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Tag archives for worms

“Killer Sperm” Found, Prevents Worms From Cross-Breeding

In the first identified case of “killer sperm,” females that mate with males of another species can become sterile or even die, a new study says.

Nature’s Walking Dead: Real-Life “Zombies”

With Halloween coming up, we thought we’d take a look at real-life “zombies”—and how they get that way.

“Phallus” Worm Is Evolutionary Missing Link

A type of burrowing worm that lived 508 million years ago has solved an evolutionary puzzle, a new study says.

Newly Discovered Earthworms: Freshwater Species of the Week

As any gardener or farmer should be able to tell you, earthworms can play an important role in ecosystems, by churning up soils, leaving copious amounts of nutrient-rich waste, and serving as food for a wide range of wildlife. Many young students dissect earthworms in biology 101, but there is still a lot we don’t…

Life will find a way

By Hans-Dieter Sues In the movie The Lost World (1997), the eccentric chaos theoretician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) remarked on the all-too-soon apparent instability of the “Jurassic Park” world: “Life will find a way.” It always does. Some animals and plants make a living in almost unimaginably weird ways. For an evolutionary biologist like…

New pictures of boneworms

By James G. Robertson The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has new pictures of the worms we wrote about in September, and the number of species identified by scientists has increased from nine to as many as 17. The researchers have also published some insight into how the worms get food from the bones of dead…

The most influential species of all evolution

As we observe the 150th anniversary this month of the first publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, a new book reviews evolution and ranks the top one hundred most influential species of all time. Homo sapiens is not at the top of the list. In fact, we humans, who like to imagine…

Hundreds of new species found underground in Australia

A huge number of new species of invertebrate animals have been found living in underground water, caves and micro-caverns amid the harsh conditions of the Australian outback. Insects, crustaceans, spiders, worms and many others are among 850 species found by a national team of 18 researchers, according to the University of Adelaide. A new woodlice…

Bone glue created from adhesive produced by underwater worm

By James G. Robertson, National Geographic Digital Media Scientists at the University of Utah have developed an adhesive with many possible medical uses, including repairing bone fractures, based on a glue produced by the sandcastle worm. The announcement was made at the August meeting of the American Chemical Society. The worm creates a complex water-based…

These worms exist only to feed on dead whales

By James G. Robertson, National Geographic Digital Media Imagine having to wait for a whale to drop from the sky before you could eat. At least nine new species of bristleworms that have adapted to feed from the unpredictable food source of dead whales have been discovered by Swedish scientists, according to a release from…

Same-sex Behavior Common Across Animal Species, Review Finds

Same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom, common across species, from worms to frogs to birds, according to a review of existing research, funded by the University of California, Riverside. “It’s clear that same-sex sexual behavior extends far beyond the well-known examples that dominate both the scientific and popular literature: for…