Mary Bates

Chameleons and octopuses are known for their rapid color changes, but fish? It turns out that at least one species of fish—the rockpool goby—is a quick-change artist, too. There have been anecdotal reports of gobies and other tidepool fish that are capable of changing colors, but scientists have largely ignored the behavior until recently. A study published October 15...

Now here’s a headache of historic proportions: An ancient ant with a mite attached to its head has been found preserved in amber, a new study says. The unlucky ant and its likely parasitic hitchhiker were trapped in tree resin, which eventually fossilized into amber, about 45 million years ago. The discovery is the oldest...

A sneaky octopus tried to literally steal the show when he recently took apart a camera off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.  Joe Kistel, an underwater videographer for the marine-conservation nonprofit TISIRI, was filming at an artificial reef on July 6 when he came across the inquisitive invertebrate, which other divers had previously encountered. As Kistel filmed, the octopus...

It’s no miracle: More than 1,200 species of animals have evolved the ability to walk on water, from tiny insects and spiders to larger animals such as birds, reptiles, and even mammals. Ants are not known for their swimming skills, but a new study suggests many are surprisingly adept in the water. Out of 35 species...

Japanese sea catfish hunt at night, using an array of senses to peer through the dark water and find their prey. Now scientists have discovered an additional way that the fish find food: Detecting slight chemical changes in the water produced by the breath of a sea worm. The keen senses of smell, taste, hearing,...

A scientist has discovered 19 new species of super-speedy praying mantises that roam Central and South America, a new study says. The insects belong to a group called bark mantises, which are flatter and broader than the more commonly known mantis. “They almost look like cockroaches with a narrow front end,” said Gavin Svenson, curator of invertebrate...

A scientist has discovered 19 new species of super-speedy praying mantises that roam Central and South America, a new study says. The insects belong to a group called bark mantises, which are flatter and broader than the more commonly known mantis. “They almost look like cockroaches with a narrow front end,” said Gavin Svenson, curator of invertebrate...

Readers went wild for our recent post “Special Albinos and Unusually White Animals,” offering more than a hundred comments about their own sightings and interactions. Eric Rose from Kentucky let us know about two albino alligators named Snowball and Snowflake that live at the Newport Aquarium in Ohio. Cul8rAnnieGator of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, says her...

Readers went wild for our recent post “Special Albinos and Unusually White Animals,” offering more than a hundred comments about their own sightings and interactions. Eric Rose from Kentucky let us know about two albino alligators named Snowball and Snowflake that live at the Newport Aquarium in Ohio. Cul8rAnnieGator of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, says her...

Meet the Indian purple frog, also known as the pig-nosed frog. Only formally discovered in 2003, the colorful amphibian is an endangered species native to the mountains of India’s Western Ghats. With a chubby, purple body and pointed, piglike snout, it’s unlike any other frog on Earth. Some of the purple frog’s unusual looks are adaptations...

Meet the Indian purple frog, also known as the pig-nosed frog. Only formally discovered in 2003, the colorful amphibian is an endangered species native to the mountains of India’s Western Ghats. With a chubby, purple body and pointed, piglike snout, it’s unlike any other frog on Earth. Some of the purple frog’s unusual looks are adaptations...

  You might think of crocodiles lurking in the water or perhaps sunning themselves on a riverbank, but it turns out these toothy reptiles’ domain extends to the upper branches of trees. A new study in Herpetology Notes documents the surprisingly common tree-climbing behavior in crocodiles and their close cousins, alligators. Even without any special anatomic adaptations for...

  You might think of crocodiles lurking in the water or perhaps sunning themselves on a riverbank, but it turns out these toothy reptiles’ domain extends to the upper branches of trees. A new study in Herpetology Notes documents the surprisingly common tree-climbing behavior in crocodiles and their close cousins, alligators. Even without any special anatomic adaptations for...

New research shows crocodiles frequently make their way up trees to bask in the sun and keep an eye on their environment. You might think of crocodiles as being at home in the water — but it turns out these toothy reptiles are also quite comfortable scaling trees. A new study  documents the surprisingly common...

New research shows crocodiles frequently make their way up trees to bask in the sun and keep an eye on their environment. You might think of crocodiles as being at home in the water — but it turns out these toothy reptiles are also quite comfortable scaling trees. A new study  documents the surprisingly common...