All that slithers, swims, flits, flies, grows and dies

Animals, plants, microbes, fungi and all life on Earth, from long-buried dinosaurs to newly emerging infections, often serve to instruct and amaze. We are interested in everything from the simplest physical structures to the most complex emergent behavior of life's many forms — from the extinct to the evolved and from the web of ecology to the promise of animal-inspired technology. 

The armor might help leafcutter ants defend the valuable fungus they grow for food.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
Treatment that eases bipolar symptoms in humans stops risky behavior in infected sticklebacks.
Joshua Learn, Contributor
A month’s worth of cool science stories.
Alistair Jennings, Contributor
The animals have evolved an immune system that doesn’t cause as much inflammation.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
By mimicking the diabolical ironclad beetles' wing cases, engineers may be able to build stronger joints for applications such as airplanes.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
Accidents like the Deepwater Horizon spill may hurt the rays’ ability to hunt.
Joshua Learn, Contributor
The subterranean rodents have little use for vision, but their magnetic sense tells them which direction is which.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
Separate subspecies of the fork-tailed flycatcher make different trill sounds with their wing feathers.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
The bright flowerlike symmetry of Australia’s northern jeweled orb-web spider lures in hungry prey.
Veronica Tremblay, Contributor
Adding seaweed to cows’ diets could help reduce methane production and help curb climate change.
Karin Heineman, Executive Producer
The animals' bodies contained pollutants not found in dolphins before.
Joel Shurkin, Contributor
The discovery raises hopes that chimps can adapt to threats such as climate change.
Joshua Learn, Contributor