Newly discovered species of “fanged” frogs eat crabs in Indonesia: study

The biodiversity of frogs and toads demonstrates just how ingenious evolution can get. Some are like the glass frog, which resembles a particularly famous Muppet. Others are like the Colorado River toad, whose skin secretes a powerful hallucinogenic enzyme called 5-MeO-DMT. Then there is the so-called “horror frog” or hairy frog, which can break its own bones to pierce through its toes and form makeshift claws....

Originally posted on salon.com

These bat penises are so enormous, they can’t be used for penetrative sex, study finds

The shape and function of a penis is unique among some animals. Not every creature has one — birds, for example, simply eject sperm from their cloaca. But among male mammals, penises are widespread and quite useful for reproduction. If you need a refresher, the standard model of a penis is one that penetrates a female in order to spread biological material, continuing the cycle of life....

Originally posted on salon.com

“Secrets of the Elephants” reveals their uncanny ability to grieve and empathize

Tolstoy used to be a formidable elephant: Massive in size, revered by the young bulls, and with tusks so long they touched the ground. When he was alive, Tolstoy had been more than just some random animal. He was a beloved member of a close-knit community filled with colorful personalities.

That is why when he died – the victim of a spear wound inflicted while he had been innocently searching for food — other elephants visited his body to pay their respects. ...

Originally posted on salon.com