Madeline K. Sofia

Snot otter. Lasagna lizard.

Pick your favorite nickname for the Eastern hellbender salamander.

What do elephant seals and Shakira have in common? They can both keep the beat.

A new study suggests that northern elephant seals memorize the rhythm and pitch of individual vocal calls in order to recognize each other. Knowing who's who is important because elephant seals live in social colonies run by dominant males. Submissive males need to be able to recognize when the alpha male is around in order to avoid getting the blubber kicked out of them.

Whales are the largest animals on the planet, but they haven't always been giants. Fossil records show that ancient whales were much smaller than the currently living behemoths.

So when did whales get so big, and how?

A new study suggests it might be due to changes in climate that affected the food that some whales eat: krill and small fish. Instead of being spread throughout the ocean, lots of krill started being packed into a small area. Bigger whales were simply more efficient at eating the dense pockets of krill, and they beat out their smaller cousins.

Don't be tricked by their appearance — fangblenny fish aren't just a cute face. They use special opioid-based venom to avoid being eaten.

The fish are 2 inches long and live in places such as Australia's Great Barrier Reef. When one is caught and swallowed up by a predator, the blenny literally bites its way out. The venom disorients the bigger fish, and the blenny escapes to freedom.

Men may soon be able to take their own sperm count — at home. With a smartphone. Yes, there's an app for that.

You may be asking yourself, why?

Low sperm count is a marker for male infertility, a condition that is actually a neglected health issue worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.