WILD LIFE

Meet some of the strangest and most beautiful creatures on our planet, and learn about their fascinating strategies for survival.

One of the most attentive of all insect parents, this tiny treehopper fiercely defends her offspring until they're fully grown, using her thorn-shaped headdress as both shield and intimidation tool.

spotlight | 03.17.19

Mighty Mom

spotlight | 24.17.19

Mighty Mom

Africa's rarest carnivores face mounting threats from disease-carrying domestic dogs, but scientists hope a new vaccination campaign will give Ethiopian wolves a fighting chance at survival.

photo essay | 02.27.19

The Last Wolves

photo essay | 24.27.19

The Last Wolves

What looks like a flamboyant fashion accessory is actually this jelly's brilliant evolutionary strategy for attracting prey.

spotlight | 02.27.19

Allure of the Flower Hat

spotlight | 23.27.19

Allure of the Flower Hat

After a case of mistaken identity, scientists double down on their efforts to save a fabled fish.

article | 02.07.19

Resurrecting the Greenback, Take Two

article | 08.07.19

Resurrecting the Greenback, Take Two

When an octopus known for its size and hunting prowess encounters a football-field-sized team of spider crabs, the outcome isn’t what you might expect.

spotlight | 01.25.19

Banquet on Legs

spotlight | 39.25.19

Banquet on Legs

This caterpillar combines next-level camouflage and shelter-building to disappear into one of the most vibrant and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

spotlight | 12.18.18

Mobile Home

spotlight | 58.18.18

Mobile Home

The lionfish that haunt one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks are now laying claim to new battlegrounds.

spotlight | 12.12.18

The Wreckers

spotlight | 38.12.18

The Wreckers

In western Washington, the Tulalip Tribes bet big on beavers.

article | 11.22.18

They Will Build It

article | 27.22.18

They Will Build It

For these hunters, no right-sized target is off-limits—regardless of whether or not it has a backbone.

spotlight | 11.06.18

Spider House Rules

spotlight | 25.06.18

Spider House Rules

Climate change may have forced these Galápagos sea lions to turn to a new food source. Since they can't outswim their prey, they use wits and teamwork instead.

photo essay | 11.06.18

The Tuna Herders

photo essay | 24.06.18

The Tuna Herders

Finding—and defending—prime fruit-picking perches is no easy task in the rainforest, but toucans have a few tricks up their beaks.

spotlight | 10.23.18

The Better to Bite You With

spotlight | 19.23.18

The Better to Bite You With

Their prey may be tiny, but these Indian mackerel need both gaping mouths and an assist from their school-mates to successfully snag a meal.

spotlight | 10.09.18

Open Wide

spotlight | 36.09.18

Open Wide

A quest to record a quiet frog’s call may mean the difference between its survival and its extinction.

video | 10.09.18

Sounds of Survival

video | 36.09.18

Sounds of Survival

Against all odds, two Kurdish scientists are fighting to create a peace park in the heart of the Middle East.

article | 09.11.18

Patience, Peace, and Persian Leopards

article | 08.11.18

Patience, Peace, and Persian Leopards

Shockingly, being eaten alive by dozens of hungry wasp larvae may have its advantages.

spotlight | 09.11.18

It’s a Wasp-Eat-Caterpillar World

spotlight | 07.11.18

It’s a Wasp-Eat-Caterpillar World

Kangaroo Island’s iconic animals are orphaned all too often by speeding cars. But a dedicated group of volunteers is working to save as many survivors as possible.

spotlight | 08.28.18

Raising Joey

spotlight | 02.28.18

Raising Joey

A tiny copper cannonball is no match for this hawkmoth's hovering prowess.

video | 08.28.18

Lens of Time: The Art of Staying Stable

video | 01.28.18

Lens of Time: The Art of Staying Stable

While its partner is away at sea, this sooty albatross patiently holds down the nest and awaits its turn to forage—contributing to an equal partnership that will last a lifetime.

spotlight | 08.15.18

The Long Haul

spotlight | 53.15.18

The Long Haul

Grabbing ahold with both claws, a crab defends itself—and steers the course of another species’ evolution.

spotlight | 07.31.18

Double Fisted

spotlight | 37.31.18

Double Fisted

Some Tasmanian devils have taken a surprising turn in response to a devastating cancer, offering new hope for the endangered species' survival.

