Instead of blending in with the background, octopuses hide from predators by taking on the shape and color of specific objects in their environment, new research suggests.
"Octopuses are considered to be the master of camouflage. An octopus can change its color, pattern and texture of its skin in an instant," study researcher Noam Josef, of Ben-Gurion University in Israel, told LiveScience.
[Full Story: Octopus Foils Predators by Stealing Identities]
A fossilized dinosaur that was once at the top of its food chain is now caught in the jaws of a legal battle over whether or not its remains can be sold in the United State.
The anonymous buyer who bid $1.1 million for the towering specimen Sunday (May 20) in New York will not receive it if the courts decide it is the rightful property of Mongolia.
[Full Story: Auctioned Tyrannosaur Skeleton Possibly Smuggled]
The late-afternoon sun lights up a huge Martian crater in a spectacular new photo snapped by NASA's Opportunity rover, and the robot's own shadow makes it into the shot.
The Opportunity rover was perched at the western edge of Mars' Endeavour Crater when it captured the image. Endeavour is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) wide, and Opportunity has been exploring the many outcrops along its rim since August 2011.
[Full Story: Mars Rover Sees Its Shadow in Red Planet Crater]
The realm of living things known to science gained some fascinating new members in the past year. These include a monkey that sneezes when it rains; a tiny worm discovered nearly a mile below ground; a mushroom that looks more like a sponge and the first night-blooming orchid ever recorded.
These strange organisms and others made the top 10 list of species described in 2011.
[Full Story: Sneezing Monkey & SpongeBob Mushroom Top New Species List]
This new species of parasitic wasp cruises at just under a half-inch (1 centimeter) above the ground in Madrid, Spain, in search of its target: other ants. With a target in sight, the teensy wasp attacks from the air like a tiny dive-bomber, depositing an egg in less than one-20th of a second.
[Full List: Colorful Characters: Top 10 Species of 2012]
A California photographer captured this perfect "Ring of Fire" image of the May 20 solar eclipse from the Nevada desert.
The eclipse was visible Sunday in the western United States, but only skywatchers on the sun's central path got a view of the solar annulus, or the symmetrical ring of sun peeking out around the body of the moon. San Francisco currency trader and amateur photographer Phil McGrew was one of the lucky few.
[Full Story: Eerie Eclipse Photo: Blacked-Out Sun Caught Over Desert Lake]
A telescope in Hawaii has captured a spectacular new view on a distant nebula, revealing a glowing swirl of gas that is at the center of an unsolved mystery surrounding the nebula's birth.
The photo from the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii shows the complex planetary nebula Sharpless 2-71, which is located about 3,260 light-years from Earth in the constellation Aquila (The Eagle).
[Full Story: Mysterious Nebula Grows Bright in Telescope Photo]
Even chilly waters can be a welcome beach experience: This year's award for best beach in the United States goes to Coronado Beach in San Diego, where the waters are considered warm only if you're not visiting from the East.
In its 22nd year, the Top 10 Best Beaches list was announced today (May 25). It is put together by "Dr. Beach," also known as Stephen Leatherman, director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research in Miami.
[Full Story: Sunshine & Sand: The Best Beaches of 2012 Revealed]
A group of acrobatic primates living, and swinging from tree branches, in Vietnam are not faring so well, with three of the six species inching closer to extinction, finds a new report, released today (May 21), on these primates called crested gibbons.
Gibbons are relatively small, slender primates that are exceptionally agile, using their extra-long arms for a spectacular arm-swinging locomotion called brachiation in which they move through the tress with a hand-over-hand technique. Currently, seven species of crested gibbons in the genus Nomascus are recognized taxonomically. Six of these live in Vietnam.
[Full Story: Acrobatic Primates Edge Closer to Extinction]
Flying high over the ground in a plane, a thunderstorm's anvil cloud might be the last thing you want to see, but it's exactly what a group of scientists conducting an airborne mission were looking for.
The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) experiment is investigating how large thunderstorms affect the chemistry of the atmosphere by flying right into them.
[Full Story: Amazing Anvil Cloud Photo Snapped from Plane]