Topic: Deep Look

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How Do Pelicans Survive Their Death-Defying Dives?

Unlike American White Pelicans, who scoop up fish at the water's surface, California’s brown pelicans rocket down from the sky, plunging toward the ocean from as high as 65 feet. This episode of Deep Look explains how...

The scientist that grows ‘identical twin snowflakes’

Snow crystals form when humid air is cooled to the point that molecules of water vapor start sticking to each other. In the clouds, crystals usually start forming around a tiny microscopic dust particle, but if the wa...

Why Does Your Cat’s Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper?

If you've ever been licked by a cat, did their tongue feel scratchy like sandpaper? The scratchiness is caused by their keratin papillae, tiny claw-like spines on their tongue that help to clean their fur. Cats (Felis...

How smart is a spitting archerfish?

Watch how the archerfish hunts for its food and you'll see how it got its name. With accurate aim, its mouth can shoot a tiny jet of water at insects and other prey located above the water's surface and as far as six ...

Roly Polies Came From the Sea to Conquer the Earth

Woodlouse, pill bug, roly poly, sow bug, armadillo bug, cheeselog, wood shrimp... what do you call this bug where you live? Whatever you do, don't call it an insect! Roly polies are crustaceans, more like a shrimp...

How Do Reindeer and Elk Get Their Astounding Antlers?

What if you had to grow 20 pounds of bone on your forehead each year just to find a mate? In a bloody, itchy process, males of the deer family grow a new set of antlers every year, use them to fend off the competition...

The Snail-Smashing, Fish-Spearing, Eye-Popping Mantis Shrimp

The mantis shrimp is a fascinating creature. One kind impales prey with a spear-like appendage and another smashes prey with a built-in club — the fastest attack in the animal kingdom. "At 30 times faster than the bli...

The Double-Crossing Ants to Whom Friendship Means Nothing

In the Tambopata National Reserve, located in the Peruvian Amazon, big-headed ants are 'hired' as bodyguards by young Inga trees who want to grow tall enough to reach the rainforest canopy. The rainforest is espec...

Watch These Frustrated Squirrels Go Nuts – Deep Look

How do you know when a squirrel is happy? Warning a predator? Protecting its food? Frustrated? The key to understanding their mood is not in their expressionless faces... it's in their tail movements. Enter the resear...

These Carnivorous Worms Catch Bugs by Mimicking the Night Sky

These slimy threads are 'fishing' lines in New Zealand's Waitomo Caves. The lures are the bioluminescent glow of Arachnocampa luminosa, or glow worms. Their carnivorous larvae create a starry night sky a half a mile d...

Rock-Paper-Scissors Lizards

Biologists from UC Santa Cruz are studying the three distinct mating strategies of what's being referred to as "rock-paper-scissors lizards," the blue, orange, and yellow variations of the Western side-blotched lizard...

Nature’s Scuba Divers – How Beetles Breathe Underwater

"Water beetles have been breathing underwater since before the dinosaurs existed,” said Crystal Maier, an entomologist at The Field Museum in Chicago. “It has evolved at least 10 times across the insect tree of life."...

What makes owls so quiet & so deadly for prey? – Deep Look

Get a close up look at the sound-muffling feathers of an owl. Add powerful low-light vision and a nocturnal nature, providing her with the cover of darkness, and the owl becomes a stealthy ambush hunter. From KQED's D...

How Do Sharks and Rays Use Electricity to Find Hidden Prey?

Imagine if you had six traditional senses instead of five: Sound, sight, touch, smell, taste and... What might you pick? Echolocation? Magnetoreception? How about electroreception? Sharks, rays, skates and sawfish...

Can A Thousand Tiny Swarming Robots Outsmart Nature?

How might robotic engineers program a swarm of robots to accomplish tasks together based on self-organizing behaviors? Harvard research scientist Michael Rubenstein was working on that challenge when he designed Kilob...

What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel?

Most hummingbirds weight less than a nickel. Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any warm-blooded animal. They are the only birds that can fly sideways and backwards. They hover expertly, too. These are just s...

From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton – Deep Look

Mind-blowing fact: A massive group of single-celled algae called diatoms are considered champions of photosynthesis. Why? Diatoms are responsible for an estimated 20% to 40% -- maybe even 60% -- of the Earth's oxygen....

Banana Slugs and Secret of the Slime – Deep Look

Slime can trigger an immediate ewwwww! reaction, but ooey gooey slime is actually a rather brilliant, problem solving substance. One of the animals that depends on its slime can be found among the gigantic redwood for...

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