Liz Langley

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Why Do Lobsters Turn Red When Cooked?

Does this calico lobster also turn red when cooked, or does it stay the same? —Liselle S., Philippines  First things first: A rare calico lobster caught earlier this summer was donated to the Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium in New Hampshire and was reportedly set to be released in the ocean in September. It isn’t destined for…

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Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Jumping Spiders, Angry Cats

Dogs are known for their outstanding scenting and trailing abilities. Dogs can also detect diverse odors like explosives and narcotics. Can elephants do the same? —Liselle S., Philippines  “They do. They track each other,” said John Lenhardt of the National Elephant Center, a refuge in Florida. “They’ve been observed in the wild to raise their trunk and…

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Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Pterosaurs vs. Dinosaurs, Spider Venom, and a Wasp’s “Drill Bit”

I thought Quetzalcoatlus is the biggest pterosaur or flying dino? —Vince This is a great question that came out of a column in which a reader had asked, “How big was the largest flying dinosaur?” It’s not Quetzalcoatlus, but my answer, Changyuraptor yangi, wasn’t right either, says Mark Witton of the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth via…

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Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Purple Frogs, Taming Zebras

I have always wondered why we have not domesticated [zebras] for riding, like horses? —CeeCee Hall, California Historically, it’s a matter of circumstance that zebras weren’t domesticated—not necessarily because the equines are aggressive, as is commonly thought, said Fiona Marshall, an expert in animal domestication at Washington University in St. Louis. (See “Zebra Stripes Evolved to Repel Bloodsuckers?“) That’s because…

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Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: “Stiletto” Snakes, Cat Purrs

From purring to slithering, we’ve got your weird animal questions covered. Let’s start with an ophidiophobe’s nightmare. Check out the stiletto snake for a weird use of teeth! [How can a] venomous snake … strike sideways? —John F. Taylor, New Brunswick, Canada Normally I’d save this for Halloween, but the venomous stiletto snake of East…

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Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Spiders and Other Animals With Bite

We love getting questions with teeth, and this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions tackles animals and their various bites. Keep your hands (and toes) away from these critters. Why does the gavial have such a narrow snout? Do they have snout envy issues? —Tristan  The gavial (Gavialis gangeticus), sometimes called a gharial, is a wicked-looking crocodile relative with…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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