dna meiosis

Breaking Point

Not unlike a slab of cooling rock, DNA “cracks” under pressure in roughly predictable patterns.

Venus Flytrap

Snap!

How can the Venus flytrap indulge its taste for insect flesh? The secret is the cunning construction of its leaves.

Zebrafish

A Simple Heart

Its shape, in zebra fish, goes with the (blood) flow.

hiking

The Biomechanist Went Over the Mountain

The best way up a hill is steeper than the best way down.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Flexible Feeders

The lower bill of the hummingbird makes a nectar-drinking beak into one for catching insects.

mantis shrimp

Knockout Punch

A boxer who could jab like a mantis shrimp could win every match with a single blow.

whale in bubble net

As the Whale Turns

The shape of the humpback’s flippers might hold the secret to more maneuverable submarines.

brittle starfish

How a Star Avoids the Limelight

Some echinoderms have thousands of eyes on their backs. When the lights come on, they switch to wearing shades.

Namib beetle

Like Water Off a Beetle’s Back

An African insect could show how to wring moisture from the fog—and let the sun shine on cloudy airports.

race sign

Born to Run

Humans will never win a sprint against your average quadruped. But our species is well-adapted for the marathon.

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