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The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba

A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth

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

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 [...]..

January 29, 2015 — Jennifer Frazer

Ocean Giants: How Big Are They Really?

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...

January 13, 2015 — Jennifer Frazer

Bacterial Motors Come in a Dizzying Array of Models

Bacteria 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...

December 16, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Parasitic Trypanosomes Contain Nature’s Only Chain Mail DNA

Parasitic Trypanosomes Contain Nature’s Only Chain Mail DNA

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...

December 12, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

The Giant Transparent Ribbons of Eel Larvae

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...

December 3, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

How Zooplankton Bust a Move

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...

November 12, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

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Scientific American Unlimited

Scientific American Unlimited