photo essay | 07.31.18

All Eyes on the Devil

photo essay | 36.31.18

All Eyes on the Devil

Before embarking on an icy fishing expedition in the Southern Ocean, king penguins pause to soak up the morning’s first light.

spotlight | 07.18.18

Facing the Day

spotlight | 03.18.18

Facing the Day

In a display that rivals even the most dazzling of firework shows, millions of squid gather off the coast of Japan each spring to perform a sparkling spawning ritual.

photo essay | 07.03.18

Flashes of Brilliance

photo essay | 10.03.18

Flashes of Brilliance

Creating protected areas is a critical first step, but reaping their benefit requires more than lines on maps.

opinion | 06.26.18

Fulfilling a Promise

opinion | 42.26.18

Fulfilling a Promise

“The Destroyer” is decimating bat populations across North America. But scientists are finding rays of hope.

article | 06.26.18

Glimmers in the Dark

article | 41.26.18

Glimmers in the Dark

As reefs endure another onslaught, scientists are taking a closer look at how corals live and grow—and what may enable them to persist in a changing world.

video | 06.12.18

Lens of Time: Growing Against the Odds

video | 20.12.18

Lens of Time: Growing Against the Odds

For American pikas, the rush to store enough food for winter is becoming more hazardous—and climate change isn’t the only culprit.

spotlight | 06.12.18

Dine and Dash

spotlight | 03.12.18

Dine and Dash

An "unholy" river in India may be the last, best hope for one of the world's largest and most imperiled crocodilians.

photo essay | 06.05.18

Basking on the Brink

photo essay | 30.05.18

Basking on the Brink

On the island of Nauru, a young noddy hunter practices a skill that’s been passed down for centuries—one that now requires more patience.

spotlight | 05.08.18

By the Skin of His Teeth

spotlight | 03.08.18

By the Skin of His Teeth

From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places.

photo gallery | 05.01.18

The Big Picture 2018

photo gallery | 23.01.18

The Big Picture 2018

This might be your only chance to meet the best-named fish in the sea.

spotlight | 04.24.18

Mystic Minipizza

spotlight | 55.24.18

Mystic Minipizza

Emperor penguins just may be the best huddlers on Earth—and scientists are finally revealing the secrets to their success.

video | 04.24.18

Lens of Time: Huddle Masters

video | 55.24.18

Lens of Time: Huddle Masters

The future of the once-lawless, still-wild terrain of the Darién Gap will determine the fortune of Panama's national bird.

article | 04.19.18

Raptor at the end of the Road

article | 50.19.18

Raptor at the end of the Road

Sometimes the best way out of a sticky situation is up, up and away.

spotlight | 04.19.18

High Drama

spotlight | 49.19.18

High Drama

After decades of forest loss, conservation efforts are underway to protect both Sri Lanka’s local livelihoods and the island nation’s (in)famous endemic tree dweller.

Spotlight | 04.10.18

Playing with Fire

Spotlight | 34.10.18

Playing with Fire

In California’s Mono Lake—whose alkaline waters are deadly to most insects—these diving flies don’t just survive; they thrive.

photo essay | 03.27.18

Scuba Flies

photo essay | 50.27.18

Scuba Flies

Aboard a reef dweller that acts as a living cruise ship, this tiny hitchhiker may receive much more than just a free ride from one patch of coral to another.

spotlight | 03.27.18

Pacific Piggyback

spotlight | 49.27.18

Pacific Piggyback

A decades-long debate over protection of the lesser prairie-chicken could usher the Endangered Species Act into a new era.

immersive | 03.13.18

A Grand Experiment on the Grasslands

immersive | 43.13.18

A Grand Experiment on the Grasslands

The world’s largest frogs are among the most coveted in the African bushmeat trade. Can grassroots efforts save the goliath frog from extinction?

spotlight | 03.08.18

Taking Down Goliath

spotlight | 11.08.18

Taking Down Goliath

In Iceland's Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, arctic foxes are thriving—and offering hope that the species will be able to adapt to a changing climate.

photo essay | 03.08.18

Kingdom of Foxes

photo essay | 10.08.18

Kingdom of Foxes

Specialized though it may be, Madagascar’s largest living lemur may need an extra hand to survive in a rapidly changing world.

