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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Was It Designed?

Human Body

The Human Body’s Ability to Repair Wounds

How are scientists mimicking this ability in the design of new plastics?

The Storage Capacity of DNA

DNA has been dubbed the “ultimate hard drive.” Learn why.

Land Animals

The Sea Otter’s Fur

Some aquatic mammals rely on a thick layer of blubber to stay warm. The sea otter uses a different method.

The Function of Cat Whiskers

Why are scientists designing robots equipped with sensors that they call e-whiskers?

The Horse’s Leg

Why have engineers been unable to imitate its design?

Aquatic Life

The Shape of Seashells

The shape and structure of seashells serve to protect the mollusks that live inside them.

The Byssus of the Marine Mussel

Marine mussels anchor themselves by means of threads. Understanding how these work could help devise new and better ways of attaching equipment to buildings, or tendons to bones.

The Color-Changing Ability of the Cuttlefish

Engineers are trying to mimic this ability by creating clothing that would change color in a fraction of a second.

The Light Organ of the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

The animal creates its own light—but not to see or to be seen.

The Flipper of the Humpback Whale

See how the mechanics of this giant animal’s flipper have influenced aspects of your life.

The “Seeing” Skeleton of the Brittle Star

Learn astonishing facts about this reef-dwelling creature.

Fish Schooling

What can fish teach us about how to reduce car crashes?

Microorganisms That Break Down Oil

How well can they clean up oil spills compared with modern technology?

Birds

The Upturned Wing Tip of Soaring Birds

By copying its design, airplane engineers saved 2 billion gallons of jet fuel in a single year.

The Emperor Penguin’s Feather Coat

What have marine biologists discovered about this bird’s feathers?

The Energy-Efficient Flight of the Wandering Albatross

Find out how this bird can soar for hours on end without a single flap of its wings!

The Bar-Tailed Godwit’s Navigational System

Learn about this bird’s eight-day journey, one of the most amazing migrations known to man.

Reptiles and Amphibians

The Thorny Devil Lizard’s Moisture-Extracting Skin

How does this lizard draw water up its legs and into its mouth?

The Tail of the Agama Lizard

How can this lizard jump from a horizontal surface onto a vertical wall?

The Crocodile’s Jaw

It can bite three times as hard as a lion or a tiger, yet is more sensitive than a human fingertip. How?

The Gastric Brooding Frog’s Reproductive System

Why would an evolutionist say that a slow and progressive change in its biology is inconceivable?

Snake Skin

What makes the skin of a snake durable enough to let it climb up rough tree trunks or burrow into abrasive sand?

Insects

The Landing Strategy of the Honeybee

What makes its strategy ideal for use in the guidance systems of flying robots?

The Honeycomb

What have bees known about the efficient use of space that mathematicians could not prove until 1999?

The Ant’s Neck

How can this insect carry a load that is many times its own body weight?

The Compound Heat Shield of the Saharan Silver Ant

This insect is one of the most heat-tolerant animals known. What enables it to survive extreme temperatures?

The Periodical Cicada’s Timing

The strange life cycle of these fascinating insects means that they appear for only a few weeks once every 13 or 17 years.

The Mechanical Gears of the Issus Leafhopper

They are critical to the insect’s ability to make a powerful yet controlled jump.

The Remarkable Hearing of the Greater Wax Moth

With its simple ear, it can do something better than any other known animal.

The Locust’s Motion-Sensitive Neurons

How do swarming locusts avoid running into each other?

The Butterfly’s Wing

The surface of the Blue Morpho’s wing may look smooth but it has features that can be seen only with a microscope. What are they for?

The Light-Absorbing Butterfly Wing

Something more is involved than the dark color of some butterfly wings.

The Sensors of the Black Fire Beetle

What can engineers and researchers learn from this unique beetle?

The Dung Beetle’s Navigation Skill

What visual navigation system does the dung beetle use? And what might humans be able to learn from it?

The Lantern of the Photuris Firefly

How has this tiny insect inspired scientists to make brighter LEDs, which are used in many electronic devices?

The Katydid’s Remarkable Hearing

This tiny insect’s ears work in a way similar to that of human ears. How can research about this unique hearing system benefit modern-day science and engineering?

The Haltere of the Fly

Have you ever wondered why the fly is so hard to catch? See what scientists have discovered.

Spiders

The House Spider’s Sticky Secret

The house spider’s web is strong when it needs to be and weak when it needs to be. Examine how and why.

The Jumping Spider’s Blurry Vision

How does this spider calculate precise distance? Why do researchers want to copy its technique?

Plants

The Brilliant Blue of the Pollia Berry

This berry contains no blue pigment, yet it exhibits the most intense blue known in any plant. What is the secret behind its brilliant color?

The Mathematical Ability of Plants

Researchers found that a mustard plant showed a fascinating ability.