1. How ants use ‘death signals’ to scavenge for food

    European biologists have finally found the cause of ants’ uncanny ability to locate far-flung meals

     

  2. A male spider will snap off his genitals in the female so they can continue delivering sperm in case she decides to eat him after mating…and that’s not even the strangest thing about the bizarre sex lives of spiders

     

  3. Ann Ross is a forensic anthropologist (yes, like you’ve seen on CSI) and she spends her day reading skulls. She and her colleagues invented a piece of software that compares digital scans of unidentified skulls to a database of other skulls. What comes back is eerily specific

    The secret language of skulls

     

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  5. This 19th century shark-tooth sword reveals extinct biodiversity in the Gilbert Islands. These badass" weapons feature dagger-like teeth from eight different shark species, one of which oddly isn’t found in the area. While trading with other far-away cultures could explain how the teeth got there, it’s more likely the spottail sharks were fished out.

    Read more… 

    Photo from Drew J, Philipp C, Westneat MW (2013)

     

  6. "This was the wasp’s worst nightmare, and it never ended."

    The 100-million-year-old spider attack frozen in time

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  7. Thanks to pollutants in the water and destruction of its habitat, there are only four Red River giant soft-shell turtles left in the world. But conservationists might not bother rescuing them because they don’t provide any clear benefits to humans. 

    (Source: theweek.com)

     


  8. Discovered: A way to delay menopause… forever?

    For many women, the ticking of your biological clock can be incredibly stressful. But here’s some good news: An international team of researchers presenting at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Istanbul this week have pioneered a technique that puts menopause on hold indefinitely, allowing women to put off having children till much later in life, giving a woman more time to focus on her career, become financially stable, and perhaps most importantly, allowing her to start a family when she chooses to.

     

  9. Men have been vainly searching for a way to cure baldness for at least 3,500 years, says Rob Dunn in New Scientist, pointing to an ancient Egyptian papyrus outlining an anti-baldness recipe that blends iron oxide, lead, alabaster, onions, honey, and fat from a snake, crocodile, hippopotamus, and lion. But those hair-challenged Egyptians, and today’s bald men, should just be happy to be alive.

    Given that since the dawn of man, a full head of hair has helped “protect us from the noonday sun, maintain body heat when it is cold, and even attract a mate,” chrome-domed men should be at an evolutionary disadvantage.

    "Why, in other words, haven’t bald men gone extinct?"

     

  10. Study: 10,000 species of bacteria are inside you right now. The tiny organisms collectively weigh several pounds, and outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. 

    "When you think about it, we’re practically made out of microbes.”

     

  11. Dinosaurs ate all the giant bugs. 

    That’s the word from researchers at UC Santa Cruz, who noticed that the griffinfly (a dragonfly-like insect with a wingspan of about 28 inches) stopped growing bigger right around the time the first birds began to take flight in the Jurassic period. Insects like the griffinfly began to shrink, evolving features that made them harder to catch.

    The study’s author claims that if not for birds, the largest bugs would likely be three times bigger today. Which is why birds are our new favorite animals.

    Keep reading

     

  12. Wanna know a secret? Scientists don’t really understand where dogs came from. They know they likely descended from wolves, but no one really knows when or where. A new study might help scientists finally figure it out.

    Photo: An Akita puppy, a breed that is considered one of the few that has identifiably “ancient” DNA that can be traced back a few thousand years. 

     

  13. The 60-million-year-old remains of a gigantic predatory turtle the size of a car was found in a Columbian coal mine, giving researchers new insights into the tendency for oversize species to thrive after the age of the dinosaurs. 

    The turtle had a 5.7-foot shell, large enough to double as a kiddie pool. So, how did it get so big?