Animal Kingdom

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

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

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
A fruit fly hovering near your rotting papaya may be looking to drown his sorrows in its alcoholic content.

Do fruit flies use alcohol to cope with sexual rejection?

New research finds that dejected male flies seek booze when rejected by the ladies. The findings could help humans fight addiction more successfully

Animal Kingdom : Essay
An octopus silently descends onto its prey: The octopus is also an attractive target for predators, and often constructs a protective den in the rocks with a small peephole it can look out through.

What we can learn from the octopus

The wisdom of these eight-legged cephalopods, says Rafe Sagarin, can help us fight terrorism, natural disasters, and disease

Animal Kingdom : Instant Guide
A wild brown bear uses a barnacle-covered stone to scratch off excess fur and skin.

Do bears exfoliate?

A furry predator takes a bath in Alaska's Glacier Bay, using a barnacle-covered rock to remove molting fur

Animal Kingdom : Analysis
Young bonobos embrace: The female primates are social climbers, according to new research, who will use sex with high-ranking alpha females to gain status for themselves.

Why female bonobos are such 'promiscuous primates'

The "lovemaking cousin of the warrior chimp" is happy to kiss and tell if it helps her reach the top of the social ladder 

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