Articles by Rachel Nuwer

Cher stands with Kaavan, the elephant she helped rescue.

How Cher Helped Rescue the World's Loneliest Elephant

A new documentary follows the five year struggle to save an elephant named Kaavan from abuse—and seeks to inspire similar efforts around the world

Panamanian golden frogs—such as F1, seen here—are native to the rainforests and cloud forests of Panama but haven't been seen in the wild since 2009. Each creature's bright coloration warns predators of its deadly skin, which contains enough toxins to kill 1,200 mice.

A Small Band of Panamanian Golden Frogs Is Saving Their Species From Oblivion

Victims of a deadly fungus, the amphibians are now being selectively bred through a program at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Shef, which currently operates in the Bay Area and New York City, features meals made by chefs specializing in dozens of cuisines and hundreds of dishes.

Sick of Quarantine Cooking? New Companies Let Chefs Prepare Homemade Meals for You

Startups like Shef and WoodSpoon give Covid-impacted professional chefs and excellent home cooks a platform for sharing their food

Writer and photographer Paul Koudounaris' new book, A Cat's Tale, finds his pet kitty, Baba, channeling famous and little-known felines from history.

A History of Felines, as Narrated and Illustrated by a Cat

Baba the cat is both storyteller and photographic model in what is perhaps the most unique cat history book ever published

In nature and in human history, cannibalism is actually quite mainstream. No humans were harmed in the making of this image, which is of Ribeye steak.

Fall in Love With Cannibalism This Valentine's Day

Pair your red wine and chocolate hearts with another delicious accompaniment: cannibalism, in the form of a new book

"Dude, I thought he said he'd be here at 4."

New Research

How Cheetahs “Spot” Each Other

Cheetah meetups: In a novel study, researchers show that roaming cheetahs likely use their noses to seek each other out after weeks apart

Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service carry elephant tusks from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country for a mass anti-poaching demonstration.

New Research

Most Ivory for Sale Comes From Recently Killed Elephants—Suggesting Poaching Is Taking Its Toll

Carbon dating finds that almost all trafficked ivory comes from animals killed less than three years before their tusks hit the market

Marián Cueto, author of a new study on fossilized cave lion claws, working in La Garma.

New Research

Humans May Have Hunted Cave Lions to Extinction—For Throw Rugs

Dear cave lions: We're so, so sorry.

Water drained from the tunnel will feed new aquaculture farms nearby.

Beneath a Mountain in Switzerland Lies the World’s Longest Shortcut

The massive structure, running 35.4 miles through the Alps, begins full operations this December

"Hey guys this sugar is great, but where can we find some morphine?"

Addict Ants Show That Insects Can Get Hooked on Drugs, Too

How researchers got a non-mammal hooked on drugs for the first time

A nesting male with a female in his nest.

New Research

Give it Up, Sneaky Males: These Lady Fish Have You Outwitted

Female ocellated wrasses have developed a surprising trick to control who fathers their offspring

Engraving of a woolly mammoth.

New Research

Solving a Mystery of Mammoth Proportions

Dwindling freshwater sealed the demise of the St. Paul woolly mammoths, and could still pose a threat today

Being a blood fluke is more popular than you might expect.

How Parasites Became So Popular

A new study finds that parasitism evolved independently 223 times. But that number is actually surprisingly low

Invasive kudzu girdles a forest.

Age of Humans

The Global Price of Invasive Species

The U.S. and China pose the greatest threat as exporters of invasive species, but other countries have more to lose

A preserved specimen of the Blue Lanternfish with bioluminescent spots. New research shows that the blue lanternfish's glow isn't that unique - among ocean-dwelling fish, four out of five are bioluminescent.

Way More Fish Can Make Their Own Light Than We Thought

Bioluminescence evolved a whopping 27 separate times among finned fishes living in the open ocean

In meerkat society, social rank is determined by size. New research shows that meerkats engage in competitive eating to stay on top.

Welcome to the Meerkat's World of Competitive Eating

When vying for dominance, meerkats increase their food intake to bulk up and maintain their place on the social pecking order

The spectral bat (Vampyrum spectrum), the world’s largest carnivorous bat, feeds on small birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals—including other bats.

The World’s Carnivorous Bats Are Emerging From the Dark

Meat-eating evolved multiple times among these mysterious species, yet all of the winged carnivores share similar physiological fixes

Researchers sort through finds recovered from trawling in the central section of the Amazon reef.

Shining Light on Brazil’s Secret Coral Reef

The massive, previously unstudied reef is unlike any other known on Earth

The Chilarchaea quellon trap-jaw spider can snap its long chelicerae shut in about a quarter of a millisecond.

Tiny Spiders Are the Fastest Known on Earth

Some trap-jaw spiders can snap their mouths shut with incredible force—in less than a millisecond

An adorable shelter dog shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a home—but it might if it comes with the label “pit bull.”

Call a Dog a Pit Bull and He May Have Trouble Finding a Home

Dogs labeled as pit bulls at shelters may wait three times longer to be adopted—even when they aren’t actually pit bulls

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