If you’re counting on technology to radically extend your lifespan, you’ll want to pay close attention to what’s happening with the Greenland shark. According to a new scientific paper, this mysterious deep-sea dweller can live up to 400 years, making it the longest-lived vertebrate on Earth.
PEOPLE LIKE TO imagine that they’re the pinnacle of evolution, but the animal kingdom suggests otherwise. The discovery that bumblebees use hair on their legs to detect a flower’s electromagnetic field offers another reminder that human senses don’t always measure up. You share the planet with creatures that can smell veins, see colors you can’t imagine, and communicate through their feet. Here are just a few animals with senses sharper than yours.
ON MAY 12, one of Shell’s subsea flow lines sprung a leak, and 88,200 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. A Shell helicopter spotted the spill—at that point, roughly the size of Manhattan—floating about 90 miles south of Timbalier Island, Louisiana. By May 16, just three days after cleanup began, Shell and the US Coast Guard declared the case closed. With no oil left on the surface to recover, and no known impacts to wildlife, there wasn’t much more they could do. Are they great at dealing with oil spills these days or what?
Trees, is there anything they can’t do? Doubtful. Let’s see: producing half the world’s oxygen, providing habitat for millions of species, creating the soil and timber resources we depend on. Not bad. But all that’s just scratching the surface. As new research shows, there’s a lot more going on beneath the forest floor than we realized.
Right now, your home just may be teeming with any of more than 500 different kinds of insects, spiders, mites, centipedes and other creepy crawlies.
We humans pride ourselves on our cultural diversity, but we’re not the only creatures that form unique societies. Turns out, two clans of sperm whales living near the Galápagos Islands speak different dialects — offering yet more evidence that animals have culture, too.
It’s common sense that you shouldn’t try to eat a poison dart frog. But you probably don’t want to go anywhere near one of these adorable little suckers, which use the tiny, bony spines on their faces to jab threatening animals with a venom more potent than that of a deadly pit viper.