Roughly 4 percent of adults in the United States have chronic nightmares.

Can a Musical Reminder Banish Bad Dreams?

Scientists hope that playing certain chords while sleeping can trigger positive memories and prevent nightmares

A mountain lion, P-22, known to live in the Los Angeles area

L.A.'s Cougars Were Driven to Extremes by Wildfire

With less suitable habitat, the big cats traveled further and crossed dangerous roads more often

A bull walks in front of a cow. If they mate, the bull’s sperm will likely cluster together as they swim through the female’s reproductive organs.

Bull Sperm Get by With a Little Help From Their Friends

Traveling together helps the sperm navigate a tricky, sticky migration through a cow's reproductive tract

The uncovered skeleton shows where the lower left leg was amputated at the tibia and fibula.

Earliest Known Amputation Was Performed in Borneo 31,000 Years Ago

Prehistoric hunter gatherers carried out the surgery thousands of years before the previous recognized example

Sahelanthropus likely walked on the ground and used all its limbs to move around in trees.

Seven Million Years Ago, the Oldest Known Early Human Was Already Walking

Analysis of a femur fossil indicates that a key species could already move somewhat like us

Archaeologists excavate the remains of friars buried at the former Augustinian friary in central Cambridge.

Why Were Medieval Monks So Susceptible to Intestinal Worms?

Friars in Cambridge, England, suffered from these parasites at nearly double the rate found among average unwashed citizens

Based on the remnants left on pottery fragments, researchers can say northern Europeans have been drinking milk for 9,000 years.

Why Did Europeans Evolve Into Becoming Lactose Tolerant?

Famine and disease from millennia ago likely spurred the rapid evolution of the trait on the continent

Researcher David Webster of the University of North Carolina Wilmington prepares the bones of an Atlantic gray whale for transfer to the National Museum of Natural History.

Scientists Find Most Complete Atlantic Gray Whale Skeleton Ever

The fossil, uncovered in North Carolina, shows signs of butchering

The James Webb Space Telescope's first Deep Field image

NASA Releases First Breathtaking Images Taken by James Webb Space Telescope

The five pictures from the most powerful space observatory ever launched offer a deep look back in time and the promise of stellar things to come

A robotic finger coated with living human skin heals itself after researchers covered it with a collagen bandage.

Innovation for Good

How Humanlike Do We Really Want Robots to Be?

The latest development in robotics wraps a mechanical finger in human skin, leading to broader questions about the future of cyborg technology

A 3-D animation put together using data from lidar shows the urban center of Cotoca.

Innovation for Good

Lost Cities of the Amazon Discovered From the Air

Mapping technology cut through the canopy to detect sprawling urban structures in Bolivia that suggest sophisticated cultures once existed

A new book, coedited by Smithsonian entomologist Ted Schultz, explores and the fascinating ways in which human and nonhuman farmers compare, and asks what we might learn from other agricultural species.

Could Ants, Termites and Fishes Make Humans Better Farmers?

Scientists are now revealing the agricultural expertise that other species have cultivated for tens of millions of years

Replica plaquettes were placed next to a fire to see how ambient light made stone carvings of animals appear to move.

Ice Age Artists May Have Used Firelight to Animate Carvings

Researchers examined 15,000-year-old stone art and suggest the makers were inspired to show movement by dynamic lighting of the fireside environment

Homo heidelbergensis, a species whose skull is pictured here, likely lived in regions that overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe and Homo sapiens in Africa—according to climate modeling results released this week.

How Did Climate Change Affect Ancient Humans?

Sophisticated climate models were paired with evidence from the archaeological record to reveal where ancient humans may have lived and evolved

Geologic processes have led to changes in the water and gases released by mudpots, geysers and springs—like this one.

Five Big Changes Scientists Have Documented During Yellowstone National Park's 150-Year History

Scientists have monitored the region closely for generations, and these are some of the most dramatic shifts they've seen

Lions spritzed with the hormone oxytocin stayed closer together.

Planet Positive

Can Spraying Lions With the 'Love Hormone' Help Them Live Together?

Researchers administered oxytocin to captive animals, and preliminary results showed the big cats were less hostile towards strangers

Boas constrict their prey to death.

How Boa Constrictors Breathe While Squeezing the Life Out of Their Prey

Researchers outfitted the snakes with electrodes and scanned them using X-rays to see how the flexing predators managed to take in air

A greater horseshoe bat can use echolocation to target an insect meal.

Five Amazing Adaptations That Help Animals Thrive in the Dark

From snakes that use infrared radiation to find prey to deep sea fishes that communicate via bioluminescence, these creatures flourish without light

The remote Kibish Formation, in southern Ethiopia, features layered deposits more than 300 feet thick that have preserved many ancient human tools and remains. 

East Africa's Oldest Modern Human Fossil Is Way Older Than Previously Thought

Analysis of ash from a massive volcanic eruption places the famed Omo I fossil 36,000 years back in time

A roughly 2000-year-old mummified man of the Ansilta culture, from the Andes of San Juan, Argentina, had lice eggs and cement in his hair which preserved his own DNA

DNA Preserved in Lice Glue Reveals South American Mummies' Secrets

Remarkable samples from an ancient culture offer scientists a promising new way to study the past

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