Wisconsin legislators last week voted on a new state symbol; the official state microbe is now Lactococcus lactis, the bacterium used to make cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses. As far as I can tell, Wisconsin will be the first state to declare an official state microbe. Plenty of states have...
April 19, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
The northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) is an adorable little nocturnal marsupial about the size of a cat. It lives in northern Australia and eats fruit, insects, lizards, small mammals and toads. But the quoll's toad-loving habits are driving the species towards extinction.Cane toads (Bufo marinu...
April 14, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
A mammoth discovery in 1705 sparked a fossil craze and gave the young United States a symbol of national might
April 2010 | By Richard Conniff
In Madagascar, an American researcher races to protect one of the world's rarest mammals, a white lemur known as the silky sifaka
April 2010 | By Erica R. Hendry
A Texas cattleman used genetic science to breed his masterpiece – a near-perfect Red Angus bull. Then nature took its course
April 2010 | By Jeanne Marie Laskas
Last year, I introduced you to seven threatened cats you may not have heard of. Now here's one more:Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)Lives in: Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and ThailandHabitat: tropical forest near rivers, lakes and swampsEats: small mammals, birds, amphibians, fishPhysical fe...
March 22, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Back from the brink of extinction, the beavers of Massachusetts are a crucial component of a healthy ecosystem
March 16, 2010 | By Jennifer Weeks
Humans—like many other animals, plants, fungi and even bacteria—have an internal biological clock that keeps our bodies on schedule. It helps us to know when to eat, when to sleep and when to wake. It's the reason many of us are feeling a bit off today, just two days after daylight saving time went...
March 15, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Living organisms are a great place to store carbon. Trees are the most common organisms to be used as carbon sinks, but other things might be even better. Whales are particularly good for this because they are large—blue whales are the largest animals on Earth—and when they die, they sink to the bo...
March 01, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Descended from animals brought by Spanish conquistadors centuries ago, wild horses roam the West. But are they running out of room?
March 2010 | By Abigail Tucker
The Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) pinpoints its meal with its sonar not by aiming in front but by "looking" off from side to side, according to a study in a recent issue of Science.With sonar, a bat (or whale or submarine) will emit a sound that is reflected off nearby objects. Those s...
February 19, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Sharing may seem like a small thing---we do it all the time. There's the neighbor who bakes you cookies or the co-worker who makes an extra cup of coffee for you. But sharing has been thought to be a uniquely human trait, not to be found in the animal world. For example, chimpanzees, our closest re...
February 18, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
The Lunar New Year was on Sunday, welcoming in the year of the Tiger. The World Wildlife Fund has taken that as a sign to launch their own tiger campaign "Tx2: Double or Nothing" with the aim of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022, the next year of the Tiger.Like many large predator species ...
February 16, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Could this cute little pika disappear, a victim of climate change? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says no; the agency declined to place the mammal on the Endangered Species List last Friday.The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is a cousin of the rabbit, though smaller and lacking the bunny's f...
February 10, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Smithsonian scientists use radio technology to track animals in an island jungle in the middle of the Panama Canal
February 03, 2010 | By Megan Gambino
The world's foremost lion expert reveals the brutal, secret world of the king of beasts
January 2010 | By Abigail Tucker
They are perhaps the world’s most notorious wild lions. Their ancestors were vilified more than 100 years ago as the man-eaters of Tsavo
January 2010 | By Paul Raffaele
Scientist Elisabeth Kalko uses high-tech equipment to track and study the 120 bat species in the region
December 28, 2009 | By Megan Gambino
Africa's lions may usually prey on zebras or giraffes, but they also attack humans, with some lions responsible for over 50 deaths
December 16, 2009 | By Abigail Tucker
An international group of scientists, reporting in Nature, has produced a draft genome sequence for the panda (Ailuropoda melanoleura), giving them a first look at the animal's genes and confirming that, yes, the panda is one weird creature.Giant pandas have been a recognized oddity for decades. We...
December 15, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski