ecology
We’re Turning Wild Animals Into Night Owls by Scaring the Heck out of Them

All around the globe, human activity is driving mammals to become more active at night, according to new research. Likely driven by a fear of people, many animals shift their schedules toward nocturnality to avoid running into us. Read More >>

enviroment
Pilot Whale Dies in Thailand After Being Found With 17 Pounds of Plastic Bags in Its Stomach

A male pilot whale struggled for five days to stay alive in Thailand near the Malaysian border after rescuers found it with 17 pounds of plastic bags in its stomach, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, but it ultimately succumbed to its illnesses. Read More >>

science
Stick Bugs Could Be Thriving by Getting Pooped Out of Birds

If you wanna thrive on this planet, you have to figure out a way to be fruitful and multiply. If you’re a stick bug, that could mean getting pooped out of a bird. Read More >>

ecology
Australia Finishes Building World’s Largest Cat-Proof Fence, Cats Accept the Challenge

Australia has completed the world’s longest cat-proof fence, because cats, an introduced species on the island, can be a huge freaking problem. Read More >>

animals
Severed Chicken Head Experiment Shows We’re Underestimating How Many Animals Are Killed by Cars

Roadkill cleanup is a dirty job. But it's not nearly as dirty as it would be without scavengers. Researchers who study these critters think that their roadside eating habits have led humans to seriously underestimate how many animals are killed by cars. Read More >>

science
Are Jupiter and Venus Messing With Earth’s Climate?

Our planet is in a remarkably circular orbit around the Sun, but as new research points out, Earth’s orbit sometimes experiences a slight jolt, thanks to the combined gravitational influence of Jupiter and Venus. Incredibly, this cycle has been going on for at least 215 million years — and one scientist suggests it could possibly have influenced the trajectory of life on this planet, according to the new study published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read More >>

science
First Evidence that Microplastics Travel Up the Food Chain and Into Seal Bellies

You’re familiar with the food chain: little fish eats plankton, bigger fish eats the little fish, then a seal eats the bigger fish, thus consuming the energy from all three smaller animals. But what if the little fish had also eaten an indigestible piece of plastic? New evidence demonstrates the plastic could make it all the way up the food chain into the seal. Read More >>

science
Scientists Set to Explore Mysterious Seafloor Exposed by Antarctica’s Giant Iceberg

Remember the massive iceberg that split away from Antarctica last year? An international team of scientists is about to embark on a mission to explore the newly exposed marine ecosystem underneath—one that’s been hidden for over 100,000 years. Read More >>

science
Snakes Could Be Spreading Flowers By Pooing Mice

You probably have this image of the circle of life in your head where a zebra eats a plant, a lion eats the zebra, the lion dies and fertilises the soil, and then new plants grow. I mean, that sort of happens, but have you considered where snakes fit into all of this? Read More >>

science
Frog Species Breaks Record for Most Sex Chromosomes in a Vertebrate

You may have learned in school that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes: 22 “autosomes” and their partners, which contain pretty much the same genes and in the same order, plus one pair of sex chromosomes that lead to the differentiation in sexual traits. But enough about us. The Amazonian Leptodactylus pentadactylus (smoky jungle frog) has six pairs of sex chromosomes. Read More >>

science
The ‘Shower Rat’ is Very Obviously Not Showering

It’s very easy to look at an animal mimicking a human-like behavior and think “Wow! That animal is doing a human thing! It looks so cute and happy” (because humans are so cute and happy, right?) That is almost never the case. If an animal looks weird, it probably is weird—and not in a good way. Read More >>

science
Discovery of Extinct Burrowing Bat Tells Mysterious Story About New Zealand

All but three land mammal species living on New Zealand today were brought there by modern humans, beginning around 800 years ago—and all three of those native mammal species are bats. But a newly discovered bat fossil suggests that there may be more species hiding in the isle’s ancient rock. Perhaps the mammal-poor islands once had a far more batty past. Read More >>

giz asks
What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Earth might be looking a little worse for wear, after the last four hundred years of reckless wide-scale resource extraction, but to its credit it hasn’t collapsed entirely. Despite our best efforts, it continues to gamely welcome our rapidly expanding population, barring the occasional earthquake. Whether the planet might be a little better off with fewer of us is a different question, a freighted one. Read More >>

instagram
Instagram Is Warning Users That ‘Cute’ Exotic Animal Selfies Aren’t So Cute

In the Amazon, animals are being illegally captured and held in captivity to lure in tourists that might want to snap a sweet selfie with a sloth or a squirrel monkey. A report published in October by the Nature Conservation detailed the harmful consequences of wildlife ecotourism, pointing out that this practice is not only illegal, but deadly for the animals captured to entice sightseers. And it’s a practice that has been well-documented on Instagram—there are currently thousands of photos under the #slothselfie hashtag alone. But this week Instagram has decided to inform its millions of users that all that’s cute isn’t necessarily wholesome. Read More >>

photography
Feast Your Eyes on Some of the Year’s Best Wildlife Photography

The British Ecological Society has announced the winners of its annual photo competition, and it features fantastic photos of fearsome predators pouncing on prey, a freakishly rare ocelot, and a crafty chameleon doing what a chameleon does best. Read More >>