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All plants are harmless? Well, not quite - at least not when you're an insect...
Carnivorous fungi: a diet of worms (and other animals)
Fungi have learnt how to trap living prey, notably nematodes but also a range of other animals include rotifers, tardigrades and even springtails.
Foregut fermentation in mammals
Foregut fermentation is best known from the ruminants, such as cattle, deer and giraffes, that regurgitate and rechew their food to aid microbial digestion. However, they are not the only mammals to have evolved this digestive strategy...
Eels masquerading as snakes sounds interesting, and that is before they go hunting with their friends the groupers...
Teeth in aquatic reptiles
Aquatic reptiles tend to display one of three dentition types, well adapted to either seize and slice large vertebrate prey, pierce and gouge slippery fish, or entrap small prey such as crustaceans.
Teiid lizard dentition: convergence with other reptiles, mammals and fish
Teiids are skink-like lizards whose members show a stunning diversity of tooth types, providing rich evidence of convergence within the teiids themselves, in distantly related reptile groups and even in certain mammals and fish.
Reptile dentition: convergence on complex occlusion
Some reptiles have transverse chisel-like teeth for slicing, and others have teeth bearing projections ('cusps') that interlock and slice or grind tough food. In each case evolutionary parallels are clear both within and outside the reptiles.
Beak structures in reptiles and birds
Among reptile taxa with beak structures, we find several cases of convergent evolution, for example between turtles, Uromastyx lizards, a number of herbivorous dinosaurs and the tuatara (Sphenodon) of New Zealand.
Ascomycete fungi: insights into convergence
Today ascomycetes are an extremely important group of fungi, and they take their name from the reproductive structures known as ascii.
Bats: Insights into convergence
Bats show a fascinating array of convergences, from echolocation to flight to nectar feeding. Vampire bats can even detect infrared radiation, while others might be able to see into the ultraviolet end of the spectrum.
Venom in mammals (and other synapsids)
Beware the venomous shrew! Yes, venomous. And convergent on some formidable lizards...
Scanning eyes in molluscs and arthropods
Some sea snails have a linear retina. What a hopeless arrangement, to see the world through just a narrow slit! Not quite, because they have come up with a rather intriguing trick to extend their visual field - and it's a trick too good to use only once.
Adhesive pads: from geckos to spiders
In terms of adhesive pads we find they have a remarkably wide distribution evolving in at least four distinct groups, including members of the reptiles, amphibians, arthropods and mammals, with tentative parallels in sea urchins.
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.
Gut fermentation in herbivorous animals
Ever tried eating a newspaper? Don't. Plant cell walls contain cellulose, which is notoriously difficult to digest. Considering that all vertebrates lack the enzymes to attack this polysaccharide, how do so many of them manage to survive on a plant diet?
Worm-like body form
Man is but a worm, but so are many other vertebrates...