Competition and Cooperation in Evolution

Despite the old adage “nice guys finish last”, cooperation is common in life – from the scale of genes or cells through to entire societies. Although these two ideas seem to contradict each other, Dr. Egbert Giles Leigh Jr. has demonstrated throughout his career at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama that working together …

What would happen if bees went extinct?

Bees – including honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees – are very important because they pollinate food crops. Pollination is where insects move pollen from one plant to another, fertilizing the plants so that they can produce fruit, vegetables, seeds, and so on. If all the bees went extinct, it would destroy the delicate balance …

UN report warns one million species at risk of extinction

We, humans, are destroying the Earth’s wilderness, very fast. Actually, we are the main (and probably the only) cause of the sixth major extinction event in the history of our planet. Now, a recent UN report says at least one million species (animals, plants, and insects) are at the risk of extinction. There will be …

Most species hold their geographic range if we limit global warming to 1.5°C, study says

If we limit global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C above the pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, the impacts of climate change would be much less dramatic, a new study says. According to the researchers, for vertebrates and plants, the number of species losing more than half their geographic range by 2100 will be …

What did Ancient Earth Look Like

I stumbled upon an amazing web page showing what did ancient Earth look like. On the “Dinosaur Pictures and Facts” web page (dinosaurpictures.org), there’s also an interactive animation. On this page, you can either select the years (i.e. 600 million years ago) or jump to a particular event (i.e. first multicellular life) and see how ancient …

Top 10 Largest Insects on Earth

The largest insects on Earth – preparing such a list is not an easy task. Because, how can you identify the “large”? It is a relative term: if you mean the “bulkiest” by largest, for instance, this title may go to the Goliath beetle (Goliathus), which are among the largest insects on Earth, if measured …

Japanese Giant Hornet cooked by Honey Bees (video)

In the insects’ world, the Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is a real beast. It is one of the subspecies of the Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia), which is the world’s largest hornet. As its name suggests, it is endemic to the Japanese islands, where it prefers rural areas where it can find trees …

Giant Weta: the heaviest insect on Earth (and 10 amazing facts)

In the small islands of New Zealand, the world’s heaviest insect lives – The Giant weta. There are 70 types of species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae. Giant weta is the heaviest insect on Earth. Fully grown species can even be heavier than a mouse or sparrow. Giant weta is endemic to New Zealand …