Magazine

A logging road in Montana’s Lolo National Forest. America’s woodlands are carved up by obsolete roads that fragment wildlife habitat and degrade fragile ecosystems. Now ecologists are calling in bulldozers to rip them up.

Planet Positive

The Case for Destroying Old Forest Roads

Can demolishing abandoned dirt paths point the way to a more sustainable future?

Gijon, an Aaron program that Cohen debuted in 2007, created jungle-like scenes—distinct from the figures created by the previous version of the software, Aaron KCAT.

The First A.I.-Generated Art Dates Back to the 1970s

A new show at the Whitney showcases the visionary who devised the art world’s first artificial intelligence

A dugong, also known as a sea cow, in a protected marine reserve in the Philippines. On the mammal’s underside, remora fish snack on parasites—and dugong poop.

The Dugong, a Huggable, Seagrass-Loving Sea Cow, Has a New Best Friend: Drones

Keeping tabs on the species' populations is surprisingly hard. A new aerial effort tracks the marks they leave behind

A close-up of Sojourner Truth’s face in statue created by Woodrow Nash. An 1883 New York Times obituary described Truth’s “tall, masculine-looking figure” and “deep, guttural, powerful voice.”

The Remarkable Untold Story of Sojourner Truth

Feminist. Preacher. Abolitionist. Civil rights pioneer. Now the full story of the American icon's life and faith is finally coming to light

James W. Barr and Claudia E. Sharperson Barr (above, left and right), the maternal grandparents of senior editor Tracy Scott Forson. Diana Anagho (center), mother of heritage travel organizer Ada Anagho Brown. Brown as a child (far right). Harriet Tubman (below, left). Lewis Douglass (bottom), son of abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass.

Tracing a Lost Ancestry

What Genealogical Records Taught Me About My Family

For millions of enslaved people, bondage stole more than freedom—it severed a link to the past. Now their descendants are recovering their heritage

This blue whale skull is one of the largest in any collection on earth.

How an Eye-Popping Museum Specimen Boosted the Beleaguered Blue Whale

For decades, visitors to the Smithsonian could behold the immense size of the sea mammal with their own eyes

This plate, depicting a banquet being prepared for Babur and his relatives, is one of 143 miniatures in a 1590 illustrated version of The Babur-nama.

Feast Your Eyes on the Stunning Islamic Art in This New Exhibition

A sumptuous new show in Los Angeles aims to leave museumgoers hungry for more

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Readers Respond to the December 2023 Issue

Your feedback on robot artists, marsupial frogs and abolitionist icons

I thought I saw more red foliage this fall. Is that related to climate change?

Does Climate Change Affect Leaves' Fall Colors? And More Questions From Our Readers

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

Born in Cameroon, Ada Anagho Brown moved to the United States as a child and now plans trips to Central and West African countries based on her clients’ DNA.

Tracing a Lost Ancestry

A Journey to Discover an African Homeland

New generations of Black Americans are taking intimate tours that connect them with the lands and cultures their ancestors were forced to leave behind

Left, Bartram’s illustration of Annona grandiflora, a member of the pawpaw family, which appeared in the naturalist’s 1791 Travels, right.

More Than 200 Years After He Toured Florida, America's First Great Environmentalist Is Inspiring Locals to Reconnect With Nature

A new generation is discovering the rambling Southern route of William Bartram and his legendary 1791 travelogue

Paola Magni in 2022, taking a water sample from Italy’s Lake Bracciano—the site of the mysterious death of a local teenager, ten years before.

The Scientist Using Bugs to Help Solve Murders

At crime scenes around the world, the forensic entomologist Paola Magni is taking her field into uncharted waters

Sunlight illuminates a plaque in Charleston, South Carolina, honoring 36 likely enslaved people—ranging in age from 3 to over 50—whose remains were discovered in 2013.

Tracing a Lost Ancestry

A New Project Uses Isotopes to Pinpoint the Birthplaces of the Enslaved

In South Carolina, members of the local Black community are teaming up with scientists to produce a novel study of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

Ruiz-Redondo examines a partially flooded chamber of Cova Dones. 

Just How Old Are the Cave Paintings in Spain's Cova Dones?

With help from a now-extinct bear, archaeologists have unlocked the mysteries of Spain’s Cova Dones

Coltrane rehearses backstage before a show in London in November 1961. 

Tracing a Lost Ancestry

How John Coltrane's 'My Favorite Things' Changed American Music

Looking back at the moment when one of our greatest jazzmen raised the stakes for everyone who came after

A leatherback turtle returns to the sea after nesting. Females spend three to five months at a time nesting, laying eggs for periods of about nine days.

Should Endangered Turtles Have Legal Rights?

To protect the majestic reptiles around the isthmus of Panama, an ambitious conservation group digs deep both on and off the beach

The fateful tent on display at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

From These Modest Wartime Quarters, George Washington Kept the Revolution Alive

The general's war tent, an iconic part of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, carries as much symbolism now as it did then

Ai Weiwei’s relocation to Portugal was largely practical, offering affordable land and access to European residency and travel visas. Visiting for the first time, he says, “There was no traffic on the road, a continuous empty landscape, just trees and grass. I thought it would be a nice place to settle.”

Ai Weiwei's Latest Work Is a Monument to His Past

The groundbreaking, exiled Chinese artist builds a hopeful new life—and a new studio, in the Portuguese countryside

A player serving on an outdoor court. In 2022, the Association of Pickleball Professionals estimated there were 36.5 million pickleball players in the U.S.

How the Obscure Sport of Pickleball Became King of the Court

With origins dating back to the 16th century, paddle sports have always had an unmistakable allure

Nubian giraffes in South Sudan during an aerial survey in April 2023. The area is home to what is probably the planet’s largest land mammal migration.

Giraffes Are Notoriously Hard to Track, But New Technology Is Helping Scientists Protect the Beloved Species

As populations plummet across Africa, researchers have designed an ingenious method to study the graceful creatures

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