prey

The last thing a barn swallow probably expects as it’s flying low over a lake is to be met with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth emerging from the water. And if the bird happens to be flying over a certain lake in South Africa, that may well be the last thing it sees. A recent...

It may look pretty, but this “orchid” actually has a trick under its, well, leaves—it’s actually a praying mantis trying to get a meal.  Until recently, scientists weren’t sure if this flower mimic was accurate enough to deceive bugs. Now, a new study says it is—and it’s the first scientific evidence of an animal imitating a...

It may look pretty, but this “orchid” actually has a trick under its, well, leaves—it’s actually a praying mantis trying to get a meal.  Until recently, scientists weren’t sure if this flower mimic was accurate enough to deceive bugs. Now, a new study says it is—and it’s the first scientific evidence of an animal imitating a...

When we call a person two-faced, it’s an insult. But for some clever animals, being two-faced is a high compliment. Many animals evolve eyespots and even false heads—like the thorny devil—to look more menacing and fake out potential predators. But a 2010 study showed that the deceptive body parts don’t really have to look like anything—just...

When we call a person two-faced, it’s an insult. But for some clever animals, being two-faced is a high compliment. Many animals evolve eyespots and even false heads—like the thorny devil—to look more menacing and fake out potential predators. But a 2010 study showed that the deceptive body parts don’t really have to look like anything—just...

Scientists who found two new species of electric fish in the Amazon River were stunned to discover that the two animals are, well, wired much differently. Unlike their relative the electric eel, which can generate a charge of 600 volts, these weakly electric fish, called bluntnose knifefish, produce much smaller electric discharges. While electric eels use...

Scientists who found two new species of electric fish in the Amazon River were stunned to discover that the two animals are, well, wired much differently. Unlike their relative the electric eel, which can generate a charge of 600 volts, these weakly electric fish, called bluntnose knifefish, produce much smaller electric discharges. While electric eels use...

By Kate Horowitz At the first whiff of a mountain lion, a mouse might scamper away, a rabbit might freeze, and a stray dog might prepare for a fight. These instinctive responses, so crucial to survival, are surprisingly common: New research shows that even plants can benefit from “eavesdropping” on chemical cues from their attackers....