Meet the amphipod Phronima sedentaria - they practice demarsupiation, or the deposition of progeny (juveniles) on the barrel wall of a parasitized tunicate. Most amphipods maintain their young in a brood pouch, or marsupium. Phronima begins that way, but then transfers the tiny juveniles (up to 600) to the barrel wall where they continue to develop (they feed on the barrel and on food she captures and brings to them).
The smell of earth after rain; is called Petrichor, and it is caused by Geosmin. Geosmin is an organic compound with the formula C12H22O. It’s produced by several classes of microbes, including cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and actinobacteria (especially Streptomyces), and released when these microbes die. The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin and is able to detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion.
Theres a mystery in West Africa thats puzzled scientists for years. Strange circles of bare soil appear in grassland; theyre commonly called fairy circles. These naturally occurring shapes last for decades, until the grass eventually takes over and the circles fade. Now German scientists think they have an explanation — a horde of insects seems to be bioengineering thousands of miles of desert.