Topic: biology

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Dinosaurs probably didn’t roar. What did they sound like?

If birds are living dinosaurs—"the only survivors of the mass extinction that wiped out their giant relatives 65 million years ago"—then did dinosaurs really sound like the roaring mammals that we've heard in the movi...

How does bumblebee barf create a queen?

What causes a baby bumblebee (the fuzzier and more weather-hardy cousins to honey bees) to become royalty remains a mystery. They don’t produce royal jelly but they produce a unique barf for their young. Enter entomol...

The Universal Pattern Popping Up in Math, Physics, & Biology

Scientists have discovered a mysterious universal pattern that "connects a bus system in Mexico and chicken eyes to quantum physics and number theory." MentalFloss summarizes the formerly hidden phenomenon, known as u...

How do roller coasters affect your body?

In 1895, crowds flooded Coney Island to see America’s first-ever looping coaster: the Flip Flap Railway. But its thrilling flip caused cases of severe whiplash, neck injury and even ejections. Today, coasters can pull...

Animals with night vision

Nocturnal animals have special abilities that help them survive and flourish in the dark. One of these abilities is night vision. This NatGeoWILD video introduces us to a handful of animals with eyesight that's specia...

Fungi Matter, an animation for Kew

Fungi matter. They connect all life on Earth. They play a part in fighting cancer, infections, and heart disease. They provide plants with nutrients to survive. They can even break down plastics and generate biofuels....

Why can’t some birds fly?

Though the common ancestor of all modern birds could fly, many different bird species have independently lost their flight. Flight can have incredible benefits, especially for escaping predators, hunting and traveling...

The Pink Iguana of Galapagos

One of Galapagos’ most recently described species is also one of its genetically oldest. Pink iguanas are not just a different colour from other land iguanas; they are a completely separate species. There are only aro...

Can ice on Europa and Enceladus help us find extraterrestrial life?

In the late 1990s, photographs from the Galileo spacecraft showed an ice-covered surface on Europa, one of the Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter. In early 2018, studies of the data reported that "giant jets of water are...

Where Do Teeth Come From?

How long teeth can last? 30,000 years? 200,000 years? 300 million years? In this episode of It's Okay to Be Smart, Joe Hanson gets an up-close look at some ancient saber-toothed tiger (smilodon), mastodon, tyrannosaur...

What do sand dollars look like when they’re alive?

Pristine white sand dollars have long been the souvenir to commemorate a successful day at the beach. But most people who pick them up don’t realize that they’ve collected the skeleton of an animal, washed up at the e...

How does sound travel to our brains?

How does a sound, like music played on a trumpet, travel from the source through our ears and to our brains? This animated video from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders describes the ...

Planet-changing ‘invisible’ microbes on the deep sea floor

"We're making progress at a rate that's outpacing the textbooks. We can't write textbooks fast enough to cover all of the really fundamental discoveries that are happening in the field of microbial ecology right now.....

The ‘Swiss Army knife’ legs of a house centipede

So. Many. Legs. Thirty legs arranged in a fluttery burst-like arrangement. This is the Scutigera coleoptrata, a house centipede. And though some may think they're creepy or gross, or dangerous to humans (they're not),...

Why do goats have rectangular pupils?

In this 'I Wonder Why' episode from World by Charlie, Casey Engelman wants to know why goats have rectangular pupils. Her brother and host Charlie Engelman didn't know either, so they did some research. Those hori...

How do garden eels eat?

Alexandra Khrizman and colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University made more than 100 dives and planted cameras among garden eels to determine how they handle currents, and whether being s...

Hawk moths and The Art of Staying Stable

Like a hummingbird or a creature from a Hayao Miyazaki film, hawk moths or Sphingidae, are a family of large insects with the magical-looking mastery of hovering in midair. They can also fly backward and keep incredib...

Which life form really dominates Earth?

In 2018, there are around 7.6 billion people on the planet, but weigh us all together on a giant scale and we only make up 1/10,000 of Earth’s biomass. What is biomass? And what life forms dominate the rest of the pla...

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