Fairy-wrens, wasps, and a nearly 3,000 year old big toe
Two castes of paper wasps are genetically identical. Larvae turn into either workers or potential queens, depending on the behavior of adults, say University of Wisconsin scientists. If adults drum on nest walls with their antennae, the vibrations inhibit fat storage and produce workers.
Learn more about paper wasps at the Encyclopedia of Life.
Have you ever wondered how a simple shot can keep you from dying a horrible death? In this one-minute video, Ask Smithsonian’s host, Eric Schulze, unravels how vaccines boot-camp our bodies into shape, getting us ready to fight off deadly diseases
The spectacular sights of the cosmos are now as easy to see as the stars above, with the 18 lavishly illustrated lectures of A Visual Guide to the Universe, produced in partnership with the Smithsonian. Orbit Saturn, search for water and life on Mars, and witness an armada of space telescopes uncovering the secrets of the cosmos.