James Owen

Why are buzzing flies so hard to swat? It’s a question that’s vexed humankind for millennia, but scientists may finally have the answer. Flies on the wing react to looming threats as if they were fighter jets—by banking away in a fraction of the blink of an eye, according to a study published April 10...

By James Owen The only praying mantis native to New Zealand has developed a fatal attraction for a cannibal invader whose females devour its mates after sex, scientists report. Males of the New Zealand mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae) are being seduced into serving themselves up as meals to females of the springbok mantis (Miomantis caffra), a...

By James Owen The only praying mantis native to New Zealand has developed a fatal attraction for a cannibal invader whose females devour its mates after sex, scientists report. Males of the New Zealand mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae) are being seduced into serving themselves up as meals to females of the springbok mantis (Miomantis caffra), a...

The Marquis de Sade had nothing on this critter—a sea slug that makes out by stabbing potential mates between the eyes and, researchers suspect, drugging them. Besides having a penis, the sea slug—an as-yet undescribed species from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—is also armed with a hypodermic device for injecting chemicals that possibly make its partners...

The Marquis de Sade had nothing on this critter—a sea slug that makes out by stabbing potential mates between the eyes and, researchers suspect, drugging them. Besides having a penis, the sea slug—an as-yet undescribed species from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—is also armed with a hypodermic device for injecting chemicals that possibly make its partners...

By James Owen If your canary in the mineshaft sprouts an extra head, you might think there’s a problem. But not, apparently, if you’re the J. R. Simplot Company. The canary in its case was the brown trout, and its mineshaft, the Smoky Canyon phosphate mine in southern Idaho. As revealed last month in The...

By James Owen Conserving virgin rain forests and their fauna is one thing. But preserving their people? For many Westerners, the ideal wilderness would seem to be one without humans. From safari reserves to television wildlife documentaries, their spoiling presence is excluded. But in countries where these indigenous tribes persist, there’s another perception: this being...