New Research at Smithsonian

An algae bloom off the coast of Maryland. Such blooms help create low-oxygen areas called dead zones as the algae respire or decompose.


Ocean Dead Zones Are Getting Worse Globally Due to Climate Change

Warmer waters and other factors will cause nearly all areas of low oxygen to grow by the end of the century

Sealskin clothing, shown here on Aaju Peter, is waterproof, durable, and warm.

To Survive Climate Change, We Should Be More Like the Eskimos

Arctic Studies Center director Bill Fitzhugh says that studying northern cultures can help people adapt to climate change

A team at the University of Arizona is developing seven state of the art mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope, currently under construction in Chile.

Making Super-Telescopes Requires Some Creative Engineering

The Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in Chile, could help scientists answer big questions about the universe

"Rapid and long-lasting climate change is a topic of growing concern as the world looks to the future," says the Smithsonian Institution's official climate change statement.

Age of Humans

The Smithsonian Institution Announces an Official Climate Change Statement

The bold assessment acknowledges that the global climate is warming because of human activities

New Research

Crabby Tenants Defend Corals From Marauding Predators

A diversity of coral guard-crabs is needed to fend off attacks by hungry snails and giant spiky sea stars

The cover of the 2014 State of the Birds 2014, the most extensive study of birds in the U.S. ever published.

The Most Extensive Report Ever on American Birds Says There’s Cause for Concern

Researchers from 23 groups just released the fifth State of the Birds report, which contains good and bad news

Matt Dean (left) and Jim Dines (right) analyzed pelvic bones of whales and dolphins from 29 different species.

New Research

Promiscuous Whales Make Good Use of Their Pelvises

Hips don’t lie: Whale pelvic bones are not vestigial but instead evolved to help the marine mammals maneuver better during sex

Seen in 2012, an excavator works on a road near an Indonesian oil palm plantation built on disputed lands once home to a rainforest.

The Best and Worst Places to Build More Roads

Road works today are “basically chaos”—but a new global road map could be key to protecting agriculture and nature

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets

He’s the most important human skeleton ever found in North America—and here, for the first time, is his story

Photos of two queen ants (left, the host species Mycocepurus goeldii and right, the parasitic species Mycocepurus castrator) shown side-by-side represent what may be an example of sympatric speciation—when a new species develops in the same geographic area with its sister species, but reproduces on its own.

This Ant Species May Support a Controversial Theory on Evolution

New research suggests that species don't have to be geographically separated in order to evolve

An olinguito in Tandayapa, Ecuador

One Year After Discovery, Crowdsourcing the Olinguito

A year ago, researchers discovered a rare new species. That was just the beginning

The ecology of the meat-eaters like Allosaurus fragilis  were likely threatened by the decline of the plant-eating dinosaurs, making the "perfect storm" for a mass extinction

Why the Dinosaurs Could Have Had a Chance of Surviving the Asteroid Strike

A new study suggests it wasn't just the asteroid that killed the dinos, but that other factors weakened their ability to survive it

Skulls of the genus Homo, including two from Homo erectus on the right

New Research

Ability to Adapt Gave Early Humans the Edge Over Other Hominins

Features thought to be characteristic of early <em>Homo</em> lineages actually evolved before <em>Homo</em> arose. Rather, our flexible nature defines us

Inside the semi-subterranean 19th-century burial vault, conditions had deteriorated. The wooden shelves that held the caskets of nearly two dozen individuals had disintegrated. Bones were exposed.

To Discover What Life Was Like in 19th Century D.C., a Smithsonian Scientist Investigates a Tomb

Forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley digs into an 1835 vault and reveals the startling history of a famous Washington family

An oil tanker makes its way to Valdez, Alaska. The Arctic’s rich stores of oil and natural gas make it an attractive destination for future voyages.

Arctic Shipping: Good For Invasive Species, Bad For the Rest of Nature

A pair of Smithsonian marine biologists argue that a warming Arctic puts the area at risk for inviting invasive species

A drawing of the West Indian or Caribbean monk seal based on a specimen collected in Matanzas, Cuba.

New Research

For the First Time in More Than 100 Years, Scientists Discover New Seal Genus

The now extinct Caribbean monk seal shares an evolutionary connection with the endangered Hawaiian monk seal--one more reason to save the species

Dinosaurs came in all shapes and sizes, but only the small, feathered variety survived.

New Research

Ancient Birds Avoided Mass Extinction By Shrinking

The shrinkage process was well underway before an asteroid brought doom to the dinosaurs 66 million years ago

At the Mpala research facility in Kenya, scientists can use fences to exclude large animals, such as zebras, from ecosystems to study the effect of their absence.

New Research

How Will Wildlife Loss Affect Diseases That Jump From Animals to Humans?

In an east African case study, scientists found that taking large wildlife out of an ecosystem increases the number of disease-infested rodents

An illustration of the large, feathered Anzu wyliei depicts several striking anatomical features—its long tail, feathered arms, toothless beak and a tall crest on the top of its skull.

Scientists Discover a Large and Feathered Dinosaur that Once Roamed North America

The 'Anzu wyliei' species looks like a cross between a chicken and a lizard

An artist's rendering of the Big Bang.

New Research

A New Cosmic Discovery Could Be The Closest We’ve Come to the Beginning of Time

Scientists detect the signature of gravitational waves generated in the first moments of the Big Bang

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