About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "Symbiosis"

The Artful Amoeba

Missing Nitrogen May Be Vanishing in the Tubes of Giant Bacteria


Off the coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula lies a dark, still, deep place. It is called the Soledad Basin, and in it lies a garden of bacteria so large you can see them with your own eyes. A 250-m high ridge on the edge of the Soledad basin traps water inside. No strong currents disturb [...]

Keep reading »
The Artful Amoeba

Deadly and Delicious Amanitas Can No Longer Decompose


Amanita mushrooms — like all creatures — rot, but most of them can’t rot other things. The fact that they don’t rot other things is not news to biologists, who have long known that many, if not most, fungi have become professional partners with trees, plants, or algae. The fact that they can’t rot other [...]

Keep reading »

Leafy Green ‘Solar-Powered’ Sea Slugs Begin to Reveal Their True Colors


Nature is full of thieves. Instead of laboriously collecting pollen and nectar from flowers, robber bees raid the hives of other pollinators and steal the honey within. Some ant species routinely kidnap and enslave members of neighboring colonies, taking tens of thousands of pupae in a single season. And massive-winged frigate birds—also called pirate birds—swoop [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Complex Life Owes Its Existence To Parasites?


Is complex life rare in the cosmos? The idea that it could be rests on the observation that the existence of life like us – with large, energy hungry, complicated cells – may be contingent on a number of very specific and unlikely factors in the history of the Earth. Added together they suggest that [...]

Keep reading »
Not bad science

Ant Farmers – How do they do it?

I used to work in Edinburgh’s Butterfly and Insect World. While I was there, my favourite animal was not the chameleon, which changed colour when it was angry. Nor was it the royal pythons that loved human body heat, and would sometimes squeeze unnervingly tight. No, my favourite exhibit was the leafcutter ant. We had [...]

Keep reading »

Facts to Share at Your Next Holiday Party: Mistletoe is Weird

Mistletoe growing parasitically on a tree

Scientists and other nerds love a good cocktail party fact, and one of my favorites for the holidays is that mistletoe is actually a parasite. While mistletoe is green and can get its own sugar from photosynthesis, its roots are modified to attach and penetrate through the bark of a tree, sucking out water and [...]

Keep reading »

Yeti Crabs grow bacteria on their hairy claws

The new species Yeti crab: Kiwa puravida (missing two walking legs, sadly).

Deep beneath the waters of Costa Rica, dozens of crabs are waving their claws in unison, in what seems to be a rhythmic performance. It’s almost as if these crabs are locked in a ritual dance. But these charming crabs are not dancing. They are farming. The hairy claws of these crabs are covered with [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Holiday Sale

Give a Gift &
Get a Gift - Free!

Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99

Subscribe Now! >


Email this Article