Wildlife

Spotless starling chicks use a bright yellow oil to enhance the color of their mouth, which scientists verified by rubbing a cotton swab over the area.

The Done-Up Bird Gets the Worm

Starling chicks apply their preening oil as a lipstick to get more food from their parents

A sulphur-crested cockatoo bows down at the Madrid Zoo Aquarium. The birds have been seen dancing to music and opening trash bins to get to food.

What Can Dancing Cockatoos Teach Us About Ourselves?

An evolutionary biologist demystifies bird intelligence in an excerpt from her new book

ElSa is a prototype of a machine-learning-driven software that analyzes movement patterns in videos of humans and elephants.

Good News

This Teenager Invented a Low-Cost Tool to Spot Elephant Poachers in Real Time

Seventeen-year-old Anika Puri created a machine-learning-driven model that analyzes the movement patterns of humans and elephants

On Calvert Island, British Columbia, the subtle rock line of an extant clam garden is a reminder of how Indigenous peoples turned the sea into a shellfish garden.

How Indigenous Sea Gardens Produced Massive Amounts of Food for Millennia

Communities created bountiful food without putting populations at risk of collapse

A teabag contains traces of DNA from insects and other animals that interacted with the plants before they were harvested and packaged.

The DNA of Hundreds of Insect Species Is in Your Tea

Minute remnants preserved among dried leaves might help scientists track pests and monitor population declines

Researcher David Webster of the University of North Carolina Wilmington prepares the bones of an Atlantic gray whale for transfer to the National Museum of Natural History.

Scientists Find Most Complete Atlantic Gray Whale Skeleton Ever

The fossil, uncovered in North Carolina, shows signs of butchering

In Blaine, Washington, after the 2020 appearance of the two-inch long invasive species Vespa mandarinia (above: Washington State entomologist Chris Looney holds a native bald-faced hornet to compare it with the huge size of the invader), scientists worked to eradicate it.

Giant 'Murder' Hornet Has Landed at the Natural History Museum

After scientists studied the invasive insect, visitors are getting a first look at the fierce creature that could wreak havoc on U.S. agriculture

Sea turtles, such as olive ridleys and loggerheads, spend most of their time just below the ocean’s surface—the perfect place to collect data for tropical cyclone forecasting.

Tagged Turtles Are Helping Scientists Predict Cyclones

In the southeast Indian Ocean, turtle-borne sensors are filling in the gaps researchers need to forecast storms

Manx shearwaters breed on islands in the North Atlantic where they make nests in underground burrows.

This Seabird Species Dives Deeper When the Water is Clearer

Scientists suggest that cloudier waters, caused in part by climate change, could make it harder for Manx shearwaters to catch fish

Researchers say photo recognition could help scientists learn more about how seals move around.

Introducing Facial Recognition Software for Seals

A neural network, trained using thousands of photos of harbor seals, offers a noninvasive way of telling the pinnipeds apart

In the midst of fire- and drought-ravaged savanna in southeastern Madagascar, a curiously lush green forest is home to myriad unexpected life-forms, including a species of mouse lemur.

Into the Forbidden Forest

Famed American biologist Patricia Wright explores an astonishing breadth of biodiversity in the wilderness of Madagascar

The Cascade red fox (which isn't always red) does not hibernate. Along with pocket gophers, voles, birds and snowshoe hares, it eats fruits and insects. 

Planet Positive

Where Fox News Is Hard to Come By

A mountain range in the Pacific Northwest is a last bastion for a unique canine

Panama’s National Authority for the Environment (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, ANAM) manages Coiba National Park, which is accessible via permit. Guests can book overnight lodgings in several air-conditioned cabins next to the ANAM ranger station.

Panama

How a Former Penal Colony in Panama Became a Biodiversity Hotspot

For decades, Coiba Island was inhabited by prisoners. Now, scientists and adventurous tourists visit a national park teeming with wildlife

One reader wonders: Since purple dye was scarce, why didn’t people just combine blue and red?

Why Was Purple the Color of Royalty? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, spreads dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya and other viruses that infect humans.

Dengue Fever and Zika Virus Make Humans More Attractive to Mosquitoes

Scientists conducted human and mouse studies to find the skin bacteria responsible for the draw

A skeleton of the giant Triassic ichthyosaur Shonisaurus popularis hangs in the Nevada State Museum.

Whale-Sized Marine Reptiles Once Ruled the Seas

Paleontologists are beginning to learn how and why ichthyosaurs evolved into giants

Participants in First Nature Tours help mitigate damages from wildfires in Central Oregon.

Regenerative Tourism Invites Travelers to Get Their Hands Dirty

Vacations that allow tourists to participate in conservation activities, such as habitat restoration, are growing in popularity

A cat chews up and rolls around in the leaves of the silver vine plant.

When Cats Chew Catnip, It Works as a Bug Spray

Plant leaves that repel mosquitoes release a more effective repellant after being crushed up by felines

Chilean devil rays swim in the Atlantic Ocean near the Azores. 

What Are Scientists Learning About the Deepest Diving Creatures in the Ocean?

Animals-turned-oceanographers are helping biologists find out what they do when they get to the cold, dark depths

Recreational fishers have discovered a new way to scout for fish and cast a line.

Is Fishing With a Drone the Way of the Future?

Not everyone is on board. The technology is dividing the fishing community and drawing the ire of some politicians and scientists

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