Stefan Sirucek

When it comes to choosing a mate, even lizards have certain standards. Tracy Langkilde, an associate professor of biology at Penn State University, and Lindsey Swierk, a graduate student in Langkilde’s lab, recently looked at the relationship between body-color patterning and mating behavior in the fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus, and found that the sex lives...

When it comes to choosing a mate, even lizards have certain standards. Tracy Langkilde, an associate professor of biology at Penn State University, and Lindsey Swierk, a graduate student in Langkilde’s lab, recently looked at the relationship between body-color patterning and mating behavior in the fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus, and found that the sex lives...

From insects to mammals to deepwater lurkers and even birds—in the spirit of Halloween, here’s our list of some of nature’s thirstiest bloodsuckers. Vampire Bats The name is a bit of a giveaway: Vampire bats are perhaps the most famous bloodsuckers of them all. They also hold the distinction of being the only mammal that subsists solely...

We officially have fossil evidence that the whining bane of many a summer night was busy sucking blood as far back as 46 million years ago, a new study says. Scientists have discovered blood in a mosquito fossil in the oil shale of northwestern Montana. Researchers found the insect’s last blood meal by detecting heme—a pigment in...

We officially have fossil evidence that the whining bane of many a summer night was busy sucking blood as far back as 46 million years ago, a new study says. Scientists have discovered blood in a mosquito fossil in the oil shale of northwestern Montana. Researchers found the insect’s last blood meal by detecting heme—a pigment in...

What might be the best-titled research paper of the year comes to us courtesy of researchers at the University of Copenhagen, an investigation entitled “Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.” Have you got your popcorn ready? It’s a tale of three species. We begin with a fungus-growing ant called Sericomyrmex amabilis found in the tropical...

What might be the best-titled research paper of the year comes to us courtesy of researchers at the University of Copenhagen, an investigation entitled “Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.” Have you got your popcorn ready? It’s a tale of three species. We begin with a fungus-growing ant called Sericomyrmex amabilis found in the tropical...

What might be the best-titled research paper of the year comes to us courtesy of researchers at the University of Copenhagen, an investigation entitled “Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.” Have you got your popcorn ready? It’s a tale of three species. We begin with a fungus-growing ant called Sericomyrmex amabilis found in the tropical...

A few months ago we brought you the latest explanation of Africa’s mysterious “fairy circles”—circular patterns in the earth that appear across the grasslands of southern Africa and which have intrigued and baffled scientists, earning their rather ethereal name. The newest findings at the time suggested the fantastical formations were the result of termites eating...

A few months ago we brought you the latest explanation of Africa’s mysterious “fairy circles”—circular patterns in the earth that appear across the grasslands of southern Africa and which have intrigued and baffled scientists, earning their rather ethereal name. The newest findings at the time suggested the fantastical formations were the result of termites eating...

When you think about hardy arctic creatures bracing for a cold winter, you’re probably thinking of something huge and furry and possibly antlered. Odds are you’re not thinking of … wood frogs.  But it may be time to cast that amphibian prejudice aside in light of a new study in The Journal of Experimental Biology...

The characters from the Great Gatsby aren’t the only blue bloods in the news lately. Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany have found that a specialized pigment in the blood of Antarctic octopods allows them to survive temperatures that often drop below freezing. It’s all down to a...

A Florida man recently found an 18.8-foot-long (5.7-meter-long) Burmese python—the longest ever found in the state. That’s exactly a foot longer than the former record-holder, caught in August 2012, which measured 17.7 feet (5.4 meters). But what Jason Leon, 23, did next may also break the record for questionable snake behavior—he decided to tussle with it, despite the...

The London Zoo recently put out a call to collectors that doubled as the animal version of a personals ad. The zoo was looking for females of the Mangarahara cichlid, a species of fish so rare that none are thought to exist in the wild, and one that is in critical danger of going extinct...

A team of researchers recently announced the discovery of Cyanogaster noctivaga, a brand new species of transparent fish that lives deep in the Amazon. Indeed, with its transparent skin and dazzling blue belly, the discovery constitutes an entirely new genus and, despite being very hard to see, has been given an eye-catching name that means...