Two new large wildlife reserves have been created in Argentina's Patagonian coast, good news for the area's diverse wildlife.
The parks, Isla Pingüino Coastal Marine Park and Makenke Coastal Marine Park, are home to penguins, sea lions, dolphins and other animals, which will receive more protections under the designation, according to a release from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an environmental group.
[Full Story: Argentine Wildlife Gain 2 New Marine Parks]
There's only one place in the world to escape bat-catching spiders: Antarctica. These arachnids ensnare and pounce on bats everywhere else in the world, researchers say.
Bats rank among the most successful groups of mammals, with the more than 1,200 species of bats comprising about one-fifth of all mammal species. Other than owls, hawks and snakes, bats have few natural enemies.
[Full Story: Bat-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere, Study Finds]
Floating boulders of ice the size of basketballs lined the shores of Lake Michigan last month, and were captured in a photo.
Weighing in at up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms) each, the ice spheres are a winter weather phenomenon resulting from wind and wave action along the shore, according to reporting by NASA's Earth Science Picture of the Day. Small fragments of floating ice act like seeds, with layers upon layers of supercooled lake water freezing around them as the balls churn in the waves. Wind then pushes the ice concretions onshore.
[Full Story: Photo: Massive Ice Balls Along Lake Michigan]
Specially trained rescuers recently freed a humpback whale swimming off the island of Maui from a tangle of rope, a potentially life-threatening situation for the animal.
A tour vessel and a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft initially spotted the whale on March 8;the animal had small-gauge line cutting into its tail, according to a release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Sanctuaries. Observers found the whale in the waters of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, where humpbacks migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young.
[Full Story: Rescuers Free Whale Entangled in Fishing Gear]
Fresh lava flows down Tolbachik volcano in Russia's Kamchatka peninsula in a new space snapshot from NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.
The fiery volcano erupted on Nov. 27, 2012, pouring fast-moving basalt lava through snow and ice on its steep flanks. A near-permanent ash plume rose from Tolbachik, visible in the March 6 satellite image.
[Full Story: Photo: Russian Volcano Carves Lava River]
A fossilized creature shaped (let's just say it) remarkably like a penis may be the missing link connecting two mysterious branches of sea creatures.
The fossils, more than 9,000 specimens in all, reveal a wormlike animal with an "elongate posterior trunk ending in a bulbous unit," as researchers describe it in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The animal appears to be a transition in the evolution of wormlike tube feeders known as pterobranches.
[Full Story: Phallus-Shaped Creature Is Wormy Missing Link]
So-called zombie worms are eyeless, mouthless, bone-boring creatures that live inside decaying whale carcasses that have fallen to the ocean floor. The worms are surprisingly diverse and widespread, considering that they make their homes in some of the most isolated places on the planet. But a new study sheds light on how the sex strategy of the strange-looking creatures has helped them expand their reach.
Members of the genus Osedax, the worms were first discovered in 2002 off the coast of California in an underwater valley called the Monterey Submarine Canyon. They feed by digging rootlike structures into bone to access fats, oils and nutrients from the skeletons that they can then absorb. Though they were thought to specialize in whale bones, recent experiments showed that the worms also took to the skeletons of tuna, cow and other animals, suggesting they have a more general diet of vertebrate bones.
[Full Story: How 'Zombie Worms' Have Sex in Whale Bones]
Sporting a horn on your head two-thirds the length of your body might seem like a drag. For the rhinoceros beetle, though, massive head-weapons are no big deal.
Turns out, pitchfork-shaped protrusions on the heads of rhinoceros beetles don't slow them down during flight, new research shows. The findings may explain why the beetles' horns are so diverse and elaborate, said study researcher Erin McCullough, a doctoral student at the University of Montana.
[Full Story: How the Rhinoceros Beetle Got Its Horns]
The world's most powerful radio telescope will pull back the curtain on the dusty veil obscuring planet birth, according to its backers.
For the past two years, scientists have been adding antennas — and resolution — to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, which is officially inaugurated next week.
[Full Story: Giant Radio Telescope to See Alien Planet Birth in HD]
Biologists briefly brought the extinct Pyrenean ibex back to life in 2003 by creating a clone from a frozen tissue sample harvested before the goat's entire population vanished in 2000. The clone survived just seven minutes after birth, but it gave scientists hope that "de-extinction," once a pipedream, could become a reality.
Ten years later, a group of researchers and conservationists gathered in Washington, D.C., today (March 15) for a forum called TEDxDeExtinction, hosted by the National Geographic Society, to talk about how to revive extinct animals, from the Tasmanian tiger and the saber-toothed tiger to the woolly mammoth and the North American passenger pigeon.
[Full Story: Reviving the Woolly Mammoth: Will De-Extinction Become Reality?]