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Along the Tiger’s Trail: Counting the Prey

A herd of chital sighted during transect survey in Malenadu. (Photo: Varun Goswami)

Thimmayya, a Jenu Kuruba tribesman who lives in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve is leading the way. Following him is Killivalavan Rayar, a senior research associate working with WCS India Program. They tread along a forested trail, silent and observant. Suddenly, to the left, they hear a crack made by the snapping of a branch. The [...]

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Fish Shoots Down Prey with Super-Powered Jet [Video]

archer fish water jet

With a juicy insect dinner perched on a leaf above the water, what is a hungry little archer fish down below to do? Knock it down with a super-powered, super-precise jet of water that packs six times the power the fish could generate with its own muscles, according to new findings published online October 24 [...]

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Giant Eyes Help Colossal Squid Spot Glowing Whales

giant squid eye

Giant and colossal squid can grow to be some 12 meters long. But that alone doesn’t explain why they have the biggest eyeballs on the planet. At 280 millimeters in diameter, colossal squid eyes are much bigger than those of the swordfish, which at 90 millimeters, measure in as the next biggest peepers. “It doesn’t [...]

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Jumping Spiders Use Blurry Vision to Catch Quick Prey with Precision [Video]

To figure out how far away our dinner plate is our brain melds the slightly different images coming from our two eyes. Other creatures, including many insects, move their heads to glean how far a piece of food might be. But jumping spiders (Hasarius adansoni) don’t seem to possess either of these abilities. So how [...]

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Ancient “terror bird” used rigid skull to drive its hooked beak into prey

ancient terror bird biting down on prey with large beak

The large, big-beaked "terror birds" (Phorusrhacidae) didn’t need flight to snag a Miocene meal. Some of these extinct, flightless fowl likely used their massive rigid skulls and hooked beaks to chomp into prey with strong, successive pulls, concluded a research team after performing a biomechanical analysis of fossilized skulls. More than a dozen species of [...]

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Music Steeped in the Wilds of Canada


Eighteen years ago this July, a group of 14 adventurers unloaded tents, gear, food, canoes, and two guitars from the back of a big old bus and loaded them into 7 canoes in a nondescript boat launch outside of Yellowknife, NWT. For the next 47 days, they would paddle against the current, slog through bogs, [...]

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