The Crab with the Kung Fu Grip

Poking around on the beach, you may have encountered a hermit crab — a typically petite crustacean whose home is the shell it carries around on its back. Now imagine that tiny crab grew bigger and bigger until it could no longer find a large enough shell. With no means of defense, it develops a […]

Meet the Snail-Smashing, Fish-Spearing Mantis Shrimp

Contrary to their name, mantis shrimp aren’t actually shrimp. They belong to another group of shelled critters called stomatopods that split from other crustaceans about 400 million years ago. However, like their land-based namesake, the preying mantis, they use their lightning-fast forelimbs to snag a meal. Mantis shrimp apply two main strategies — spearing or […]

Could We Bring Back the Passenger Pigeon (or Other Extinct Species)?

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from “The Unnatural World: the Race to Make Civilization in Earth’s Newest Age” by journalist and broadcaster David Biello. The excerpt is from a chapter that describes a ‘de-extinction’ talk given by biologist Ben Novak and others at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Novak’s plan is to bring back […]

Rat Giggles Point to New ‘Joyous’ Area of the Brain

We’ve known for a decade or so that humans aren’t the only animals who are ticklish. In 2003, researchers learned that rats “giggle” when tickled. They don’t move their mouths or shake their stomachs, but they do let out a high-pitched, ultrasonic sound. A study published last week in Science follows up on that research […]

The Making of the Cat

From the tall grass savanna of Kenya to the forested slopes of the Rockies, from the steaming jungles of Indonesia and the crags of the Himalayas to your very own living room, cats prowl our planet. Some are large and imposing, celebrated for their predatory power. Others are small and elusive, their spots blending into […]

How Many Giraffe Species Are There Really?

This September, Earth’s single giraffe species suddenly became four. “A Quadruple Take on the Giraffe: There are Four Species, Not One,” wrote The New York Times. “Giraffes aren’t just giraffes,” reported The Washington Post. A study published in Current Biology, a prominent science journal, had reshuffled Africa’s nine recognized giraffe subspecies into separate species:the southern, […]

Indochinese Leopard’s Range Has Shrunk by more than 94 Percent

The leopards of southeastern Asia are in trouble. A new study finds that the habitat of the subspecies known as the Indochinese leopard ( Panthera pardus delacouri ) has shrunk to less than 6 percent of its historic range . The big cats’ population, meanwhile, has fallen to between 400 and 1,000 breeding adults. This […]

NATURE’s New Crop

Audiences are still buzzing about NATURE’s season opener, Super Hummingbirds, but we’re just getting started. Our upcoming season features a cornucopia of cats, dolphins, robots, and stunning locations such as Yosemite National Park and the Republic of Congo. Get a sneak peak of this season’s jaw-dropping cinematography in the trailer video above. Here are some brief descriptions of the shows featured […]

Podcast: Wildlife Cameraman Vianet D’jenguet On ‘My Congo’

The new NATURE episode My Congo represents the first opportunity for cameraman Vianet D’jenguet to film his native country and be in front of the camera rather than behind it. I spoke to him about the origins of the film, conservation in the Republic of Congo and what he hopes to achieve with this intimate look at his […]