Science

Not just food: Plant chemicals within nectar yield honey that packs a pharmaceutical punch and helps keep bees healthy.

Honey Has Numerous Health Benefits for Bees

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the pros of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive

All mollusks build their own shells.

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How Do Snails Get Their Shells? And More Questions From Our Readers

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Single penguins will snag mates, and couples, both new and established, will start breeding around January or February.

The South African Town Where Penguins Rule

A colony of 1,000 breeding pairs of African penguins nests on the beaches and in the gardens of Simon's Town

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How Science Conquered Diphtheria, the Plague Among Children

It was highly contagious, lethal and mysterious. Then medical experts developed treatments and vaccines, and the affliction disappeared—but not entirely

After a year of strict Covid-19 lockdowns which brought a severe economic standstill, Panama is awaiting the return of visitors and the restart of the tourism industry.

For Panama's Fall Whale-Watching Season, Scientists Offer Tips for Safeguarding These Magnificent Creatures of the Deep

For humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins and coastal manatees, tourism is a mixed bag, making vigilance ever more important

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for captive apes.

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How Do Gorillas Get Heart Disease? And More Questions From Our Readers

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

While this year’s Arctic sea ice extended further than last year’s, there still wasn’t as much of it as there was only two decades ago. Thinner and younger sea ice in winter and less ice in the summer are two of the many elements of the Arctic’s new reality.

Smithsonian Voices

Climate Change Redefines Meaning of Normal in the Arctic

As Earth’s climate changes, people around the world are witnessing insidious changes and responding to their new normal

The Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems working group combines expertise from paleontologists and ecologists to improve our understanding of ancient and modern ecosystems

Smithsonian Voices

A New Study Shows How Evolution Was Driven by How Different Species Interacted

Competition for resources, symbiosis or predation shapes the evolution and survival of species

Researchers from the Smithsonian's Global Health Program found six new coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar.

Smithsonian Scientists Discover Six New Coronaviruses in Bats in Myanmar

The new viruses are not harmful to humans or closely related to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19

On April 17, 1970, the parachutes carrying the Apollo 13 spacecraft and its crew cleared the clouds and the world breathed a collective sigh of relief.

How the Crew of the Damaged Apollo 13 Came Home

Using the lunar module as a lifeboat and employing techniques never before considered, the astronauts' ordeal ended triumphantly

In a release the Zoo reported that last week: “Keepers noticed that Ambika’s right-front leg, which bore the brunt of her weight, developed a curve that weakened her ability to stand. Though she had some good days and some bad days, staff grew concerned when she chose not to explore her habitat."

National Zoo Mourns Death of Asian Elephant

The 72-year-old animal was the third oldest in the North American population

Vivid colors and images splash across a five-panel screen, bringing Joseph Banks and James Cook's voyage to life

250 Years Ago, Joseph Banks Documented Australia's Glorious Botanical Bounty

A film on view at the Natural History Museum showcases the diversity of flora and fauna at the time of European arrival

Three green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, on a coral reef, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

Coral Reefs Face the Dual Threats of Ocean Acidification and Erosion

As coral tissues die off, the exposed calcified skeleton becomes vulnerable to organisms that eat away at the dying reefs

Step aside, Mufasa. In the real world, females run the pride.

Science in the Movies

Ten Things We’ve Learned About Lions Since Disney’s Original 'The Lion King'

Since the animated movie came out 25 years ago, zoologists have expanded our understanding of these fierce carnivores

An image of a lion, like the designs on Lydian coins during the Iron Age

What Was the World's First Currency and More Questions From Our Readers

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Smithsonian Voices

How a Smithsonian Ecologist Is Working With Local Communities to Plan for the Future

To understand impact of changes in land use in Northern Virginia, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute developed the Changing Landscapes Initiative

The residents and tribal members of Isle de Jean Charles are the first federally-funded community to be moved because of environmental degradation and displacement.

Prospects Are Looking Up for This Gulf Coast Tribe Relocating to Higher Ground

As Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles slips away, the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe plans community renewal and a museum for their new home

A koala in the Vienna zoo.

Koalas Use Ancient Viral DNA to Neutralize New Invaders

And the research on the fluffy marsupials may help unlock the secrets of the human genome’s viral relics

The link between sunscreen and skin protection is watertight. Unfortunately, many common sunscreens may be devastating for the health of coral reefs.

Can We Create Sunscreen That Protects Both Humans and Coral Reefs?

Sunscreen is vital for skin protection. But researchers are finding that even 'reef-friendly' versions may pose serious environmental threats

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