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Carrie Arnold

Carrie is a freelance science writer living in Virginia. When she's not writing about cool critters, she's spending time outside, drinking coffee, or knitting. You can visit her website at http://www.carriearnold.com

Why a Swordfish’s Sword Doesn’t Break

A swordfish’s “sword” is its most prominent feature, but scientists have only now discovered the unusual properties that keep the sword strong and ready to slash.

Watch Raccoons Escape Trash Can—Are Urban Animals Getting Smarter?

A new video suggests that these “perfect little urban warriors” may be smarter than their rural kin, a scientist says.

Mystery Solved? How Birds Weather Turbulence

When turbulence hits, flying birds can’t fasten their seatbelts—so at least one species of eagle tucks its wings to stabilize flight, a new study says.

Snake Robots Crack Mystery of How Reptiles Climb Dunes

High-speed video and customized “snakebots” have revealed that a desert snake uses a highly unique slither to climb sandy hills, a new study says.

Toxic “Toupee”: Explaining the Most Venomous Caterpillar in the U.S.

No warm and fuzzy here—a possible boom in a highly venomous but irresistibly touchable caterpillar is sending people in the eastern U.S. to the hospital.

Mystery Solved: How Archerfish Shoot Water at Prey With Stunning Precision

Archerfish, which use water jets to take down prey, are much more skilled and sophisticated target shooters than thought, a new study says.

Wolves Vulnerable to Contagious Yawning

Contagious yawning in wolves give researchers a glimpse at the roots of empathy.

Scientists Solve Mystery of How Hummingbirds Taste Sweetness

How hummingbirds acquired their sweet tooth has been quite the mystery. But scientists think they may cracked the case.

Mystery Solved: How Snakes Climb Trees

Researchers discover that for snakes climbing trees, it’s all about safety first.

Why Are Jellyfish Swarming This Summer?

Swarms of jellyfish that have appeared recently in the Pacific Northwest and the United Kingdom are not unusual, but may signal an ocean out of balance, experts say.

How Do Horses Communicate? New Signals Found

A horse’s large, mobile ears can help tell another horse where to direct its attention, a new study says.

Mystery Solved: Why Peacocks Got Their Eyespots

The brilliant plumage of peacocks and related birds may be a result of female preference, a new study says.

Transgender Algae Show How Males and Females Came to Be

How sexes evolved in the first place has been a lasting mystery in biology. Thanks to some transgender algae, scientists may have cracked this evolutionary whodunit.

Researchers Discover “Bizarre” Jurassic Insect With Giant Sucker

Scientists have discovered a “bizarre” parasite from the Jurassic era that really sucked. An international team of researchers recently described this 165-million-year-old fossilized fly larvae that they found in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northeastern China once studded with volcanoes and freshwater lakes. They named the species Qiyia jurassica (“Qiyia” is derived from the Chinese word for “strange”),…

Vampire Bats Gain the Taste of Blood, Lose Their Taste of Bitter

When vampire bats acquired their taste for blood, they lost their ability to sense bitter flavors, according to a new study.