Topic: research

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How do crab spiders use their silk to fly?

Some spiders can catch onto breezes that send them flying across oceans and high up into the skies by ballooning—releasing "numerous strands of silk that they spin up to six feet long." And those threads of silk, ...

The Cephalopod Empire in Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Bret Grasse lovingly calls the Cephalopod Operations division at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts the “cephalopod empire.” The lab houses roughly 2,000 to 3,000 cephalopods—likely th...

Mapping whale songs in the South Pacific

Why do male whales make such complex songs? And what are they communicating? Dr. Ellen Garland has been analyzing sound arrangements made by the tens of thousands of whales living in separate communities across the So...

The SUSTAIN Lab’s Hurricane in a Box

Brian Haus watches as the still air stirs into over 150 mph winds. The flat turquoise water suddenly churns a series of endless crashing waves of white frothy foam. Thankfully, Haus does not have to actually weather t...

The Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise, a new species

The Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise may look like the Superb Bird-of-Paradise, the hopping black bird with iridescent blue 'eyes' and a 'mouth' in its outspread wings, but the Vogelkop has recently been named as a se...

The Very Hungry Maggot: How larva farming can help reduce food waste

How are maggots like waves in an ocean? How are they like puppies? In this fascinating Macroscope video from Science Friday, The Very Hungry Maggot, we meet David Hu, a mechanical engineering professor who's studying ...

Why Dogs Have Floppy Ears, an animated tale

Why do some breeds of dogs have floppy ears? Charles Darwin asked this question in his 1868 book The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication. And it's not just the ears of dogs. The ears, snout lengths, fu...

Collecting some 350 fungi specimens in the Ecuadorian Andes

Of an estimated 3.2 million species of fungi, only some 120,000 are known to science. Most of the undescribed species reside in the tropics. In 2014, myself [Danny Newman] and a fellow mycologist, Roo Vandegrift, coll...

Carl Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae and Herbarium Cabinet

How did scientists and naturalists organize their artifact collections in the 1700s? How could these systems, long before we began to rely on computers to help us organize data, improve our understanding of the natura...

Becoming Visible: Shattering stereotypes & misconceptions in science

The University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History celebrated 100 years of inspiring people to care about life on Earth in 2017. To mark the closing of an era and the beginning of a new century, UF News pro...

How glow-in-the-dark jellyfish inspired a scientific revolution

In science, ideas are kind of like seeds. If you're lucky, a seed will grow and expand the boundaries of human knowledge. But it's hard to know which seeds will take root. Take any invention or modern innovation and i...

Why (and how) do whales sing?

Whale vocalizations are a bit of a mystery. We know that only the males of some baleen whales sing, but we're not sure what those compositions—specifically structured phrases and melodies that repeat and evolve within...

How the Animal Kingdom Sleeps & How Animals See the World – Animalism

Sleep is universal in the animal kingdom, but each species slumbers in a different — and often mysterious — way. Some animals snooze with half their brain, while others only sleep for two hours a day (without even suf...

Squid: Coming to Life, captured in microscopic detail

From a 'pearl' filled with dividing cells to hatchlings with color-shifting skin, watch as these very small cephalopods grow up under a microscope. The film, Squid: Coming to Life, was created by evolutionary and deve...

Do jellyfish sleep?

At first glance, humans seem to have very little in common with Cassiopea, a primitive jellyfish. Cassiopea is brainless, spineless, and spends essentially its entire life sitting upside down on the ocean floor, pulsa...

Secrets of Schooling: Investigating the collective behavior of fish

Collective behavior is embodied in swarms of insects, flocks of birds, herds of antelope, and schools of fish. In each of these cases, individuals move through their environment and respond to threats and opportunitie...

Why are museum collections so important? Sir David Attenborough explains

Museums like the American Museum of Natural History may, at first, seem to be sharing their entire scientific collections in the public displays of their grand halls, but when scientists need specimens for research, t...

Three quarters of deep-sea animals are bioluminescent

Thanks to advancing camera technology and diligent scientific research, scientists have learned that bioluminescence is not the unusual attribute that we thought it was. Researchers Séverine Martini and Steven H. D. H...

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