James Owen

Is Your Salmon Small Because of Hungry Cavemen?

Stone Age hunters didn’t need to tell fish tales—the fish they caught really were whoppers, according to a new study. Remains of prehistoric fish dinners from caves in northern Spain suggest that Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown ...

New Poison Frog Species Evolving Before Our Eyes, Study Says

A poison dart frog from Peru that mimics its neighbors in incredible detail is evolving into a new species, scientists believe.  The mimic frog (Ranitomeya imitator) is the first vertebrate, and only the second known animal, to suggest that mimicry ...

Mysterious New Poison Dart Frog Found; Is Size of Fingernail

A new species of poison dart frog so teeny it can fit on a fingernail has been discovered in a rain forest in Panama, a new study says. Scientists found the toxic, electric-orange amphibian in a single hilly area near ...

Why Some Males Evolved to Be Small and Sneaky

Bigger males may get a lot of attention, but sometimes being smaller—and sneakier—is more successful when it comes to mating. In the East African cichlid fish, Lamprologus callipterus, males come in two sizes: giants or dwarves that are 40 ...

Why Do Males Have Built-in Weapons?

The stunning array of weaponry brandished by male animals—be they antlers, horns, mandibles, spurs, or claws—is driven by each species’ individual fighting style, scientists have revealed. The finding, which may solve a long-standing evolutionary puzzle, is thanks to ...

See-Through Frogs With Green Bones Discovered in Peru

Four new species of see-through frogs, three of which reveal green bones, have been discovered by researchers in northern Peru. Showing their beating hearts and other body organs in x-ray detail, the newfound amphibians belong to the aptly named glass ...

New Golden Bat Adds to Animals With the Midas Touch

A golden bat recently discovered in Bolivia has joined the ranks of nature’s richly gilded creatures. The newly described Myotis midastactus is named after Midas, the king of Greek legend who turned everything he touched to gold. (See National ...

“Killer Sperm” Found, Prevents Worms From Cross-Breeding

Talk about tough love: Mating with a male of another species can be lethal, at least if you’re a nematode worm. Scientists have found that female worms that mate with other nematode species often become infected by “killer sperm,” ...

Beyond Bees: 4 Surprising Facts About Pollination

Losing the bees and other pollinators would make life difficult, as we’d also lose most of the flowering plants we rely on both for food and our green environment.  The vital service that pollinators provide has been drawn into ...

New Frog Mates Doing Handstands, Does “Pottery”

A new species of frog with some bizarre mating rituals has been discovered in India, a new study says. Found in swampy forests of the Western Ghats (map), the Kumbara night frog (Nyctibatrachus kumbara) mates while doing a handstand and ...

14 New “Dancing Frogs” Discovered in India

Fourteen new species of tiny “dancing frogs” have been discovered in the jungles of western India, scientists report. The spectacular haul more than doubles the number of Indian dancing frogs, a family named for the bizarre courtship displays of their ...

Lab Animals Stressed Out by Men, Study Finds

Men can stress out rodents—and probably most other mammals, including pets—merely with a whiff of their armpit sweat, a new study says. The far-reaching discovery, whose findings about male-induced stress may also apply to humans, comes from observing ...

Q&A: What Can Dog Brains Tell Us About Humans?

Dogs have a human side. That’s not just their mushy-eyed owners talking, but scientists who study the companionable canines we’ve lived alongside for 30,000 years or more.  Indeed, such is our mental bond with the earliest domesticated animal that ...