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WWII Files: Pigeon-Guided Missiles and Bat Bombs

WWII Files: Pigeon-Guided Missiles and Bat Bombs

Staci Lehman December 4, 2013 17

Today I found out about Project Pigeon and Project X-Ray, WWII plans to use pigeons to guide missiles and (literal) bat bombers. The man behind Project Pigeon was famed American behaviorist and Harvard professor

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The Horse that Could Do Math: The Unintentional Clever Hans Hoax

The Horse that Could Do Math: The Unintentional Clever Hans Hoax

Tegan Jones December 3, 2013 15

Move over Mr. Ed, Clever Hans was the original horse who could communicate with humans in complex ways. Well, at least it seemed that way at the time. This phenomenon began in the late

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The Exploding Anti-Tank Dogs of World War II

The Exploding Anti-Tank Dogs of World War II

Emily Upton December 2, 2013 7

Today I found out about the use of exploding anti-tank dogs during World War II. These dogs, usually Alsatians, were also called “Hundminen” or “dog mines.” They were  trained to carry explosives on their

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Parrots Name Their Chicks

Parrots Name Their Chicks

Emily Upton November 21, 2013 5

Today I found out that parrots name their chicks. Scientists have known for a while that, in addition to saying things like “Polly want a cracker” (see Bonus Facts below) to entertain humans, parrots

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The Candirú Fish Can’t Swim Up a Stream of Your Urine

The Candirú Fish Can’t Swim Up a Stream of Your Urine

Karl Smallwood November 19, 2013 4

Myth: The Candirú fish can swim up your urine stream if you pee into the Amazon. If you’ve never heard of the Candirú, also known as the pencil fish, the toothpick fish, the vampire

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Leviathan Files: The Sperm Whale

Leviathan Files: The Sperm Whale

Melissa November 15, 2013 0

Immense, stretching up to nearly 70 feet long and weighing over 50 tons, the sperm whale is the seventh largest animal, and the largest with teeth, in the world. Prized for centuries because of

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What’s Wrong with Giant Pandas?

What’s Wrong with Giant Pandas?

Melissa November 6, 2013 1

With the possible exception of boozy, reckless ingénues, there is no animal more bent on its own ruin than the giant panda. With its low population (only 1600 remain in the wild and 300

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Do Moths Really Eat Clothes?

Do Moths Really Eat Clothes?

Karl Smallwood November 5, 2013 13

Gracen asks: Do moths really eat clothes? The common “clothes moth”, “clothing moth” or to give its street name, Tineola bisselliella, doesn’t actually eat clothes. In fact, clothing moths don’t even possess the ability

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Do Earwigs Really Lay Eggs in Your Ears?

Do Earwigs Really Lay Eggs in Your Ears?

Melissa October 17, 2013 13

Nathan asks: Do earwigs really burrow into your brain and lay eggs? Let me just say I hate earwigs. Small, slimy-looking, fast moving, and always popping out of some dark place when I least

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Whales Don’t Spray Water Out of Their Blowholes Nor are Their Throats and Blowhole Connected

Whales Don’t Spray Water Out of Their Blowholes Nor are Their Throats and Blowhole Connected

Emily Upton October 15, 2013 21

Myth: Whales spray water out of their blowholes. Contrary to what you may have seen in such movies as Pixar’s otherwise extremely entertaining Finding Nemo, whales don’t  spray water out of their blowholes.  Further,

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The Parasitic Sacculina That Bends Its Host to Its Own Will

The Parasitic Sacculina That Bends Its Host to Its Own Will

Melissa October 7, 2013 1

Falling into the category of “you can’t make this up,” is the parasitic barnacle Sacculina. Shedding its hard shell and injecting itself into the body of a host crab, Sacculina becomes its puppet master,

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Mind Control: From the Inside Out

Mind Control: From the Inside Out

Melissa October 4, 2013 4

The term “mind control” conjures up visions of someone manipulating people from the outside, such as an evil, brainwashing scientist or a supernatural being that takes dominion of a person just with the power

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The Bear Who was Officially a Member of the Polish Army During WWII

The Bear Who was Officially a Member of the Polish Army During WWII

Staci Lehman September 26, 2013 9

After being invaded by Germany in the west and later by Soviet Russia in the east, the Polish government fled Warsaw but continued to fight from abroad. After Germany attacked Russia, the Russians decided

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The Animal Where the Male Becomes Pregnant and Gives Birth

The Animal Where the Male Becomes Pregnant and Gives Birth

Staci Lehman September 13, 2013 4

Today I found out that female seahorses impregnating their male mates, rather than the other way around. The reproductive process of a seahorse begins when a male and a female meet up and “dance”.

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The Amazing Salty and Roselle

The Amazing Salty and Roselle

Emily Upton September 11, 2013 2

There were many heroes who surfaced twelve years ago on September 11, helping people in need as the Twin Towers crumbled around them. Two you probably haven’t heard of were Salty and Roselle, guide

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Wombat Poop is Cubic and Other Fascinating Wombat Facts

Wombat Poop is Cubic and Other Fascinating Wombat Facts

Karl Smallwood September 3, 2013 5

The common wombat (AKA, Vombatus ursinus) is an Australian marsupial with a unique claim to fame. You see, the common wombat and its two cousins, the Northern hairy-nose wombat and the Southern hairy-nose wombat, all

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Chickens Were Initially Domesticated for Cockfighting, Not Food

Chickens Were Initially Domesticated for Cockfighting, Not Food

Melissa August 30, 2013 7

Anyone who’s been chased around the yard by a pissed off chicken knows these birds are neither purposeless nor fearful. Descended from some of the fiercest creatures ever to roam the planet, the blood

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Bumblebee Flight Does Not Violate the Laws of Physics

Bumblebee Flight Does Not Violate the Laws of Physics

Karl Smallwood August 1, 2013 9

Myth: Bumblebee’s shouldn’t be able to fly. There’s an oft repeated “fact” that the humble bumblebee defies all known laws of physics every time it flaps its tiny little bee wings and ascends to

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