The phrase “good things come in small packages” certainly appears to hold true when it comes to ants. The tiny creatures can survive floods by morphing into rafts, find their way home using an internalized GPS system, and even lift up to 20 times their body weight. In 2013, scientists discovered that the insects whose brains are smaller than a quarter of a small pin’s head could even use tools, a skill that was once believed to be the realm of “intelligent” species like humans, and a select number of animals. Now, researchers from the University of Szeged in Hungary have discovered that when given a choice, the clever insects even have the smarts to select the most efficient tool for the job.
Kids News - Animals Articles
On February 21, after a week of feasting on her favorite treats that included a multi-tiered ice cake, giant panda Bao Bao started preparing for her one-way journey to China. The National Zoo resident began the morning with a hearty breakfast comprising 17 pounds (8 kg) of bamboo and 5.4 pounds (2.4 kg) of leafeater biscuits before heading out for some fresh air. Shortly after, she was put inside a custom-made, four-by-six, steel travel crate and transported to the Washington Dulles International Airport.
The about million species of insects known to humanity thus far have managed to neatly fit into one of 31 existing scientific orders. However, when George Poinar, Jr., the world’s leading expert on plant and animal life forms, found preserved in amber, saw the carcass of this 100-million-year-old insect, he knew it would require its own scientific order – an incredibly rare event.
A large otter the size of a wolf, roamed the wooded marshlands of China’s Yunnan Province about six million years ago. Xiaoming Wang, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California, and her team arrived at this conclusion after an extensive study of fossils found in the 6.2 million-year-old sediment of the Shuitangba coal mine in Yunnan, China in 2010 and 2015.
New Zealand is no stranger to beached whales. Every year, rescuers help refloat many disoriented mammals that get stuck in the coastal waters or sand during low tide. However, last week’s simultaneous stranding of two pods, totaling over 650 pilot whales, in the shallow muddy waters of Golden Bay at the northwest tip of South Island is almost unprecedented. Local marine experts say it is the largest known whale stranding since 1985 when 450 of the mammals were found beached in Auckland, and the third largest on record.
A mako shark is being dubbed the “Energizer Bunny” after traveling a distance of half the globe, or 13,000 miles (just over 21,000 km), in less than two years. According to researchers at the Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI), it is the longest track recorded in the Atlantic Ocean by a tagged mako shark.
As is the case every February 2, thousands of people gathered at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania early in the morning to witness legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predict the length of this year’s winter. Given the gloomy weather and scattered snow showers, it appeared highly unlikely that the animal would see his shadow, the indication of an extended winter.