Victorian fern gatherers

When Ferns Were All The Rage

Despite the jurassic-sounding name, pteridomania (from the Greek for fern, plant and mania) was responsible for the 19th century fern leaf collector's job.
Electric eel

5 Shocking Facts about Electric Eels

First things first: eels are fish.
French bulldog puppy sleeping on the carpet

Why Do We Sleep?

A growing consensus among those who hold this view is that sleep is needed for maintaining a healthy nervous system, not necessarily a brain.
Tuna fish

What Makes Fish Swim Fast

How do fish swim? Having fins and tails help, But it takes more than that to be fast and avoid danger. Diving into fish physics.
Dachshund dog

What Does It Mean to Own an Animal?

Those who view animals as property misunderstand the nature of property, a legal scholar suggests.
A dwarf epauletted fruit bat flying

Why Human Echolocators Will Never Be As Precise As Bats

Research seems to indicate that human echolocation is surprisingly sophisticated, and may aid a deeper understanding of hearing and sensory perception.
Bushy-tailed woodrat

When Packrats’ Hoards Are Helpful

Packrat nests, preserved by a combination of the chemistry of urine and the desert air, open a window into centuries of local climate change.
Floating fire ants

How Fire Ants Form Rafts

Floating masses of fire ants have been observed drifting in the floodwaters resulting from Hurricane Harvey. How does a swarm of fire ants float?
Victorian era dog

The Victorian Debate Over Rabies

Rabies began a contentious debate between Victorian pet owners and veterinary experts about how to regulate dog health. Rough.
Freshwater Mussels

America’s Imperiled Freshwater Mussels

Freshwater mussels were once found in astonishing numbers and diversity in North America. Then came the button fanciers, and then the pearl-makers.