This venomous frog has killer spines on its head

Aug 6th, 2015 Amazing 1 min read

When Carlos Jared picked up a little frog hiding in the scrublands of the Brazilian Caatinga, he didn’t expect to be hurt. And he didn’t expect an intense pain radiating up his arm for the next five hours. “It took me a long time to realise that the pain had a relationship with the careless collection of these animals,” he recalls. Now he understands why….

The wasps that rule the world

May 22nd, 2015 Amazing, Interactions 1 min read

On Costa Rica, inside a wheel of sticky silk, an orb weaver spider is doomed to die. She is a formidable predator, but this Leucauge argyra has fallen victim to something even worse. A white grub is stuck to her abdomen, and it’s growing bigger while the spider shrinks. One day, the spider stops building her usual orb web. Instead, she keeps repeating the first few steps,…

Caterpillars contort their bodies to look like bird poop

May 22nd, 2015 Amazing 1 min read

How to ward off hungry birds if you’re a tasty caterpillar? Try to look like something really distasteful: bird poop. Some caterpillars are masters of disguise, fine-tuning their poo mimicry with a grab bag of tricks—using color, pattern, choice of resting place, and, sometimes, contorting their bodies to match the squiggly shape of bird droppings. In a paper published online this month in Animal Behaviour, scientists…

Which animal has the most sensitive eyes?

Feb 19th, 2015 Amazing, Life 1 min read

The human eye is one of evolution’s greatest achievements. It can see tiny dust specks and huge mountains, near or far, in full colour. Backed by the processing power of our brains, it can also pick out movement and help us identify the people we love just by their faces. One of the eye’s best tricks is so good, you don’t notice it. When you…