spotlight | 02.28.18

A Helping Hand

spotlight | 53.28.18

A Helping Hand

With eight eyes, two hydraulic legs, and impressive cognitive abilities, this jumping spider has a leg up on even the feistiest prey.

spotlight | 02.20.18

Face Off

spotlight | 55.20.18

Face Off

They do almost everything else in slow motion, but Panama’s pygmy sloths are surprisingly proficient swimmers—and they find relative safety in the sea.

photo essay | 02.20.18

Keeping Pygmy Sloths Afloat

photo essay | 52.20.18

Keeping Pygmy Sloths Afloat

To woo a potential mate, a male humpback whale pulls out some surprisingly smooth—and tender—moves.

spotlight | 02.13.18

Head over Heels

spotlight | 05.13.18

Head over Heels

Risking it all, some orcas have taken their hunt onto the shore, and their strategy is catching on.

spotlight | 02.06.18

Beach Crashers

spotlight | 12.06.18

Beach Crashers

With the threats of poaching and deforestation mounting, some start-ups are taking a high-tech approach to the world’s most pressing conservation issues.

article | 01.30.18

Tech Support for an Ailing Planet

article | 03.30.18

Tech Support for an Ailing Planet

Western lowland gorillas dwell deep in the forests of the Congo Basin, but their days may be numbered if we can't bring them into the light.

photo essay | 01.23.18

The Forest Between Us

photo essay | 59.23.18

The Forest Between Us

For these spectacular South American birds, the key to attracting a mate is finding—and fighting for—the right time and place to shine.

spotlight | 01.17.18

Golden Hour

spotlight | 45.17.18

Golden Hour

The smallest chameleons on Earth perform one of the most explosive movements in the animal kingdom.

video | 01.17.18

Lens of Time: A Record-Breaking Tongue Lashing

video | 45.17.18

Lens of Time: A Record-Breaking Tongue Lashing

Female hares can deftly defend themselves when unwelcome suitors pay a visit, but when climate change comes calling, fighting back proves more difficult.

spotlight | 01.02.18

Boxing Day

spotlight | 18.02.18

Boxing Day

It’s a new year, which means these otherworldly caterpillars will soon be inching their way through forests and brightening backyards across the eastern U.S.

video | 01.02.18

Caterpillar Cameos

video | 17.02.18

Caterpillar Cameos

Something strange is happening off the northern coast of Norway—transforming natural enemies into unlikely partners.

spotlight | 12.19.17

Unexpected Dinner Guests

spotlight | 36.19.17

Unexpected Dinner Guests

This apex predator's widely set eyes give it much better binocular vision than most sharks—just one of several reasons why hammerheads are such successful hunters.

spotlight | 12.13.17

Hammerhead Gaze

spotlight | 56.13.17

Hammerhead Gaze

Just minutes from a major metropolis, Malaysia’s Penang Hill rainforest boasts some of the richest backyard biodiversity on the planet.

photo gallery | 12.05.17

The Rainforest Next Door

photo gallery | 30.05.17

The Rainforest Next Door

As extinction rates climb, we have a responsibility—to our own speciesand to others—to work toward reversing the trend.

opinion | 12.05.17

Betting on Conservation

opinion | 25.05.17

Betting on Conservation

As New Zealand’s odd “owl parrot” climbs toward recovery, its ultimate survival hinges on a nationwide effort to eradicate millions of invasive predators.

photo essay | 11.14.17

Kakapo Comeback

photo essay | 14.14.17

Kakapo Comeback

Under cover of subtlety and slow-motion, plants not only perceive the organisms around them, in some cases, they also prepare for battle.

video | 11.07.17

Lens of Time: When Plants Fight Back

video | 38.07.17

Lens of Time: When Plants Fight Back

We’ve feared and maligned them for centuries, but it’s the bats that really have something to be afraid of.

spotlight | 10.31.17

Bat Odds

spotlight | 03.31.17

Bat Odds

The secret to this squid’s disguise lies in its relationship with a smaller, brighter species.

spotlight | 10.24.17

Hide and Glow Seek

spotlight | 12.24.17

Hide and Glow Seek

A newborn elephant's aunts, sisters, and cousins all lend a helping trunk to support the newest member of their clan.

spotlight | 10.19.17

Are You My Allomother?

spotlight | 40.19.17

Are You My Allomother?

