Animal Kingdom : Analysis
Lion-tailed macaques in captivity: Only 4,000 members of this endangered species remain, and most American zoos have had to phase them out.

How zoos decide which endangered species to save

With limited resources and a growing number of disappearing breeds, zoos are having to choose which animals to rescue, and which to let disappear

Animal Kingdom : Forecast
Because humans can't hear certain high-frequency sounds, there are some noises dolphins make that are unintelligible. This new speaker could help decipher them.

Could humans one day communicate with dolphins?

A new device mimics the sounds of the ocean's smartest creatures, and could one day allow human-dolphin dialogue

Animal Kingdom : The List
Rainy days are downers for the newly discovered Rhinopithecus strykeri monkeys, who start sneezing at the slightest drizzle.

The 10 weirdest new species of 2012

A mushroom named after SpongeBob, a sneezing monkey, and a blue tarantula top this year's list of Earth's most bizarre residents

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
Carbonemys cofrinii: The gigantic ancient turtle is illustrated chowing down on a small crocodylomorph, an ancestor to the modern crocodile.

Discovered: The ancient turtle as big as a car

The giant freshwater reptile had a head the size of a football and likely chowed down on small crocodiles

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
A scanned electron microscopy image of an impregnated female warehouse pirate bug: The wings have been removed to reveal the mating wounds in the upper right of the abdomen area.

The violent sex life of the 'dagger penis' bug

Rather than mate through traditional means, Xylocoris flavipes uses its razor-sharp private parts to brutally impregnate females

Animal Kingdom : Fact Sheet
Santino used a pile of hay to obscure rocks that he planned to throw at spectators who approached his pen at Sweden's Furuvik Zoo.

The chimp who learned to trick humans... and pelt them with stones

Meet Santino, a supersmart, rock-slinging ape who devises elaborate plans to annoy spectators at Sweden's Furuvik Zoo

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
The two dolphins (not pictured) died from an overdose of the opiate Buprenorphine, which may have shut down the brain mechanism that tells dolphins when to surface for air.

The dolphins that overdosed on heroin... at a rave

Drugged-out revellers. A party on the grounds of a Swiss zoo. Result: The death of two dolphins named Shadow and Chelmers. Here's the unsettling story

Animal Kingdom : Burning Question
It's estimated that massive vegetarian dinosaurs produced as much as 520 million tons of methane a year.

Did farting kill the dinosaurs?

Gassy vegetarians like the Brontosaurus may have produced so much methane that they triggered global warming, possibly hastening their extinction

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
A newborn pygmy spiny-tailed shark with a yolk sac still attached: The smalleye pygmy shark uses its glowing belly to hide from larger predators.

The tiny shark that glows in the dark

Scientists have long been fascinated by the bioluminescent undersides of the hand-sized pygmy shark, and now they've confirmed the creature's secret

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
Jellyfish off the coast of California: Populations of the stinging creatures are increasing because of overfishing, which rids the jellies of their main competition for food.

Are jellyfish taking over the oceans?

Watch out, surfers: Populations of the translucent invertebrates — along with their nasty stings — are exploding all over the world

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
Normally chicks are born from eggs that have passed out of a hen's body, but one Sri Lankan newborn defied all of mother nature's rules.

The 'miracle chick' born without an egg

A happy baby bird emerges directly out of its mother — without incubating in an egg outside her body. Can we finally put an age-old riddle to rest?

Animal Kingdom : By the numbers
Crushed rhino-horn powder can sell for as much as $25,000 per pound on the black market.

The unsettling resurgence of rhino poaching: By the numbers

Poachers are illegally killing rhinos for their horns to acquire a supposedly medicinal substance that's in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
In the Caribbean Sea alone, the number of coral reefs has plummeted by 80 percent since the 1970s.

Do the world's coral reefs have herpes?

New research suggests that the pesky virus might be causing the diverse and vital ecosystems to slowly die

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
Dolphins form gang-like alliances to protect their females, according to new research.

Are dolphins the gangsters of the sea?

The playful mammals can actually be quite conniving, forming Mafia-like gangs to protect their own

Nature Gone Awry : Instant Guide
Residents of a small Wisconsin town have had trouble sleeping this week, their dreams interrupted by loud inexplicable noises they've compared to thunderclaps.

Wisconsin's 'baffling' booms: A concise guide

Scientists believe tiny earthquakes are the likeliest explanation for the state's new noise-pollution phenomenon, but competing theories abound

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
The eyes of a giant Humboldt squid: Surprisingly advanced, they help compensate for the creature's deafness in its struggle to avoid becoming whale food.

Why giant squids have enormous eyes

The tentacled invertebrate boasts the largest eyes of any known animal — a trait scientists are crediting to an age-old, deep-sea foe

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