Biology

Mai Fahmy captured videos of leeches jumping during two separate trips to Madagascar.

Watch Blood-Sucking Leeches Leap From Leaves and Soar Through the Air

New videos may help settle scientists' long-standing debate over whether leeches can jump

The two Hudson Bay polar bear groups are often considered indicators of how the 17 other polar bear subpopulations will fare in the future.

Time Is Running Out for the Hudson Bay Polar Bears

The southern and western subpopulations are on track to disappear as sea ice becomes too thin amid rising global temperatures

Newly examined fossils suggest monotremes—egg-laying mammals—were once much more abundant in Australia than they are today.

Meet the 'Echidnapus,' an Extinct Creature That Resembles Both the Echidna and Platypus of Today

The species is among three newly identified monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, discovered from fossils in Australia that are shedding light on the odd animals' evolution

Elephants at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, on May 3, 2024. Elephants use low, rumbling vocalizations to call to others and while caring for their young.

African Elephants May Call Each Other by Name

In a new study, a computer model was able to identify the recipient of an elephant's call more than a quarter of the time, which scientists say is significantly greater than chance

Wombats are stocky marsupials that can weigh up to 85 pounds.

Don't Call Wombats Heroes, but Their Burrows Do Provide Food, Water and Shelter for Other Animals

During Australia’s devastating bushfires in 2019 and 2020, misinformation spread about wombats welcoming animals into their underground homes—but a new study finds a kernel of truth in the viral story

Charlotte is a round stingray, a species named for its circular, disk-shaped body.

'Pregnant Virgin' Stingray Won't Give Birth After All—Here's Why

Charlotte, a female round stingray in North Carolina who has gathered a legion of online fans, is no longer pregnant due to a "rare reproductive disease"

The bladder and the brain are involved in determining when we need to urinate.

How Do We Know When to Pee?

The basic urge is surprisingly complex and can go awry as we age

The researchers used drone footage and tracking devices to analyze the behavior of 11 orcas in the northern Pacific Ocean.

Between Dives, Orcas Take Only a Single Breath

A new study finds the black-and-white marine mammals tend to make shorter, shallower dives compared to humpback and blue whales, making orcas the "sprinters" of the ocean

The sympathetic nervous system was thought to have evolved with jawed vertebrates. But lampreys—jawless, parasitic fish that suck out the blood of their hosts—have a simple one, per recent research.

Eerie Lampreys Hint at the Origins of Our 'Fight-or-Flight' Response and Sympathetic Nervous System

The jawless, parasitic fish largely haven't changed over the last 340 million years, but they might be better sources for studying our own evolution than thought, a recent study suggests

African wild dogs might use facial expressions to communicate with each other as they hunt in packs on the savanna.

Wild Dogs Have Muscles for 'Puppy Eyes,' Suggesting the Cute Expression Did Not Evolve Just for Humans

African wild dogs have the same well-developed eye muscles that domestic dogs use to make their signature pleading faces, a recent study finds

The Black Death killed tens of millions of people in the mid-1300s, but scientists and historians are still trying to figure out how it spread.

Did Body Lice Spread Bubonic Plague? Research Suggests the Parasites Are Better Vectors Than Thought

These blood-sucking insects are capable of transmitting the bacteria that caused the Black Death, according to a laboratory study

At least 138 howler monkeys have been found dead in the Mexican state of Tabasco since May 16.

Mexico's Howler Monkeys Are Dying, 'Falling Out of the Trees,' Amid Scorching Heat Wave

Veterinarians and volunteers are trying to save the threatened primates by hoisting buckets of water and food into trees, as well as providing medical care

Beachcombers stumbled upon the fish south of Cannon Beach, a small coastal town in northwest Oregon.

Beachcombers Discover Rare, Deep-Sea Anglerfish Washed Up on Oregon Coast

Most humans will never see a Pacific footballfish, as the creatures live at depths of 2,000 to 3,300 feet below the ocean's surface

A protein-DNA interaction, modeled by AlphaFold 3.

Google Releases A.I. That Can Predict How the Human Body's Molecules Behave, Boosting Drug Discovery Research

Called AlphaFold 3, the latest update of the software models the interactions of proteins with DNA, RNA and other molecules for the first time

Elephants use different greetings depending on whether the other animal is looking at them.

How Do Elephants Say Hello? Reunions Lead to Ear Flapping, Rumbling and Trunk Swinging in Greeting

New research explores how African savannah elephants use vocalizations, gestures and secretions when they meet up with companions

The world’s quietest room registers a background sound of -24.9 dBA.

In the Earth’s Quietest Room, You Can Hear Yourself Blink

Background noise in the custom-built chamber is actually measured in negative decibels, which means it’s below the threshold of human hearing

Sperm whales communicate by making clicks.

Scientists Discover a 'Phonetic Alphabet' Used by Sperm Whales, Moving One Step Closer to Decoding Their Chatter

Researchers used artificial intelligence to spot patterns in recordings of the marine mammals' vocalizations, uncovering the "building blocks of whale language"

Bumblebees, on the whole, are better adapted for cooler temperatures than for heat—one species, Bombus polaris, even lives in the Arctic.

Bumblebee Nests May Be Overheating With Rising Global Temperatures, Study Finds

Across various species and regions, bumblebee nests thrive between 82 and 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit—and climate change could make it harder to find habitats in that range

Ocelots have been listed as federally endangered in the U.S. since 1972.

Endangered Ocelots May Be Expanding Their Range in Texas

DNA testing of an ocelot killed in 2021 raises the possibility that the creatures may be roaming outside their established South Texas territory, which is currently their only stronghold in the country

The bamboo octocoral Isidella sp. displaying bioluminescence in the Bahamas in 2009.

Glowing Sea Creatures Have Been Lighting Up the Oceans for More Than Half a Billion Years

New research on branching animals known as octocorals pushes the early days of bioluminescence back over 200 million years

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