What was once a popular vacation destination for Hollywood's elite has become a last stronghold for some of Africa's most beleaguered species.

photo essay | 10.19.17

Vultures of Eden

photo essay | 39.19.17

Vultures of Eden

These social birds defy the two-parent family structure, proving that cooperation can make evolutionary sense.

video | 10.10.17

The Anomalies: The Acorn Woodpecker

video | 41.10.17

The Anomalies: The Acorn Woodpecker

Normally invisible to humans, fluorescent light shows like the one this fireworm puts on are helping medical researchers fight disease.

spotlight | 10.10.17

Fire on the Reef

spotlight | 40.10.17

Fire on the Reef

These clownfish host some uninvited, and undesirable, guests on the tips of their tongues.

spotlight | 10.03.17

Tongue-tied

spotlight | 22.03.17

Tongue-tied

Encroaching development is putting pronghorns at risk, but new conservation strategies are giving these record-setting runners a leg up.

photo essay | 10.03.17

Migration, Interrupted

photo essay | 21.03.17

Migration, Interrupted

To catch and swallow their prey, these eels use both an obvious set of tools and an even more remarkable secret weapon.

spotlight | 09.26.17

Last Grasp

spotlight | 56.26.17

Last Grasp

Portrait-worthy for more than just its beauty, this toxic frog may revolutionize our approach to pain management.

spotlight | 09.19.17

Framed Frog

spotlight | 09.19.17

Framed Frog

White abalone are both critically endangered and crucial to their coastal ecosystems, so scientists have launched a Hail Mary effort to save them.

article | 09.19.17

Fighting for a Foothold

article | 29.19.17

Fighting for a Foothold

A remote island that harbored the world’s last mammoths is becoming a holdout for Arctic wildlife once again.

photo essay | 09.13.17

High Stakes in the High North

photo essay | 08.13.17

High Stakes in the High North

Even sea turtles’ taste buds change with age.

spotlight | 09.13.17

Turning Turtle

spotlight | 07.13.17

Turning Turtle

The U.S.-Mexico borderlands contain some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in either country. Trump’s wall would imperil all of it.

article | 09.06.17

Up Against the Wall

article | 59.06.17

Up Against the Wall

On a quest to find a missing primate, a team of scientists discovers that sometimes maps tell only the smallest part of the story.

article | 09.06.17

In Search of the Lost

article | 54.06.17

In Search of the Lost

At the bottom of the Earth, this dauntless bird finds calories wherever it can.

spotlight | 08.29.17

Fight or Forage

spotlight | 55.29.17

Fight or Forage

Doting falcon fathers deliver meals to their young even after they’ve left the nest.

spotlight | 08.23.17

Please Pass the Vole

spotlight | 46.23.17

Please Pass the Vole

Shimmering schools of fish have dazzled scientists for centuries with their synchronized maneuvers. Now, high-speed video is revealing how they do it.

video | 08.08.17

Lens of Time: Secrets of Schooling

video | 42.08.17

Lens of Time: Secrets of Schooling

For some snakes, taking the path of least resistance requires getting off the ground.

spotlight | 08.01.17

Making Tracks

spotlight | 34.01.17

Making Tracks

A mysterious worm lizard squirms its way out of the Baja sand and straight into our hearts.

video | 07.26.17

Bipes Aren’t Coming for You

video | 32.26.17

Bipes Aren’t Coming for You

This rufous-eyed brook frog has a sparkle in its eye, thanks to a third eyelid strewn with flecks of gold.

spotlight | 07.18.17

Golden Eye

spotlight | 58.18.17

Golden Eye

A spectacular aggregation of whale sharks brings good fortune to Indonesian fishermen—and attracts ecotourism dollars that may be the key to their survival.

photo essay | 07.18.17

Good Luck Sharks

photo essay | 57.18.17

Good Luck Sharks

The dieoff is happening out of sight and out of mind. Reversing it will require scrappy scientists and unlikely allies.

article | 07.11.17

Resurrecting the Riverkeepers

article | 44.11.17

Resurrecting the Riverkeepers

A young shark wriggles its way into the world, and one lucky—and dedicated—photographer is there to capture the moment.

spotlight | 07.11.17

Swimming with Shark Pups

spotlight | 43.11.17

Swimming with Shark Pups

Even the commonest of creatures can reveal stunning beauty—and impressive evolutionary ingenuity—upon closer inspection.

