Biologists of the past often explained the vast spectrum of animal genitalia with "lock-and-key": the hypothesis that vaginas and penises had primarily evolved to fit into each other mechanically. Today, there is a growing appreciation for the myriad of forces acting on genitals.

Why Have Female Animals Evolved Such Wild Genitals?

From ducks to dolphins, females have developed sex organs that help them deter undesirable suitors and derive pleasure from non-reproductive behavior

Human evolution is “one of the highest hurdles — if not the highest hurdle — to science education in America,” says Smithsonian's Rick Potts. Here, an early human fossil found in Broken Hill, Zambia.

How to Talk With Evangelicals About Evolution

For two years, researchers from the Smithsonian traveled the country explaining the science of our shared origins


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Earth’s Past Climates

They have a lot to tell us about our future

Women grieving over the coffins of those killed in the Kielce pogrom as they are transported to the burial site in the Jewish cemetery.

Kielce: The Post-Holocaust Pogrom That Poland Is Still Fighting Over

After World War II, Jewish refugees found they could never return to their native land—a sentiment that some echo today

The Ten Best Science Books of 2017

These books not only inspired awe and wonder—they helped us better understand the machinations of our world

Thought leaders gathered at the National Museum of Natural History to discuss the past, present and future of the flu.

When the Next Pandemic Hits, Will We Be Prepared?

The question isn’t whether a pandemic will strike—it’s how it will play out.

“And bats with baby faces in the violet light / Whistled, and beat their wings”—T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

How a Deadly Flesh-Eating Fungus Helped Make Bats Cute Again

A silver lining to the worldwide epidemic of white nose syndrome: People like bats more now

Think human dating is hard? Try being a panda.

Why Panda Sex Isn't Black and White

Reproductive experts weigh in on panda porn, panda Viagra and other biological myths

The Nobel Prize, named after the repentant creator of dynamite, has been awarded nearly every year since 1901.

What Does It Take to Win a Nobel Prize? Four Winners, in Their Own Words

Some answers: Messiness, ignorance and puzzles

The Best Books About Science of 2016

Take a journey to the edge of human knowledge and beyond with one of these mind-boggling page-turners

Just look at that vampiric cutie.

How Bats Ping On the Wing—And Look Cute Doing It

Researchers reveal how bats turn echolocation signals into a 3-D image of moving prey


How Earthquakes and Volcanoes Reveal the Beating Heart of the Planet

The Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program has stitched together a visual archive of the world’s earthquakes and volcanoes

Do outdoor cats need to die?

The Moral Cost of Cats

A bird-loving scientist calls for an end to outdoor cats "once and for all"

Ostrich Feather Hat, 1910-1912

100 Years Later, the First International Treaty to Protect Birds Has Grown Wings

The U.S. and Canada celebrate the centennial of an agreement recognizing that birds see no borders

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