Design of Life Update: Butterflies
March 8, 2017
Illustra Media’s trilogy of documentaries only began to uncover the wonders of life. Here are updates on the series’ featured animals, this one on butterflies. Watch an amazing time-lapse video of butterfly wings developing in the chrysalis made by Nipam Patel of University of California at Berkeley. His lab assistant was able to extract tissue […]
July 7, 2016
In the world of flying animals, stories of remarkable physical engineering come to light.
Insects Worth Respecting
September 12, 2015
Most six-legged creatures are small and we give them little notice. Here are surprises that entomologists are discovering in some very special insects.
Elephants, Mammoths, and Terror: The Ivory Trade Crisis
August 28, 2015
Terror organizations are slaughtering elephants at alarming rates to sell the ivory in Asia and buy weapons. What to do?
Monarch Butterflies Do Not Have to Migrate
October 7, 2014
When 101 butterfly genomes were compared, there were surprises.
The Meek Control the Earth
September 6, 2014
How can such a small thing affect the geology and climate of the whole planet? Don't underestimate the power of small creatures.
Tree Crocodiles and Other Surprising Animals
February 15, 2014
Scientists have a lot to learn about living animals before presuming to speak of long-lost extinct ones.
Monarch Deposed by Painted Lady
October 19, 2012
Painted lady butterflies make an even more spectacular migration than the famous Monarchs, observers just found.
Animals Have Biological GPS
April 30, 2012
Global Positioning System (GPS): that's a function. Maintaining a suite of satellites is one method for achieving the function. But there are other ways to figure out where in the world you are, and two very different animals show the way – naturally – using Earth's global magnetic field.
Poison Rat: Did It Evolve?
August 3, 2011
The African crested rat has a unique way of deterring predators. It licks the bark from a poisonous tree (the same one native hunters use to poison their darts), and licks it onto its fur. Any predator that tries to eat the rat becomes very sick, and quickly learns to keep its distance. This kind of defense has been seen in other animals, but is the first known case of a mammal using a substance from another organism to make itself toxic to predators. Is it a classic case of evolution?
Butterfly Swarm Buries Darwin
July 25, 2011
Billions of butterflies, flashing their gossamer wings with brilliant colors, have swarmed over Darwin, leaving him unable to breathe. Figuratively, that is. Illustra Media’s new documentary Metamorphosis, just released on Blu-Ray last week, leaves little room for Darwin’s theory, while making a powerful case for intelligent design. The film is already being hailed as a masterpiece.