spotlight | 06.27.17

A Moth’s-Eye View

spotlight | 51.27.17

A Moth’s-Eye View

A common frog species takes an unusual approach to winter—one that would kill most other vertebrates.

video | 06.27.17

Invisible Nature: Return of the Wood Frog

video | 50.27.17

Invisible Nature: Return of the Wood Frog

A showcase of amazing creatures and gorgeous environments—some threatened, some thriving—from around the globe

photo gallery | 06.20.17

The Big Picture

photo gallery | 16.20.17

The Big Picture

When El Niño hits the Galápagos Islands, marine iguanas struggle to find enough food—then they undergo a remarkable transformation.

spotlight | 06.13.17

Survival of the Smallest

spotlight | 12.13.17

Survival of the Smallest

To protect a rare Central Asian goat—and the snow leopards that depend on it—conservationists are turning to an unlikely ally: trophy hunters.

article | 06.13.17

Shoot to Save

article | 12.13.17

Shoot to Save

Octopus is on the menu for this Cape fur seal—and the powerful predator has developed a surprisingly effective method for preparing its meal.

spotlight | 06.07.17

Catch of the Day

spotlight | 12.07.17

Catch of the Day

This tiny songbird treks cross-hemisphere over deserts, oceans, and mountain ranges in one of the animal kingdom’s most impressive migrations.

spotlight | 05.31.17

World Traveler

spotlight | 22.31.17

World Traveler

Facing new threats—including illegal marijuana grows—the fate of this little-known mammal hangs in the balance.

video | 05.23.17

Forgotten but not Gone: The Pacific Fisher

video | 13.23.17

Forgotten but not Gone: The Pacific Fisher

The world’s largest aquatic frog may soon vanish from its namesake home high in the Andes.

spotlight | 05.16.17

Troubled Waters

spotlight | 38.16.17

Troubled Waters

An intrepid photographer climbs high into the rainforest canopy to capture one of the world's most dazzling courtship rituals.

spotlight | 05.09.17

Dawn Display

spotlight | 02.09.17

Dawn Display

An ex-soldier of fortune takes up the fight to protect one of the world’s most heavily persecuted creatures.

conservation hero | 05.09.17

A Noble War

conservation hero | 01.09.17

A Noble War

Off the coast of South Australia, an unremarkable setting conceals one of the ocean’s most spectacular events—a mating spree for the world’s largest cuttlefish.

photo essay | 05.02.17

Inconspicuous Battleground

photo essay | 03.02.17

Inconspicuous Battleground

One of the planet’s most massive migrations, the KwaZulu-Natal sardine run triggers a dazzling feeding frenzy off the coast of South Africa.

spotlight | 05.02.17

Greatest Shoal on Earth

spotlight | 02.02.17

Greatest Shoal on Earth

A fateful crossing of the Congo River by ancestral apes led to the rise of the modern bonobo.

spotlight | 04.25.17

The Great Divide

spotlight | 15.25.17

The Great Divide

With human-wildlife conflicts on the rise across East Africa, Kenya’s iconic predators find some unlikely allies.

photo essay | 04.11.17

Lion Guardians

photo essay | 07.11.17

Lion Guardians

In one of nature’s more surprising interactions, a butterfly hunts crocodilian tears in search of life-sustaining salts.

spotlight | 04.11.17

Tear Hunter

spotlight | 06.11.17

Tear Hunter

Living at the extreme edge of its range, an alpine frog begins its breeding season with a march across a rather forbidding landscape.

spotlight | 04.04.17

The Ice Frog Cometh

spotlight | 57.04.17

The Ice Frog Cometh

In the Golden State, dangerous drug cartels are growing pot on public lands—putting wildlife, water supplies, and outdoor enthusiasts at grave risk.

article | 03.28.17

Backcountry Drug War

article | 11.28.17

Backcountry Drug War

Lancing their granite backdrop with a streak of pink, Chilean flamingos soar over Torres del Paine National Park.

spotlight | 03.28.17

High Fliers

spotlight | 10.28.17

High Fliers

Their record-setting heft doesn't stop blue whales from being surprisingly sinuous swimmers.

spotlight | 03.21.17

Graceful Giant

spotlight | 11.21.17

Graceful Giant

Load More
bioGraphic

is powered by the California Academy of Sciences, a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth.

©2018 California Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.