Category Archives: The Animal Kingdom

Stealth Bat

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Photo by Dr. Elizabeth Clare, Queen Mary University of London

Bugs don’t want to get eaten, so some of them finally wised up and learned to listen for bat echolocation. But the Pallas long-tongued bat found a way around that.

Bats use echolocation to track down their prey. Most bat echolocation consists of a series of rapid high pitched ultrasonic pulses, which some insects have learned to recognize and avoid. But scientists have discovered that the nectar-slurping Pallas long-tongued bat likes to munch on a certain type of moth that has learned to listen for bats. So how does the Pallas long-tongued bat snag his mothy snack? Continue reading Stealth Bat

What Does The Koala Say?

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A Koala in Australia

Most members of the animal kingdom get sweet bonus stuff. Cats get retractable claws, monkeys get prehensile tails – and apparently koalas get extra vocal cords. Researchers have discovered that male koalas have an extra pair of vocal cords that gives their mating calls a pitch 20 times lower than it should be for a marsupial that size. To put that in perspective, it would be like a Chihuahua that can yap in the pitch of an elephant. Continue reading What Does The Koala Say?

Reindeer Eyes of Gold and Blue

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Arctic reindeer, photo by Erling Nordoy

As the cold months of winter draw near, human adaptations tend to include warm coats, turning the heat up, and turning the clock back. But for Arctic reindeer, it’s a little different. Researchers have discovered something special about how Artic reindeer prepare for the long darkness of an arctic winter. Their eyes can change color.

Reindeer eyes shift from brightly gold in the summer to a deep blue in the winter, allowing them to better see both food and predators as the seasons change. Continue reading Reindeer Eyes of Gold and Blue