I bet you’ve never thought about how giant clams will revolutionize future technology. It’s okay. You probably didn’t know about the incredible way these massive mollusks turn sunlight into power.
Most of us have a vague, abstract concept of life beneath the sea. But a few men and women are dedicated to brining the secrets of the deep into the light of day. And as the 2015 Ocean Art photography contest shows, they’re doing a spectacular job of it.
Environmental change is big news these days, as is speculation on how that change will reorder, and possibly reshape, the world powers. It has happened before: one of the great powers of medieval Europe collapsed when the environment changed around it.
In 2005, an intense heatwave struck a mountaintop rainforest in northeast Australia. Accounts of the event were rather apocalyptic: birds dropping dead out of the sky; entire patches of forest withering to a crisp. But the biggest casualty of all was a snow-white furball that scampered amongst the branches at the…
A very particular shade of blue hair has evolved independently on eight separate occasions and in at least three different ways in tarantulas, a new study finds. And scientists are having a hell of a time figuring out why.
Walking into a spiderweb just got creepy. Those sticky strands clinging to your hair and face? They’re smeared with traces of the spider’s last meal, according to a fascinating new analysis of spiderweb DNA.
Vampire bats are the only vertebrates that feed on the blood of other mammals. But the ability to do so may be buried across the tree of life, according to a new study which pinpoints the underlying genetic origins of traits that make a good vampire.
Ending the drought in the West will require rain—not too much rain—and smarter ways to collect and store that water. But something else that can keep things moist? Believe it or not: Beavers.
Cats kill billions of small mammals, reptiles, and birds every year. In environments where cats have natural predators, like coyotes, this isn’t a problem. But left unchecked, cats can become an invasive species that damages local ecosystems.
Polar bears are the furry poster children for the impact of warming Arctic seas, but new research says they may be able adapt and survive the loss of Arctic sea ice by foraging on land.
Beneath the swelling blue surf, ocean life is on the move. Marine species are swimming into new new communities and forcing others out. By the end of the century, the ecosystems that cover 70% of our planet’s surface will look completely different.
If you’ve had a cup of coffee recently, the plants it grew on may once have been home to bats and other threatened wildlife. It turns out that when coffee plantations encroach on natural forest habitat, bats are happy to live in the coffee.
French architectural design firms Nicholas Laisné Associés and OXO Architectes have put together a concept for a massive arcology for the Saharan desert. The La Tour des Sables would be a self contained city that rises 1,400 feet above the ground, and would be contain living, agricultural and working units.
Fungi are some of the weirdest and most fascinating creatures on Earth, but they’ve really outdone themselves with this one: Hair ice. According to new research, the icy hair-sculptures that crop up overnight in forests before melting away in the sun have fungal fingerprints all over them.
It’s not always easy to find a way to help. Nearly every action has good and bad consequences—as people who mowed down non-native plants in mosquito basins found out. By clearing the plants, they helped increase the risk of spreading West Nile Virus. Find out how.
Mathematicians are fond of prime numbers. Infinitely numerous yet utterly unique, they play an integral role in number theory and a baffling one in such longstanding mysteries as Goldbach’s conjecture. Nature is partial to primes, as well, as demonstrated by the dramatic 13- and 17-year life cycles of periodic cicadas.
Anyone following news about California’s drought has read about its effect on nation-nourishing crop yields. But what you probably haven’t read is how the drought is impacting the Golden State’s homegrown vices, including wine, pot, and craft beer—and how their industries are affecting the state in return.
Scientists filming unexplored depths of the South Pacific have observed a surprising range of animals—including sharks, rays, and jellyfish—living inside Kavachi, a highly active undersea volcano near the Soloman Islands, a remote archipelago east of Papau New Guinea. The animals seem unruffled by what were presumed…
None of us would be alive today without plants, and if humans want to survive beyond Earth long-term, we’ll need to bring our leafy greens with us. Eventually, astronauts are going to have to become space farmers.