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Flying through the air on a summer's evening or sparkling in the ocean you may see magical flashes of light that signal some of nature's most enchanting creatures, those that are bioluminescent.
Vibrational communication in mammals
Kangaroo rats drum their foot on the ground upon encountering a snake. Why? Read on for this and many other fascinating examples of vibrational communication in mammals…
Vibrational communication in insects and spiders
Some spiders have evolved a most remarkable method of capturing other spiders – they imitate the vibrations of insects caught in their victim’s web. And this is only one of numerous intriguing examples of vibrational communication in arthropods…
Electrolocation and electrocommunication in weakly electric fish
Fish have eyes, but they live in a much more complex sensory world, where even electricity plays a surprising - and convergent - role.
Vibrational communication in animals
What on earth could an elephant or treehoppers have in common with a seismometer?
Dandruff, Malassezia and Candida
The presence of Malassezia does not guarantee dandruff, as this fungus is commonly present on healthy skin, but it evidently central to dandruff production if other key factors support it.
Ink production in cephalopods and gastropods
A series of striking convergences can be found in the sea-hares (Aplysia), a group of gastropods and only remotely related to the cephalopods. Not only do they emit ink clouds (the colour is derived from ingested red algae), but they also employ chemical cues that assist in defense.
Compound eyes in sabellid annelids
Compound eyes have evolved convergently in the annelids, notably amongst the sabellids, where they evidently serve as an optical alarm system.
Compound eyes in ark clams
Read on if you want to know more about bivalves with burglar alarms…
Biological uses of silk: from webs to ballooning
What material is so versatile that it can be used for capturing prey, building nests, communication and even cleaning? The answer: that most remarkable of biomaterials - silk.
Intelligence and cognition in birds
House sparrows are known to gain access to shopping malls by flying in front of sensors that operate sliding doors, whilst herons have been shown to be adept fishers using baits and lures.