ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network
The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba


A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth
The Artful Amoeba HomeAboutContact
  • Profile

    Jennifer Frazer Jennifer Frazer is a AAAS Science Journalism Award-winning science writer. She has degrees in biology, plant pathology/mycology, and science writing, and has spent many happy hours studying life in situ. Follow on Twitter @JenniferFrazer.
  • Blogroll

  • Two-Billion-Year-Old Fossils Reveal Strange and Puzzling Forms

    2byo_fossils_fig_3_el_albani_et_al_2014_200

    To a human, two billion years is an unfathomable interval. But that, a team of European, Gabonese, and American scientists now say, is how long ago a recently discovered hoard of fossils suggests Earth’s first big life evolved — large enough to see with the naked eye, and in a spectrum of forms that tease [...]

    Keep reading »

    Ocean Giants: How Big Are They Really?

    ocean_giants_mcclain_et_al_peerj_200

    Just how big is a giant squid? Not quite as big, perhaps, as you might think. This fabulous new graphic from the Deep Sea News crew and several other scientists represents *a lot* of research to find out the true largest sizes of 25 ocean creatures of giant repute. It appeared today to accompany an [...]

    Keep reading »

    Deepest Fish Features Angel Wings, Tentacles and Amazing Ability to Perform Under Pressure

    snailfish_youtube_200

    There comes a depth at which even fish struggle to survive the titanic pressure. But that depth is only found at the few places on Earth that lie below 27,600 feet of water, where the weight of the water warps piscine proteins and crushes cells. Such a place is the Mariana Trench, which plunges to [...]

    Keep reading »

    Wonderful Things: Ferns Eject Their Spores with Medieval-Style Catapults

    fern_sorus_youtube_200

    Author’s note: This is the latest post in the Wonderful Things series. You can read more about this series here. One of the more under-appreciated and ingenious machines evolved by plants is the cavitation catapult of leptosporangiate ferns. If that sounds exciting and mysterious, that’s because it is. This is a leptosporangium, where the fern [...]

    Keep reading »

    A Sweet Seahorse Tale From Fantastic New Web Series “Deep Look”

    seahorse_deep_look_200

    Today I have a small biology present for you courtesy of a new series of short videos produced by PBS Digital Studios and KQED San Francisco. For those of you who, like me, take pleasure in exploring Earth’s more diminutive wonders, this new web series is a treat you should know about. It’s called “Deep [...]

    Keep reading »

    Bacterial Motors Come in a Dizzying Array of Models

    flagellar_motor_borellia_burgdorferi_chen_et_al_2011

    Bacteria that can swim propel themselves with corkscrew tails anchored in rotary motors. That may seem surprisingly mechanical for a microbe, but it is a system that has been wildly popular and conserved across billions of years of evolution. To see what I mean, I encourage you to visit this page. All four videos are [...]

    Keep reading »

    Parasitic Trypanosomes Contain Nature’s Only Chain Mail DNA

    kinetoplast_minicircles_lukes_et_al_2002_200

    The organisms that cause us untold suffering can also be astounding works of art, sculpted by evolution into elegant, deadly packages. Such is the case for the trypanosomes, the protists I discussed last time as the source of Chagas Disease, but which also cause sleeping sickness in Africa. But what lurks inside those little packages [...]

    Keep reading »

    Americans May Be More at Risk from Deadly Heart Parasite Than Realized

    kissing_bug_200

    The kissing bug may have the most misleadingly cute name in entomology. It bites, rather than smooches, its victims around the mouth or face. But far worse than the bite itself is what may find its way into it: wriggling worm-like parasitic protists called Trypanosoma cruzi that teem in the feces of these bugs, which [...]

    Keep reading »

    Wonderful Things: The Giant Transparent Ribbons of Eel Larvae

    ribbon_eel_larva_miller_et_al_2013

    Author’s note: This is the latest post in the Wonderful Things series. You can read more about this series here. It is startling how different the larvae of fish can be from the adults that produced them, as I wrote in a blog post a few months ago. But even I was shocked by the [...]

    Keep reading »

    Plankton Astound With Their Many Ways of Bustin’ a Move

    zooplankter_swimming_Kiorboe_200

    Though plankton drift with the ocean currents, that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of any movement. Many of them can move to find food or mates, and they do so in some surprising and sometimes entertaining ways. Just have a look at this sampler of dinoflagellaes, ciliates, rotifers, cladocerans, and copepod larvae and adults put together [...]

    Keep reading »

    Search this blog:


    • Year:
    • Month:
    • Keyword:

    More from Scientific American

    Scientific American Holiday Sale

    Scientific American Mind Digital

    Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
    + 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

    Hurry this offer ends soon! >

    X

    Email this Article

    X