Liz Langley

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…

Wildlife

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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…

Wildlife

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…

Wildlife

 Ask Your Weird Animal Questions flies right into facts about our winged brethren this week. I love watching the frigatebirds in the skies above Key West—so elegant and it seems like they stay “afloat” forever. How high can they fly? —Jim Crescitelli via Facebook The magnificent frigatebird, a distinctive black animal with an inflatable red throat…

Wildlife

From cats to clams, the animal kingdom literally has many different ways of seeing things—including some we may not think of as having eyes at all. This week on Ask Your Weird Animal Questions, we’re taking a visionary look at nature. Which creature has the most eyes? —Crystal Henson via Facebook The answer may surprise…

Wildlife

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…

Wildlife

Reptiles may not be as cuddly as cats or as dutiful as dogs, but reptile people love their lizards, snakes, and turtles. This week Ask Your Weird Animal Questions slithers into the world of reptiles, starting with one reader who shelled out some great questions about turtles. Water turtles/terrapins: When they sleep at night, how…

Wildlife