EVERY YEAR, GREAT white sharks travel over 12,000 miles from South Africa to Australia, charting a nearly perfect straight line across the ocean. And every year, they turn around and travel back. There are no street signs to guide them and, for much of the journey, no stable landmarks by which they can set their course. Currents and water temperatures change. The sun sets at night, the stars disappear during the day. But the sharks carry on.
SCIENTISTS ARE CONTINUING to tease out the mechanisms by which the Venus flytrap can tell when it has captured a tasty insect as prey as opposed to an inedible object (or just a false alarm). There is evidence that the carnivorous plant has something akin to a short-term “memory,” and a team of Japanese scientists has found evidence that the mechanism for this memory lies in changes in calcium concentrations in its leaves, according to a recent paperpublished in the journal Nature Plants.
A conservation group has tracked a migration for the ages, in which a male bar-tailed godwit flew from Alaska to New Zealand without taking a single break.
No other member of the animal kingdom can ace an algebra test or write an A+ essay. But that doesn’t mean other species aren’t highly intelligent. Several members of the animal kingdom have impress cognitive chops and cerebral skills.
If you’re afraid of sharks, well, this blog should convince you it’s actually orcas you should avoid. Orcas are among the most savage killers in the ocean, wrecking tiger sharks, seals, beaked whales—and probably one of the most infamous apex predators out there, the great white shark.
It’s known as the “death stalker”—a four-inch-long predatory arachnid capable of whipping its tail at speeds reaching 51 inches per second. Footage shot with high-speed cameras shows how the death stalker and other scorpions use their deadly tails to ward off would-be predators and catch unsuspecting prey.
The giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron is so rare that marine biologists have seen it just three times in 27 years. Using a robotic sub, scientists have finally caught video footage of this animal at mealtime—revealing its distinct preference for gelatinous sea creatures.