love and Dating

Jennifer Verdolin’s new book Wild Connection reveals how our relationships and courtships often mirror those of other species in the animal world.

Rare Goblin Shark Caught in Gulf of Mexico

A rare goblin shark makes a surprise appearance in a fishing net south of Key West, Florida.

Fishing in the Gene Pool for New Species

  By Matthew Frank  One day last summer, Michael LeMoine, a Ph.D. candidate in fisheries biology at the University of Montana, carried a nondescript cardboard box into the Missoula FedEx office. Inside it was a jar of ethanol containing a single specimen of a new species of a type of fish called a sculpin. The…