Bacteria come in all different shapes and sizes. For example, they can be spherical (Coccus), helix-shaped (Spirilla) or rod-shaped (Bacillus). Often bacteria bind themselves together in chains or across a surface.
Thousands of organisms embedded in amber prove it: even 50 million years ago, living things used other living things as hosts. For example, mites, which drank the blood-like bodily fluids of ants. The reason for the success of parasites?
For humans and other land mammals, breathing is an automatic and involuntary process. We can breathe in our sleep, even when we are not conscious. The same cannot be said of cetaceans, a group of marine mammals including dolphins, whales, orcas and porpoises.
This tree frog (Pseudacris regila) has been infected with the parasite trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae. However, it’s only an intermediate host: experts suspect that the many different abnormalities that the worm triggers make the animal an easy victim for waterfowl, the definitive host.
Deer shed their hair coat in the spring and autumn. The summer coat lacks an underfur, but the gray-brown winter coat has hollow hair shafts and a dense, wool-like underfur, ensuring effective insulation.
It’s a unique sound: the Australian superb fairywren teaches its offspring a password. Incredibly, this is done not when the chicks hatch, but while the embryos are still developing inside the egg. When the chicks hatch, their mother will only feed them if they can chirp the password.