Jason Bittel

Following Nemo: Clownfish Make Epic Ocean Journeys

Turns out finding Nemo could take a while. A new study reveals that baby clownfish can travel up to 250 miles (400 kilometers) in search of a new reef—an almost unthinkable distance for a creature just a few millimeters long. Scientists ...

“Extinct” Snail Found Alive—But for How Long?

Scientists are, well, tickled pink to rediscover a rosy-colored snail once deemed extinct in the Seychelles.  A little over a century ago, it was easy to spot the colorful shells of the Aldabra banded snail (Rhachistia aldabrae). The mollusk was ...

Watch Death Valley’s Rocks Walk Before Your Eyes

Some scientists use GPS locations to keep track of wide-ranging sharks. Others attach GPS tags to observe the movements of reclusive snow leopards. And then there are the guys who use the technology to study the movements of rocks. Yes, ...

Watch: Grouper Slurps Down A Shark, Not A Typical Meal

The Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) isn’t the meanest or fastest fish on the reef. It has neither venomous barbs nor impressive fangs. But as its name suggests, the goliath grouper does do at least one thing of note: ...

Female Turtles “Talk” to Their Hatchlings, Scientists Discover

The first time Richard Vogt tried to catch a giant South American river turtle (Podocnemis expansa), the hundred-pound (45-kilogram) reptile dragged him 30 feet (9.1 meters) down to the bottom of a river. It would have kept going, too, if he hadn’...

The High-Flying Ant With a Bite Like a Bear Trap

There’s an invasive species conquering new territory in the southeastern United States. It has gnarly jaws, a formidable sting, and the ability to launch itself into the air like a bottle rocket. These insects are known as trap-jaw ants, ...

World Cup Mascot: Explaining the Armadillo

By Jason Bittel Armadillos aren’t what you’d call cute and cuddly: Their beady eyes, scaly skin, and bony shell give them the appearance of a rat masquerading as a lobster.   But the mammals are pretty tough when they ...