Category Archives: Animals

The Toughest Known Creature on Earth and Beyond

targigrade

It is surely the stuff of science fiction: An extraordinary being arrives on Earth that can withstand a tortuous array of conditions: boiling, freezing, tremendous atmospheric pressure, near total dehydration, and exposure to massive amounts of ionizing radiation. While many joke that “cockroaches would be the only thing to survive an extreme global nuclear war”, in fact, cockroaches would not. […]

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The Wild and Wacky World of Mating in the Animal Kingdom

gay-dog

Karen A. asks: How prevalent is homosexuality in animals? Are there any animals besides humans that have members that are exclusively homosexual? While it is sometimes claimed that only humans engage in bisexual or homosexual relationships, this is far from the truth and the practice is actually quite common in the animal kingdom. For example, nearly 10% of male sheep […]

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That Musky Smell

musk-deer

Prized since ancient times for its alluring fragrance, today musk can mean any of a number of substances used to scent perfumes. However, while in our modern era most musk is synthetically produced, when it first came on the scene, musk was only found in a scrotum-like sac on the bellies of male musk deer. Musk deer are found throughout […]

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How Do Other Animals Deal with the Umbilical Cord and Placenta When the Baby is Born?

horse-birth

Brandi N asks: How do other primates deal with the umbilical cord and placenta when the baby is born when they don’t have any sort of medical help to make sure everything’s handled right? Other than certain modern humans, some marine mammals (like whales and dolphins), chimpanzees and a few domesticated animals, mammal mothers typically eat the afterbirth. While most […]

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Why Gnats Swarm

gnats

Gerry D. asks: Why do nats swarm in a ball in the air? A common sight in the spring and summer, the seemingly unprofitable and pointless habit of gnats to hover in a cloud is, in fact, the single most productive thing they’ll ever do with their short lives. Although there are a wide variety of non-biting, but eminently annoying, […]

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A Chicken Egg In a Chicken Egg in a Chicken- The Elusive Xzibit Egg

chickens

Unless you didn’t quite get enough info from the title- yes, it is entirely possible for a chicken to lay an egg that contains another fully developed egg, what we now officially dub an Xzibit Egg. A wonderfully bizarre Matryoshka doll made of protein and disgusting (when you think about it) deliciousness. As you may or may not know, a […]

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A Space Race for the Dogs… and Monkeys and Fruit Flies

albert-2

The first Earthlings sent into space were brave, calm under pressure, and heroic. They were also not human and many of them were furry. Yes, before Apollo 13, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Yuri Gagarin, humans sent fruit flies, monkeys, and dogs into space to determine if living beings could survive the trip. These tests helped prove that, given a […]

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