A Year of Wild Things -- Orcas, Alligators, Caterpillars, Lizards, and More! | Science | Smithsonian

A Year of Wild Things -- Orcas, Alligators, Caterpillars, Lizards, and More!

The Wild Things column in the magazine is, by far, the most fun part to work on. The meetings in which we review potential papers and discuss what would make a good mix for the page often turns into half a dozen adults drowning in giggles. Read on and you'll see what kept us laughing throughout the...

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The Wild Things column in the magazine is, by far, the most fun part to work on. The meetings in which we review potential papers and discuss what would make a good mix for the page often turns into half a dozen adults drowning in giggles. Read on and you'll see what kept us laughing throughout the year.



After they emerge, larvae cause the dying caterpillar to swing its head violently and scare away predatory bugs. Courtesy of Prof. Jose Lino-Neto



January: Orcas working together to create waves that wash their prey--seals and penguins--off of ice floes



February: The Lily White flower has a set of roots just for digging



March: Hubble Space Telescope software adapted to identify whale sharks



April: A parasite makes the abdomen of its ant host look like a berry



May: The American alligator adjusts its lungs to maneuver



June: Whiskered auklets use feathers for feelers



July: Juvenile locusts have some cannibalistic tendencies



August: Zombie caterpillars



September: Lizards popping wheelies



October: Pen-tailed tree shrews drink alcohol but don't appear to get drunk



November: Female fallow deer judge mates by their groans



December: Self-sacrificing ants
About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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