Mary Bates

The giant “devil frog” was even more terrifying than previously thought, a new study says. Recent fossil analysis shows that the predatory amphibian, Beelzebufo ampinga, was smaller than first described, but had spiky flanges protruding from its skull and plate-like armor down its back. (Also see “7 Demonic Creatures: Thorny Devil, Satanic Gecko, More.”) Initially estimated...

The giant “devil frog” was even more terrifying than previously thought, a new study says. Recent fossil analysis shows that the predatory amphibian, Beelzebufo ampinga, was smaller than first described, but had spiky flanges protruding from its skull and plate-like armor down its back. (Also see “7 Demonic Creatures: Thorny Devil, Satanic Gecko, More.”) Initially estimated...

From ancient times to the present day, white animals often hold a special place in society. Sometimes, an animal is born lacking the regular color of its species, which is usually due to a normal, but rare, genetic mutation. These animals can be true albinos, which lack all pigments and have white fur and reddish-pink...

From ancient times to the present day, white animals often hold a special place in society. Sometimes, an animal is born lacking the regular color of its species, which is usually due to a normal, but rare, genetic mutation. These animals can be true albinos, which lack all pigments and have white fur and reddish-pink...

Humans aren’t the only animals that build intricate homes and other structures: The animal kingdom abounds with talented architects.  From dams to nests to body armor, these feats of animal ingenuity will blow your mind—and perhaps inspire you to get up off that couch. Beavers Beavers might be the most well-known animal architects, and with...

Humans aren’t the only animals that build intricate homes and other structures: The animal kingdom abounds with talented architects.  From dams to nests to body armor, these feats of animal ingenuity will blow your mind—and perhaps inspire you to get up off that couch. Beavers Beavers might be the most well-known animal architects, and with...

A chemical disguise secreted by this frog’s skin allows the amphibian to live peaceably among fierce, stinging ants. To protect itself and keep moist, the West African savanna frog spends its days—and much of the dry season—hiding in underground burrows. But it’s usually not alone. The frog often moves into the underground nests of the...

A chemical disguise secreted by this frog’s skin allows the amphibian to live peaceably among fierce, stinging ants. To protect itself and keep moist, the West African savanna frog spends its days—and much of the dry season—hiding in underground burrows. But it’s usually not alone. The frog often moves into the underground nests of the...

The early bird may not be able to get this worm—the giant Gippsland earthworm can measure a whopping 3 feet (0.9 meter) in length. By comparison, the common earthworm is a few inches long. Despite its size and the odd gurgling sound it makes traveling through the soil, the worm is rarely seen, burrowing deep in...

Koalas are the Barry Whites of the animal kingdom, producing surprisingly low-pitched bellows. Now scientists have discovered the secret behind the Australian animal’s unusually deep voice: a special sound-producing organ not found in any other land mammal. Koala bellows have a pitch about 20 times lower than they should be given the animals’ size—it’s actually more...

The world’s largest fish species was the surprise catch of the day for some Indonesian fishers last month. Men in Indonesia’s Karimunjawa National Park were fishing for anchovies and small bait fish on October 8, but they caught more than they bargained for when they discovered a juvenile whale shark tangled in their net, reports the...

The world’s largest fish species was the surprise catch of the day for some Indonesian fishers last month. Men in Indonesia’s Karimunjawa National Park were fishing for anchovies and small bait fish on October 8, but they caught more than they bargained for when they discovered a juvenile whale shark tangled in their net, reports the...

Although we can’t always perceive them, vibrations provide a critical way of communicating for many animal species. Scientists think vibrational communication is an ancient sensory mode—one that is still widely used throughout the animal kingdom. Animals from tiny insects to jumbo-size elephants talk to each other using vibrations for many different purposes, from mating and...

Although we can’t always perceive them, vibrations provide a critical way of communicating for many animal species. Scientists think vibrational communication is an ancient sensory mode—one that is still widely used throughout the animal kingdom. Animals from tiny insects to jumbo-size elephants talk to each other using vibrations for many different purposes, from mating and...

You could call it everlasting love: Scientists have discovered the oldest fossil of mating insects, which lived during the Jurassic period. A pair of unlucky froghoppers were caught in the act in what’s now northeastern China and preserved in stone over 165 million years ago. Froghoppers are a type of small insect named for their...