Powerful mantis shrimp pull punches in air for self-preservation

Mantis shrimp (Squilla mantis) don't take kindly to captivity. "They have a general baseline of being angry," chuckles Kate Feller, currently at the University of Minnesota, USA, recalling how the contrary stomatopods are ...

World's fastest ant hits recording breaking speed of 855mm/s

According to Noël Coward, mad dogs and Englishmen are the only creatures that go out in the midday sun, but Harald Wolf from the University of Ulm, Germany, would add another animal: Saharan silver ants (Cataglyphis bombycina). ...

Honeybees are math stars (Update)

Start thinking about numbers and they can become large very quickly. The diameter of the universe is about 8.8×1023 km and the largest number with a name—googolplex, 1010100—outranks it enormously. Although that colossal ...

How invading fungus forces zombie ant's death grip

If it's thoughts of zombies that keep you awake at night, you shouldn't be worried about zombie humans; it's the carpenter ants (Camponotus castaneus) that should concern you most. When infected by a specialised fungus (Ophiocordyceps ...

Elbows key for walkers' efficiency

Wandering through the Harvard campus one day in 2015, graduate student Andrew Yegian recalls how something unusual caught his eye. "I noticed a person running with straight arms," he explains. This really stood out for Yegian, ...

Poison dart frog brains can hold a mental map

Frogs aren't meant to be able to store a mental map in their brains. 20 years ago, Lainy Day from the University of Mississippi, USA, tested the place memory of amphibians and lizards, but none appeared capable of forming ...

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