Topic: nature

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The turret spider’s camouflaged towers

Mud, moss, bark, leaves, and other forest materials cover the towers made by California turret spiders, camouflaging these unusual lairs. Inside, the towers are lined with white silk and can extend six inches down int...

What are mosasaurs?

Travel back to the Cretaceous period, where large marine lizards called mosasaurs dominated ecosystems around the planet. While some were the size of a dolphin, others were longer than a Tyrannosaurus rex. How did the...

Making lava bombs with ‘homemade’ magma

Hot lava + cold water = the potential for lava bombs, flying molten rock balls. For scientists who study the dynamics of this violent combination, it's much safer to set up controlled experiments than to study it in H...

Pop! Hungry caterpillars vs. touch-me-not seed pods

Touch-me-not Balsam pods explode without warning when they're ready to disperse their seeds. The seed pods also happen to be the Netted Carpet Moth larva's favorite food. So what happens when this hungry caterpillar e...

The Living Fossil Fish – Animated Life

In 1938, South African museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer came across a strange blue fin poking out of a pile of fish. With its fleshy, lobed fins and its tough armored scales, the coelacanth did not look like ...

The Big City, a microscopic tour of Vancouver

From high above planet Earth, humans can seem microscopically small. Busy highways and crowded cities, seen from far away, can quickly remind us of bustling ant hills filled with a colony of millions. Conversely, if y...

A leaf-rolling weevil crafts its nest with careful folds

See how the female six-spotted leaf-rolling weevil expertly crafts a cocoon-like leaf-roll with a Rabdosia trichocarpa leaf. Filmed in Japan by Sigma1920HD, this silent time-lapse of the nidification process was recon...

Emperor penguin chicks defend against a giant petrel

How can a group of emperor penguin chicks protect themselves against predators as they take their first journey to the water without their parents? They create a defensive circle, stand as tall as they can, and peck a...

The revealing world of dinosaur poop (coprolites)

In Choteau, Montana, there's a fossil quarry that's famous for an epic discovery: the very first baby dinosaurs found in a nest. This fossilized evidence was pivotal in our understanding of how some dinosaurs raised t...

The Green Dragontail Butterfly in slow motion

This stunning slow-motion footage of the Green Dragontail Butterfly (Lamproptera meges) was filmed by insect enthusiast Kazuo Unno during a trip to northern Thailand. The dragontails are a species of swallowtail butte...

This humidity-powered seed drills itself into the ground

Powered by changes in humidity—curling when dry and straightening when wet—this Erodium cicutarium seed (or more specifically, an achene) will bury itself by slowly drilling into the ground. This time lapse video by p...

How are luffa/loofah sponges made?

The luffa or loofah scrubbing sponge found at spas and eco-friendly stores is made from a giant Egyptian cucumber. The fibrous xylem of the fruit can be harvested after the fruit has matured, browned, and dried. Natha...

Hummingbird Battleground in the Talamanca Mountains

The presence of a backyard hummingbird feeder can reveal the competitive nature of hummingbirds. Notorious for chasing each other away from nectar sources, hummingbirds are territorial because they need to stay fueled...

Travel deep inside a redwood tree leaf

Travel down into a small flat redwood tree leaf through a stoma, a tiny opening in its surface. This animation from the California Academy of Sciences takes us on a scientifically accurate journey into a palisade cell...

Saving the Island Fox

How did a team of conservationists, veterinarians, and volunteers help a rare species of fox come back from the brink of extinction? And why did this little fox almost go extinct in the first place? This is the st...

Crow herding with urban falconry in Portland

“Downtown Portland seems to be a very inviting place for crows and I think the reason for that is due to the presence of garbage and food and lights and warmth, and it’s a relatively predator-free environment,” [bird ...

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...

Traveling Through Brush and Ink: Stop-motion set in four ancient Chinese paintings

Traveling Through Brush and Ink is a stop-motion animation of a little modern man traveling through four significant ancient Chinese paintings, transforming himself into animals and plants, and becomes part of the nat...

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