Fairy-wrens, wasps, and a nearly 3,000 year old big toe
Banded mongooses, small striped carnivores from sub-Saharan Africa, have unusually high "breeding synchrony"—64 percent of females give birth on the very same night. A 12-year study in Uganda reveals the reason for this phenomenon. If a mommy mongoose gives birth too early, other adults in the group may kill the new pup. And if a pup is born too late, it is too small to compete with larger litter mates and is more likely to starve.
Learn more about the banded mongoose at the Encyclopedia of Life.
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.