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Posts Tagged "Predator"

Guest Blog

What Is a Drone, Anyway?

Launching a Puma drone

At a time when drone aircraft have become a daily feature of the news and are about to proliferate in U.S. airspace, it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine a very basic and very important question: What, exactly, is a drone? The answer turns out to be more complex than might [...]

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Observations

Could Drones Make the Decision to Kill on Their Own? [Video]

It sounds like something out of the Terminator movies: automated drones that can identify, track and eliminate individual targets without explicit human approval. Today’s U.S. drones require a person to make the decision to fire. But, according to novelist Daniel Suarez, autonomous robotic weapons are virtually an inevitability. In this TED talk from the TEDGlobal [...]

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Observations

Quails Demonstrate Mastery of Camouflage to Protect Their Colorful Eggs

quail egg camouflage

A quail egg is like a protein-filled, free lunch, waiting on the ground to be spotted—and devoured—by a predator. But the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) seems to have mastered an impressive level of camouflage-manipulating behavior to keep her eggs off the menu. Female Japanese quails tend to lay distinctive eggs that are specific to each [...]

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Observations

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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Observations

What Are the Warning Signs of Tipping Points?

largemouth bass, ecosystem, Peter Lake

Predictions of tipping points in ecology, climate change, medical outcomes and other complex systems are a primary goal for many researchers. The pursuit of insights into the timing of critical transitions is no easy way to make a living, particularly because random events can trigger such changes and warning signs are easily missed or misinterpreted. [...]

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Observations

Ancient Armored Fish Had First Bad Bite

early armored fish first jaws teeth evolution

The ancient ocean was a frightening place. But the emergence of the armored placoderm fish would have made it even more terrifying. These fish were no great whites—some weren’t much bigger than a goldfish. But they were some of the first vertebrates to have jaws, and new research shows that they were probably the first [...]

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Observations

Copycat catfish evade competition

catfish that mimics other species avoid predators

In the animal kingdom it pays to look more dangerous and less tasty. It also helps if harmful species resemble one another so that predators might "learn" more easily to avoid both. A new example of this form of mimicry has been discovered among catfish that live in the Amazonian basin, where a school of [...]

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Observations

Large, double-clawed raptor stalked Europe’s Cretaceous creatures

two large extendable claws on new stocky raptor from europe

Researchers have pieced together a set of puzzling fossils from a stocky dinosaur discovered in Romania. The newly described predator helps to flesh out the spotty fossil record of carnivorous animals from Europe’s Cretaceous. The dinosaur, Balaur bondoc, was a sharp-clawed theropod that lived among small island creatures when sea levels were high and the [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

First Common Octopus Cannibalism Filmed in the Wild [Video]

octopus cannibalism

Perhaps it’s time we stopped feeling quite so bad about eating octopus. Octopuses dine on other octopuses, too. And for the first time, that behavior has been caught on video in the common octopus in the wild—three times. Cannibalistic behavior in the lab setting is well known. This is one of the reasons octopuses can be so [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Why Don’t Octopuses Get Stuck to Themselves?

octopus sucker

An octopus might be one of the most intelligent invertebrates, but it doesn’t always know what, exactly, its arms are doing. How these animals manage to avoid tangling themselves up is a major feat. But another—of no small concern—is keeping free of the strong grasp of its own suckers. New research, published May 15 in [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

8 Awesome Octopus Facts for World Oceans Day

octopus facts world oceans day

Octopuses are amazing. In honor of World Oceans Day, here are eight facts about these incredible creatures. 8. Octopuses are masters of camouflage. However, research suggests that octopuses don’t try to blend into their entire environment—to look like coral, sand and seaweed all at once. A study published last year  found that octopuses, instead, picked [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Female Octopus Arms Reach Farther, Robot Research Group Finds [Video]

octopus female arm stretch

Almost as fast as you can say “go-go-gadget arm,” an octopus can stretch its arm more than twice its normal length—without the help of any cyborg attachments. What’s more, according to new research, female common octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) are able to stretch their arms even more than the males—on average, three times resting length. This [...]

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Symbiartic

Music Steeped in the Wilds of Canada

14-014FEATURE

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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