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<em>Lymantria&nbsp;</em>species make ultrasonic, mechanical rasping noises when they hear bats nearby.
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats
A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats

A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.

A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.

predation
dead bee surrounded by yellow flower petals
Science Snapshot: One Insect’s Corpse Is Another’s Breakfast
Lisa Winter | Aug 31, 2022 | 2 min read
Though it’s poetic to say that ants were grieving the bee at a funeral, the reality is a bit more prosaic.
Green frog in trees with green leaves
For Frogs, Bigger Brains Mean Worse Camouflage
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Aug 23, 2022 | 3 min read
Frogs invest in cognitive capacity to avoid predators—up until there are too many hungry snakes around for the evolutionary strategy to pay off.
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 | 5 min read
A study traces the effects of a mite outbreak from the earth to the heavens.
Bat perching upside down in a cave.
Some Bats Buzz Like Hornets to Deter Predators
Natalia Mesa, PhD | May 9, 2022 | 2 min read
The behavior is the first example of a mammal mimicking a more-dangerous species.
Vole in a meadow
Voles Trim Tall Grass to Prevent Attacks
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Mar 14, 2022 | 2 min read
Mongolian rodents join the ranks of earthworms and beavers as known ecosystem engineers.
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 | 4 min read
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.
school of fish
Making Waves and Avoiding Beaks
Chloe Tenn | Dec 23, 2021 | 5 min read
Moving collectively on the water surface could help protect schools of fish from being eaten by predatory birds.
a microscope image of mouse fur
Some Mammals May Use Specialized Hairs to Detect Predators’ Heat
Amanda Heidt | Dec 16, 2021 | 2 min read
When observed under a microscope, guard hairs from mice resemble optical sensors used in thermal cameras to detect heat, according to a new study.
snake eating another snake
Male Snakes Cannibalizing Females Present Evolutionary Puzzle
Chloe Tenn | Nov 15, 2021 | 4 min read
The Scientist speaks with organismal biologist Xavier Glaudas about possible reasons for his recent finding that male Montpellier snakes cannibalize female conspecifics.
Illustration showing how seagull chicks know when predators are lurking
Infographic: Animal Embryos Coopt Sound to Survive and Thrive
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Across the tree of life, animals use sound and other vibrations to glean valuable sensory information about their environments even before they are born.
Can Rewilding Large Predators Regenerate Ecosystems?
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 1, 2020 | 10+ min read
As some conservationists and researchers begin to return large carnivores to areas where they once roamed, scientists intensify efforts to study the ecological roles of predators.
Infographic: How Large Carnivores Sculpt Ecosystems
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 1, 2020 | 4 min read
The release of gray wolves in Yellowstone decades ago still stands as one of the few examples of a predator reintroduction, and the lessons learned continue to be debated. New projects aim to do it again.
Eating Up the Food Chain
The Scientist Staff | Jan 13, 2020 | 1 min read
Watch a predaceous diving beetle dine on a tadpole.
Heliconius erato demophoon butterfly mullerian mimicry wnta
Gene Regulation Gives Butterflies Their Stunning Looks
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 14, 2019 | 5 min read
Distantly related, lookalike Heliconius species arrive at the same appearance using the same few genes, but regulated differently, according to recent studies.
caterpillar acid spraying plant defense latex poinsettia insect predation
Image of the Day: On the Attack
Chia-Yi Hou | Jul 11, 2019 | 1 min read
This caterpillar secretes acid to get past the defenses of the plant on which it preys.
Image of the Day: Acoustic Camouflage
Kerry Grens | Nov 14, 2018 | 1 min read
Moths’ scales vibrate in the frequency range of bats’ echolocation calls, perhaps helping the insects to avoid predation.
Image of the Day: Plundered Plover
Jef Akst | Nov 9, 2018 | 1 min read
Nest predation of shorebirds that raise young in the Arctic are up threefold since the mid-20th century, and climate change may be to blame, according to a study.
Hawaiian Spiders on Different Islands Evolved Same Disguise in Parallel
Catherine Offord | Mar 8, 2018 | 2 min read
In an unusual evolutionary twist, local stick spiders have come up with an almost identical repertoire of color morphs in multiple locations.
Image of the Day: Beetle Escapes Toad’s Stomach
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Feb 8, 2018 | 1 min read
The bombardier beetle forced its devourer to vomit it out by releasing explosive, toxic chemicals.
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