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Cool Critters

The octopus’ brain and the human brain share the same ‘jumping genes’

The octopus is an exceptional organism with an extremely complex brain and cognitive abilities that are unique among invertebrates. So much so that in some ways it has more in common with vertebrates than with invertebrates. The neural and cognitive... Continue Reading →

Spiders’ web secrets unraveled

Johns Hopkins University researchers discovered precisely how spiders build webs by using night vision and artificial intelligence to track and record every movement of all eight legs as spiders worked in the dark. Their creation of a web-building playbook or... Continue Reading →

Journey Through the Body of a Rotifer

Rotifer, also called wheel animalcule, any of the approximately 2,000 species of microscopic, aquatic invertebrates that constitute the phylum Rotifera. Rotifers are so named because the circular arrangement of moving cilia (tiny hairlike structures) at the front end resembles a rotating... Continue Reading →

First description of a new octopus species without using a scalpel

An evolutionary biologist from the University of Bonn brought a new octopus species to light from depths of more than 4,000 meters in the North Pacific Ocean. The sensational discovery made waves in the media a few years ago. Researchers... Continue Reading →

Touch and taste? It’s all in the tentacles

Octopuses have captured the human imagination for centuries, inspiring sagas of sea monsters from Scandinavian kraken legends to TV's "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and, most recently, Netflix's less-threatening "My Octopus Teacher." With their eight suction-cup covered tentacles,... Continue Reading →

Bat ‘super immunity’ may explain how bats carry coronaviruses, study finds

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick -- research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals.... Continue Reading →

How birds evolved big brains

An international team of evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have reconstructed the evolution of the avian brain using a massive dataset of brain volumes from dinosaurs, extinct birds like Archaeopteryx and the Great Auk, and modern birds. The study, published online in the... Continue Reading →

Unique non-oxygen breathing animal discovered

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have discovered a non-oxygen breathing animal. The unexpected finding changes one of science's assumptions about the animal world. A study on the finding was published on February 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy... Continue Reading →

Tiny salamander’s huge genome may harbor the secrets of regeneration

The type of salamander called axolotl, with its frilly gills and widely spaced eyes, looks like an alien and has other-worldly powers of regeneration. Lose a limb, part of the heart or even a large portion of its brain? No... Continue Reading →

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