Episode 42 – Superb Lyrebird: The Pants on Friarbird

Today we’re talking about a fancy bird with a thousand words for romance.

It’s a beautiful Australian morning, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and— what was that? Was that a chainsaw you just heard? Nope, it was just the song of the lyrebird, nature’s most complicated songwriter. By imitating other birds, animals, sound effects, and even humans, the lyrebird sings a weird and beautiful song to its one true love. But it’s not over until the lyrebird sings here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.


Music: Morning Mood – Edvard Grieg

Lyrebird Videos: 

David Attenborough Chats With a Lyrebird

Chook’s Superb Song

Episode 41 – Orangutan: The Forest People of Borneo

“And today we are talking about a large primate with orange hair whose bellowing can be heard for great distances… even without twitter.”


Life in the rain forests of Borneo may seem like a peaceful existence in paradise, but finding food and shelter requires the right tools and the brains to use them. It’s a good thing that the forest’s largest tree dwelling mammal has one of the largest proportional brains in the animal kingdom. But how do they use that advantage to survive 100 feet above the forest floor? These apes are truly living the high Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 40 – Pilot Whales: Enter the Sand Porpoise

“And today we are learning about a whale that’s as much a whale as they are Federal Aviation Administration approved pilots.”

Have you ever been sleeping? And during that sleep had a dream? And did that dream seem incredibly real? Well, you probably just ate too much sugar before bed, but this happens to the pilot whale all the time, and not because of late night snacks. Out sleeping cetaceous friend always sleeps with one eye open here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 39 – Daddy Longlegs: Spider Not Spider

Life is dangerous for a small arthropod. You might be on the menu for every animal from birds to mammals. But sometimes, you just have to let go of the stress of being small and learn to adapt to the changes as they come. For the daddy longlegs, maintaining life might mean giving up some of your most precious tools. But that’s just what it takes to adapt to Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Art by: Xnamaru

Episode 38 – Naked Mole Rat: Wrinkly Pink Old Rat

When searching for the key to a long cancer-free life, there is one place that few people want to look—which is directly into the beady, unblinking eyes of a hairless underground horror. Enter the naked mole rat, the sort of cold-blooded super ugly mammal with cells that loath social contact. But hey, maybe we’ll find the cure to cancer here in Life Death and Taxonomy.

Episode 37 – Mourning Gecko: A Lovely Lady Lizard

“And today we’re talking about a strong independent gecko, who loves sailing and walks on the beach. But more on that later.”


If you found yourself all alone on a desert island, you might be pretty lonely. But what if you could make friends… literally! There’s one little lizard that has developed a way to populate islands in the South Pacific with unorthodox methods. But, sometimes, strange and amazing adaptations are what it takes to pass on your genes in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 36 – Jaguar: The Champion of Chomp

“…and today we’ll be talking about a cool cat that can bat at crocodile backs and fat rats like they’re doormats and defeat them in combat. But more on that later.”


The jungle is home to some of the most extraordinary creatures on planet Earth. One such creature stalks the rainforests of Central and South America as the king of the jungle: the jaguar. Pound for pound, this large feline has the second strongest bite of any mammal on Earth. But to survive beneath the Amazonian canopy, the jaguar must also be one of the most versatile creatures. It’s all part of being an apex predator on Life Death and Taxonomy.

Episode 35 – Thresher Shark: Smack ’em and Snack ’em

“…and today we are talking about a shark that steals a technique from Indiana Jones to get some fishy treasures. But more on that later!”


The ocean is a great place with lots of room to roam.

The perfect way to escape for the fish that call it home.

“Just stick together and we’ll all be fine,”

The friendly bait fish will chime.

But there’s one who’s a master at the hunting craft,

That captures prey with a whoosh and crack.

The ocean may be great from high to low tide,

But there’s one within its depths from which no fish can hide.

But that’s just the way of the briny sea,

In Life, Death, and Taxonomy

Episode 34 – Japanese Honey Bee: Hot Hugs From Murderbugs

“…and today we are talking about a sweet bee that secrets glee onto house bees that make honeys when they please inside trees.”


Being a honey bee means that you can get organic honey without paying the Trader Joe’s prices. But that doesn’t mean life is going to be easy. When predators barge through your hive’s front door, you need to bee like the Japanese Honey Bee and keep a trick hidden up your thorax. It’s just how a busy bee survives in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 33 – Southern Grasshopper Mouse: The Wasteland Warrior

“…and today we’re talking about a creature that is the half-orc barbarian class of mice and would give Cluny the Scourge a run for his money.”


The sonoran desert can be a hard place to find a good meal, especially for a hungry mouse. Plus, what can you do when one of your favorite meals also packs one of the most powerful stings in North America? Sometimes, survival comes down to chemical warfare and an aggressive attitude in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.