Green frog in tree with green leaves
For Frogs, Bigger Brains Mean Worse Camouflage
Frogs invest in cognitive capacity to avoid predators—up until there are too many hungry snakes around for the evolutionary strategy to pay off.
For Frogs, Bigger Brains Mean Worse Camouflage
For Frogs, Bigger Brains Mean Worse Camouflage

Frogs invest in cognitive capacity to avoid predators—up until there are too many hungry snakes around for the evolutionary strategy to pay off.

Frogs invest in cognitive capacity to avoid predators—up until there are too many hungry snakes around for the evolutionary strategy to pay off.

ecology
Countless bats swarming in the evening dusk
Bat Coronaviruses May Infect Tens of Thousands of People Yearly
Andy Carstens | Aug 10, 2022
Parts of Southeast Asia where human and bat population densities are highest could be infection hotspots, a study finds.
Calm lake reflecting sky with boat in foreground
Plastic Pollution Boosts Bacterial Growth in Lake Water
Patience Asanga | Jul 26, 2022
A study finds that not only did aquatic bacteria thrive when chemicals washed from degrading plastic were introduced into lake water, they also broke down organic matter more efficiently.
Vicu&ntilde;as <em>(Lama vicugna)</em> run across the plains in San Guillermo National Park, Argentina.
How Mange Remade an Ecosystem
Shawna Williams | Jul 5, 2022
A study traces the effects of a mite outbreak from the earth to the heavens.
teabag with green tag on a white background
Spilling the Tea: Insect DNA Shows Up in World’s Top Beverage
Shawna Williams | Jun 14, 2022
The Scientist speaks with Trier University’s Henrik Krehenwinkel, whose group recently detected traces of hundreds of arthropod species from a sample of dried plants—in this case, the contents of a tea bag.
Ribbon weed meadow in Shark Bay, Western Australia
World’s Largest Organism Discovered Underwater
Andy Carstens | Jun 2, 2022
Off the western Australian coast, in Shark Bay, a field of seagrass big enough to cover Washington, DC, has flourished for more than four millennia, a new study finds.
Image of not-to-scale renderings of the skulls of various primate species
Surface Area of Tooth Roots Predicts Primate Body Size
Maddie Bender | May 2, 2022
Researchers determine that a primate’s tooth root, and not just its crown, can yield reliable information about body size, but the relationship between root surface area and diet isn’t as clear.
Photo of a North American caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Jasper National Park in Canada
Dozens of Genes Tied to Caribou’s Seasonal Migration
Maddie Bender | May 2, 2022
Researchers tracked the movements of endangered caribou and sequenced a portion of their genomes to determine which genes may influence migratory behavior.
leatherback sea turtle making its way across a beach
Fifteen-Year Project Quantifies Threat to Reptiles
Shawna Williams | Apr 28, 2022
The study estimates that one-fifth of reptile species worldwide are at risk of extinction.
Close-up of a fiber with brightly colored pathogens beside it
Microplastics in Seawater May Harbor Parasites
Christie Wilcox | Apr 26, 2022
Laboratory experiments find that Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia can congregate on microplastic beads and fibers, suggesting they might make their way into and around the world’s oceans by hitching rides on tiny bits of trash.
A landscape showing a forest that’s been cleared to make room for a farm.
Climate Change and Agriculture Together Halve Insect Populations
Dan Robitzski | Apr 21, 2022
Insect populations and species diversity are drastically reduced in areas affected by both climate change and agriculture-related habitat destruction, according to a new study.
A headshot of Matthew Gage
Evolutionary Ecologist Matthew Gage Dies at 55
Amanda Heidt | Apr 20, 2022
The University of East Anglia researcher was best known for his contributions to the study of sexual selection, particularly post-copulatory sperm competition.
bat flying in front of tan building
Fruit Bats Echolocate During the Day Despite Having Great Vision
Natalia Mesa | Apr 20, 2022
Contrary to what researchers had assumed, Egyptian fruit bats don’t rely solely on sight to orient themselves as they drink and forage for food in daylight. 
Brown bird in nest surrounded by pink flowers
Earlier Nesting in Chicago-Area Birds Linked to Warming
Natalia Mesa | Apr 4, 2022
A study finds that dozens of bird species are nesting up to 25 days sooner each year than they were a century ago, likely due to climate change.
A black and white photo of a man standing at a lab bench, holding up a glass jar
Reimagining Ecology, 1939
Lisa Winter | Apr 4, 2022
Edward Ricketts built his laboratory just onshore from the swirling tidepools of Monterey Bay, California, an ideal backdrop against which he developed a new system for studying the ecology of any given habitat.
Vole in a meadow
Voles Trim Tall Grass to Prevent Attacks
Natalia Mesa | Mar 14, 2022
Mongolian rodents join the ranks of earthworms and beavers as known ecosystem engineers.
edge of the amazon showing deforestation
Amazon Rainforest Nearing Savannah “Tipping Point”
Christie Wilcox | Mar 8, 2022
Half or more of the world’s largest forest is in danger of transitioning into grassland, researchers say.
close-up of a salmon's head swimming among underwater plants
Sudden Decline in Salmon Growth May Signal Ecological Shift
Natalia Mesa | Mar 4, 2022
The decrease in growth appears to be associated with increasing water temperatures, affecting animals throughout the marine food web.
Photo of a Jewel beetle <em>(Sternocera aequisignata)</em>.
Why Are Some Beetles Shiny? It’s Not What Researchers Thought
Connor Lynch | Mar 1, 2022
The glossy shell of some beetles, it has long been speculated, helps hide the insects from predators. A recent paper put the hypothesis to the test—and found it wanting.
Photo of Romaine River in Quebec
Microbial Analysis of River Reveals Considerable Diversity
Annie Melchor | Mar 1, 2022
Scientists in Canada trace how aquatic communities change as Quebec’s Romaine River flows into the sea.