animals

Gorgeous Microscopy Images Are Actually Pictures Of Sexual Biology

The Cell Picture Show has collected 10 images of sexually significant science from labs around the world: the resulting slideshow (summarised in their image above) takes you on a walk through sex systems across many types of living things.


Giraffes And The 'Necks For Sex' Hypothesis

Sexual selection doesn’t necessarily just shape sexual anatomy — it can have as profound an effect on the rest of an animal’s body as natural selection does. In both cases, the end result is more babies for animals that look or act a particular way.


Male Butterflies Ejaculate, Female Butterflies Digest

A mating system that puts the sexes in conflict can evolve some pretty extreme copulatory structures. Spiky penises and twisty vaginas are the tip of the iceberg. According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Biology last week, we should add protein-melting vaginal tracts to the list.


This Was Your First Reproductive Organ

You were once as wrapped as snug as the pony in the picture. Before you were born, you sat wrapped inside a placenta tucked inside your mother’s womb. That placenta was the very first reproductive structure your body built, long before you built your testes or ovaries or genitalia.


Octopus Senses Light With Its Skin, No Eyes Required

We already knew cephalopods are amazing creatures — how many of us can go from coloured to invisible in a blink? Hell, octopuses can even operate cameras. Still, sensing light with one’s skin is a pretty impressive trick, even for the rock stars of the invertebrate world.


Scientists To Sequence Lil Bub's Genome

A team of geneticists is ready to unlock the secrets behind Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub’s unique appearance. Lil Bub, whose full name is Lillian Bubbles (her friends call her Bub), may be the most recognisable cat on the Web. Although Bub is an adult now, she still looks like a kitten, with wide green eyes and short legs and her tongue sticks out, giving her a perpetual happy-go-lucky expression.


2015's Top New Species Include Animals With Cool Breeding Habits

Let’s hear it for newly-discovered species with interesting sex lives! A pufferfish that builds complex circular spawning nests and a frog that gives birth directly to live tadpoles have been picked as two of the International Institute for Species Exploration’s “top 10″ new species of 2015.


5 Animal Con Artists That Use Trickery To Get Sex

Humans use all kinds of gimmicks to win over mates — but you’d think that in nature, it would be all about honest competition. The biggest antlers, the brightest feathers, the most beautiful song, the most perfect displays — each signals the owner’s desirability as a mate. But here are five animals (and one plant) that game the system.


Wolf Spiders Play Leaf-Vibrating Songs To Attract Mates

Wolf spiders are deaf — they don’t have the right structures for hearing. However, they are very good at sensing other kinds of vibrations, and they use this ability to communicate. One species of wolf spider plays songs on dead leaves to attract mates.


Climbers Helped A Zoo Make Sure Its Orangutan Habitat Is Escape-Proof

The Kansas City Zoo didn’t have the best track record when it came to penning-in its primates — two gorillas got out in 2012 and two chimpanzees ran away in 2014 (I assume they all were brought back?). So when building a new orang-utan habitat, the zoo brought in some experts to test the sheer rock walls for climb-ability.