Top 10 in 2014: Zombie ants, sea monkeys, and more

Thanks for reading and happy new year! Browse the slideshow for images from the top stories of 2014. (Credit: Mykl Roventine/Flickr)

[related]As you prepare to celebrate the new year, enjoy these 10 most popular stories from 2014.

1. BIGGER THAN T. REX, THIS DINOSAUR HUNTED IN WATER

U. CHICAGO ─ The first known semiaquatic dinosaur had giant thighs, blade-like claws, interlocking teeth, and other “alien” features.

2. GOOGLE IS RIGHT: WE WORK BETTER WHEN WE’RE HAPPY

U. WARWICK ─ New research confirms what Google already knows—greater employee happiness results in higher productivity without sacrificing quality.

happy mug at work
(Credit: Glen Wright/Flickr)

3. THIS SMARTPHONE CASE IS 3X HARDER THAN STEEL

YALE ─ Smartphone cases made out of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are 50 times stronger than plastic, 3 times stronger than steel, lightweight, and thin.

4. THIS FUNGUS TURNS ANTS INTO ‘ZOMBIES’

PENN STATE ─ A parasitic fungus manipulates its ant victims to die in the vicinity of their colony, ensuring a constant supply of new hosts.

5. TINY HELICOPTERS CAN’T OUT-HOVER HUMMINGBIRDS

STANFORD ─ Even the most sophisticated microcopter available can’t hover as efficiently as some hummingbirds.

(Credit: Richard Wyatt/UK Ministry of Defence)
(Credit: Richard Wyatt/UK Ministry of Defence)

6. EBOLA OUTBREAK LIKELY STARTED AT A FUNERAL

TULANE ─ The current Ebola outbreak sweeping through West Africa likely began at the funeral of a healer in Sierra Leone.

7. BIG OR SMALL, ANIMALS TAKE 20 SECONDS TO PEE

GEORGIA TECH ─ Animals—from cats to elephants—need the same amount of time to urinate, according to new research that could help engineers.

8. LIGHT SKIN MUTATION STEMS FROM ONE ANCESTOR

PENN STATE ─ All instances of a gene mutation that contributes to light skin color in Europeans came from the same chromosome of one person, report researchers.

tree_hand_1170
(Credit: Jane Rahman/Flickr)

9.LASERS SHOW HOW SEA MONKEYS MIX OCEANS

CALTECH ─ Collectively, “Sea Monkeys” and other tiny creatures could add as much as a trillion watts of power to the oceans to drive global circulation.

10. THERE’S ZERO CHANCE YOU’LL BE EATEN BY A MEGALODON

U. FLORIDA ─ Scientists are officially debunking the myth that megalodon sharks still exist.