Carrie Arnold

Why a Swordfish’s Sword Doesn’t Break

A swordfish’s “sword” is its most prominent feature, but scientists have only now discovered the unusual properties that keep the sword strong and ready to slash. A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ...

Mystery Solved? How Birds Weather Turbulence

When a bird hits turbulence while flying, it can’t turn on the “fasten seatbelt” sign. Instead, new research shows that it tucks its wings to stabilize its flight. Scientists were studying the flight of a captive Eurasian steppe eagle (...

Snake Robots Crack Mystery of How Reptiles Climb Dunes

Climbing a sand dune is no easy task, even for the most nimble of humans—yet some snakes can climb them with ease. Now, a new study of sidewinders and robotic versions of the snakes has discovered the secret to ...

Wolves Vulnerable to Contagious Yawning

Yawning isn’t a lone wolf phenomenon. New research shows that when one wolf yawns, a packmate often does too. Watching a pack of wolves at the Tama Zoological Park outside Tokyo last year, Japanese researchers found that the sight ...

Mystery Solved: How Snakes Climb Trees

When climbing a tree, a snake thinks “safety first,” according to new research published Tuesday in Biology Letters.  Instead of gripping the tree with just enough force to keep from sliding back down, snakes overcompensate and grip with a force ...

Why Are Jellyfish Swarming This Summer?

Swarms of jellyfish that have appeared recently in the Pacific Northwest and the United Kingdom are not unusual, but may signal an ocean out of balance, experts say. This summer, huge numbers of blue Velella velella have been washing onto ...

How Do Horses Communicate? New Signals Found

Forget talking horses like Mister Ed—when it comes to horse communication, the ears have it.  A new study revealed that a horse’s large, highly mobile ears can help tell another horse where to direct its attention, which may ...

Mystery Solved: Why Peacocks Got Their Eyespots

When a peacock struts his stuff, our attention immediately turns to his elaborate plumage with its colorful eyespots. Why and how these dazzling “eyes” evolved has been a mystery—until now. A new detailed analysis of peacocks and other related ...

Transgender Algae Show How Males and Females Came to Be

One of the few things older than the battle of the sexes is the origin of the sexes. How sexes evolved in the first place has been a lasting mystery in biology. Thanks to some transgender algae, scientists may have ...

Researchers Discover “Bizarre” Jurassic Insect With Giant Sucker

Scientists have discovered a “bizarre” parasite from the Jurassic era that really sucked. An international team of researchers recently described this 165-million-year-old fossilized fly larvae that they found in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northeastern China once studded with ...

Lionfish Flare Their Fins to Hunt Together

For the first time, scientists have documented how lionfish use their pointed, venomous fins to hunt prey together. “Cooperation requires high cognition, but fish have traditionally been perceived as being at the bottom” of the cognition scale, said the study‘...