Elephants: Trunk may be one of most sensitive body parts of any animal

The bundle of nerves that controls the elephant’s trunk contains 400,000 neurons – a lot more than we expected – suggesting the trunk is incredibly sensitive Life 20 January 2022 By Jason Arunn Murugesu An Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) Gerry Ellis/Minden Pictures/Alamy Elephant trunks may be one of the most sensitive body parts in the … Read more

The 6th Mass Extinction Really Has Begun, Scientists Warn in Newly Published Study

The signs of death are everywhere, if you look. For years, scientists have rung the alarm bell, warning that grave declines in animal biodiversity around the globe herald the onset of what will be Earth’s sixth mass extinction.   Despite the looming weight of evidence to suggest this grim phenomenon is unfolding all around us, … Read more

Archeology: Hybrid animal in 4500-year-old tomb is earliest known bred by humans

Early Bronze Age people in Syria crossed donkeys with wild asses to make prized horse-like hybrids, demonstrating advanced understanding of animal breeding Life 14 January 2022 By Alice Klein Equid skeletons from Tell Umm el-Marra, Syria Glenn Schwartz/John Hopkins University The bones of horse-like creatures unearthed in a 4500-year-old royal tomb in Syria are the … Read more

Donkeylike creatures may be first known hybrid animal made by humans | Science

In the third millennium B.C.E., a strange group of donkeylike creatures was buried alongside royals in an ancient city east of what is now Aleppo, Syria. Archaeologists reckoned the animals were “kungas,” a rare type of ass highly prized by Bronze Age Mesopotamian elites. Yet their true biological identity has remained a mystery. Now, a … Read more

Biodiversity crisis: Animal decline is hurting plants’ ability to adapt to climate change

Declines in bird and mammal species are making plant seed dispersal more difficult, which means plants can’t adapt as effectively to climate change Environment 13 January 2022 By Adam Vaughan An American robin eats a winterberry Paul Vitucci Losses in the number of birds and mammals are limiting the capacity of plants worldwide to adapt … Read more

The Weirdest Eyes in The Animal Kingdom See a World We Can’t Imagine

When you view the world a certain way, it’s easy to forget not everyone has the same vision. We do mean that quite literally. Aside from philosophical considerations of the subjective experience of color, different organisms have evolved to view the world differently, with eye structures and configurations optimized for various kinds of existence.   … Read more

Frozen tardigrade becomes first ‘quantum entangled’ animal in history, researchers claim

Tardigrades — those microscopic, plump-bodied critters lovingly known as “moss piglets” — have been put through the ringer for science. The amazingly durable creatures have been shot out of guns, bathed in boiling-hot water, exposed to intense ultraviolet radiation and even (accidentally) crash-landed on the moon, all to test the limits of their impressive “tun” … Read more

The Largest Known Flying Animal Was Even Weirder Than We Thought

The pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi is the largest known flying animal to have ever existed, living on Earth more than 67 million years ago. Now new research on the creature and its newly discovered smaller relative, Quetzalcoatlus lawsoni, gives us a better idea of how Q. northropi flew and got airborne to begin with.   Our knowledge of Q. … Read more

Celebrating the animal astronauts who paved the way for human spaceflight

NASA astronaut Cady Coleman shows the habitat that golden orb spiders Esmeralda and Gladys occupied on the International Space Station in 2011.  (Image credit: NASA) From insects to primates, from dogs and cats to cold-blooded reptiles, animals have played a significant role in space exploration since the first fruit flies launched to Earth’s upper atmosphere … Read more

The Famous Fossils Scientists Got Incredibly Wrong

We sort of take for granted the depictions of prehistoric beasties illustrated in the books of our childhood. But piecing together Earth’s murky past is a lot harder than it sounds.   Scientists have to rely on fragmentary bones, weathered footprints, impressions in rock – these don’t always capture the fine details of the complex, … Read more