brown spotted octopus blending in with its background
Steroids May Explain Octopuses’ Self-Starvation
Two glands increase steroid production after female California two-spot octopuses mate, a study finds. Those hormones may be responsible for the animals’ self-destructive behavior.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Gerald Corsi
Steroids May Explain Octopuses’ Self-Starvation
Steroids May Explain Octopuses’ Self-Starvation

Two glands increase steroid production after female California two-spot octopuses mate, a study finds. Those hormones may be responsible for the animals’ self-destructive behavior.

Two glands increase steroid production after female California two-spot octopuses mate, a study finds. Those hormones may be responsible for the animals’ self-destructive behavior.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Gerald Corsi

behavior

Dogs of various breeds running in the field.
They’re All (Potentially) Good Dogs
Natalia Mesa | Apr 29, 2022
Research finds that a dog’s behavior has little to do with its genes.
Bee on purple flower
Dopamine Drives Bee Desires: Study
Natalia Mesa | Apr 28, 2022
Like in humans, the neurotransmitter appears to play a role in generating wanting-like behavior and, perhaps, happy memories in honeybees.
The Scientist Speaks - Into the Mind of Human’s Best Friend: Using fMRI to Study Canine Cognition
Niki Spahich, PhD | Jul 23, 2021
Gregory Berns discusses training dogs to undergo fMRI scans to better understand their brains.
an Australian magpie stares down the camera
Altruism in Birds? Magpies Have Outwitted Scientists by Helping Each Other Remove Tracking Devices
Dominique Potvin | Feb 22, 2022
It was the first time a bird has removed a tracking device, and the second time a bird species showed cooperative “rescue” behavior.
octopus blue
What Scientists Learned by Putting Octopuses in MRI Machines
Chloe Tenn | Jan 20, 2022
The size and complexity of cephalopod brain structures differ depending on the habitats the creatures occupy, a study finds.
Miscellaneous diatoms, appearing as translucent blue and brownish circles and rhomboid shapes, are imaged in front of a black background.
Q&A: Fluorescence Lets Diatoms Communicate, Coordinate Behavior
Dan Robitzski | Dec 16, 2021
The Scientist spoke with physicist and microbial ecologist Idan Tuval, whose recent paper challenges the assumption that these single-celled organisms only communicate via chemical signals.
Reconstruction of an indeterminate theropod running on lacustrine sediments during low water timespan
Car-Sized, Meat-Eating Dinosaur Could Run Faster Than Usain Bolt
Christie Wilcox | Dec 10, 2021
A new analysis of fossil footprints suggests that the 2-meter-tall, 4- to 5-meter-long carnivores that left them could run nearly 45 kilometers per hour, bolstering the evidence that at least some dinosaurs were speedy, agile hunters.
Cute sleeping newborn baby child on mother hands stock photo
Exposure to Chemical from Babies Linked to Aggression
Chloe Tenn | Nov 22, 2021
A study finds that the odorless compound hexadecanal, or HEX, increases aggressive behavior in women but has a calming effect on men.
Artist's impression of the human microbiome
Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link
Ruth Williams | Nov 11, 2021
The unbalanced gut flora present in some people with autism is not a driver of the condition but rather a consequence of eating behaviors characteristic of the condition, a new study claims.
Illustration showing how seagull chicks know when predators are lurking
Infographic: Animal Embryos Coopt Sound to Survive and Thrive
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Across the tree of life, animals use sound and other vibrations to glean valuable sensory information about their environments even before they are born.
macaque in zoo enclosure
Leading Japanese Primate Research Center is Closing
Chloe Tenn | Oct 19, 2021
Kyoto University is shuttering its Primate Research Institute after its director was dismissed for misuse of funding.
Old man stands in front of tree, smiling at camera.
Neuroscientist Mortimer Mishkin Dies at 94
Lisa Winter | Oct 12, 2021
His work bridged the gap between psychology and neurobiology.
ABOVE: A pair of Labroides dimidiatus cleaner fish cleaning a puffer fish
Cleaner Fish Alter Behavior if Partners Can See Them “Cheating”
Chloe Tenn | Oct 7, 2021
A study of feeding behavior suggests the fish feed differently in front of their partners—a behavioral feature also found in primates.
A brown tick is shown from above as it climbs a green blade of grass
Bacterial Symbionts Tell Ticks When to Eat
Abby Olena | Oct 1, 2021
The endosymbiont Coxiella affects tick serotonin production and subsequent blood-feeding behavior, a study finds.
a male musk duck
Talking Duck Stuns Animal Behavior Researcher
Christie Wilcox | Sep 5, 2021
Leiden University’s Carel ten Cate tracked down 34-year-old duck recordings—and the man who made them—to verify that musk ducks are capable of vocal learning, an ability that hadn’t been thought to exist in waterfowl.
sea snake swimming in blue water
Sea Snake “Attacks” Are Cases of Mistaken Identity: Study
Christie Wilcox | Aug 19, 2021
The Scientist spoke to marine biologist Tim Lynch, who dusted off 25-year-old data from his PhD to figure out why olive sea snakes approach divers so often. He says the animals, especially the males, likely confuse people for potential mates.
WITH VIDEO
One chimpanzee has its hand on the ear of another, as it peers onto the back of its neck. A third chimpanzee is in the background.
Chimp Groups Have Their Own Distinct “Handshakes”
Robin Donovan | Jun 18, 2021
A 12-year study shows variation among primate groups in how the animals clasp hands during grooming, but consistency within them, even as group membership shifts over time.
Hippocampal neurons are labeled in blue and purple on a black background
New Role for Leptin: Promoting Synapse Formation in Rat Neurons
Abby Olena | May 20, 2021
The hormone, which is well known for regulating appetite, appears to influence neuronal development—a finding that could shed light on disorders such as autism that involve dysfunctional synapse formation.
A tiger shark swimming in the shallow water of the ocean above a sandy bottom, with another shark and fish in the background
While Some Sharks Flee, Tiger Sharks Brave Stormy Seas
Nikk Ogasa | May 12, 2021
For the first time, scientists tracked large shark movements during hurricanes and found that tiger sharks may find the turmoil opportunistic for feeding.