What’s the smallest tree in the world? It depends on what you define as a tree, but my favourite candidate has the most adorable name possible: the least willow.
Okay okay, I know I said that chess boxing was my favourite hybrid sport, but now there’s a new contender. I have one word for you, just one word: parahawking.
In the 1930s there was a reliable and accurate way to find out if you were pregnant or not. But you had to kill a rabbit.
Mammals make milk – it’s one of their defining features. But certain birds (including pigeons, doves, and albatrosses) do as well.
Trees first evolved some time in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods. Before trees, the largest organisms on land were Prototaxites. A metre wide, eight metres high … and a fungus.
Sheep are followers. But what if they were following… a traitor?
In the early 17th century, the German artillery master Franz Helm suggested attaching a bomb to the back of a cat, in the hope that it would run into a fortified town and set it on fire. This sounds like a terrible idea.
Most people know that smallpox was the first disease that we have completely eradicated in the wild. But what was the second, and what does it have to do with Egyptian plagues, measles, and cattle?
Lots of spiders, snakes, and fish are venomous. This is not news to most people. Many people know that the platypus has venomous spurs… but it turns out that the platypus is not the only mammal with venom.
The HMS Trident was a British submarine. Over the course of World War II it sunk several German ships while patrolling the North Sea. And one of its crew members was a reindeer.
Hopping insects have to coordinate their legs carefully. If they push off with one leg before the other they may literally spiral out of control. So how does the issus coleoptratus planthopper nymph avoid this? With gears.
Evolutionary biology hypothesizes the existence of a single form of life that is the ancestor of all life currently on Earth: the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).