Wildlife

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

For the first time in 16 years, a pair of golden-headed lion tamarins were born on the morning of October 7, 2021. New mom Lola carries the new infants on her back and cradles them close to her body. 

Zoo's Historic Newborn Tamarin Twins Cling to Mom, Doing What Healthy Babies Do

Keepers worked with breeding parents Lola and Coco, who soon “become very interested in each other”

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

A starlit night at Joshua Tree National Park.

What Does the Future Hold for the Joshua Tree?

The beloved desert denizen is feeling the heat

Gigantic and extinct, Steller’s sea cows would have played an important role in shaping their environment.

How Steller's Sea Cows Impacted the Environment They Left Behind

A new paper explores the ways these extinct megaherbivores would have reshaped kelp forests across the North Pacific

A gharial has the same skull shape as some extinct crocodiles. This skull shape has likely evolved three different times during the history of crocodiles.

Modern Crocodiles Are Evolving at a Rapid Rate

Despite their reputation as "living fossils," crocodiles have changed dramatically in the last two million years

The embryo of a small-spotted catshark, safe inside its egg case, is being raised at the aquarium Oceanogràfic València by Associació Lamna, a nonprofit that promotes shark conservation and research. At this stage, the young shark's gills are still external and it is growing from the sustenance provided in the yolk, visible at the bottom of the egg case.

Biologists Rescue Unborn Baby Sharks at Fish Markets

Scientists are collecting egg cases from recently caught pregnant sharks, raising the babies and releasing them into the wild

None

Ode to an Orca

A photographer takes the plunge into forbidding waters off Norway for an extraordinary encounter with orcas

With headlines like "This James Bond Catches Birds Instead Of Villains," newspapers nationwide had a field day when ornithologist James Bond found a rare curlew in 1965—a species considered extinct for more than a decade.

Who Was the Real James Bond?

Author Ian Fleming named his 007 after an influential ornithologist

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.

Ask Smithsonian

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

You've got questions. We've got experts

Killer whales are among the oceans’ top predators. But in Iceland, pilot whales have them running scared.

Why Do Pilot Whales Chase Killer Whales Near Iceland?

Scientists are working to understand the strange inter-cetacean conflict

A researcher holds a banded vampire bat.

Vampire Bats Call Out to Friends to Share Blood Meals

After they prep bite sites to lap the blood out of live cows, females invite their roostmates to join them

A diver swims over a bleached section of the Great Barrier Reef near Heron Island.

The Planet Has Lost Half of Its Coral Reefs Since 1950

A new study finds dramatic declines in coral reef cover, biodiversity and fish abundance

Researchers with the Kivi Kuaka project are tagging a variety of Pacific birds, hoping they will reveal differences in their capacity to detect and respond to dangerous storms and tsunamis.

Can Birds Tip Us Off to Natural Disasters?

Researchers think birds can hear hurricanes and tsunamis—a sense they’re hoping to tap into to develop a bird-based early warning system

The researchers retrieved frog foam from the forests of Trinidad and brought it back to their lab after removing the eggs, hatching them and returning the tadpoles to the wild.

Frog Foam May Help Deliver Drugs to Human Skin

A new study suggests the concoction created by mating amphibians may help dispense medicine slowly over time

A thermal image shows a parrot releasing heat through its beak and talons. Researchers have found that since 1871 some parrots have increased their beak area up to 10 percent.

Animals Are Changing Shape to Cope With Rising Temperatures

Birds, bats, rabbits, mice and other creatures are growing bigger body parts to cool themselves off

A Brief, Fascinating History of Ambergris

The odd, enduring appeal of a scarce commodity few people use and no one really needs

A spotted skunk does a handstand.

Scientists Identify Seven Species of Spotted Skunks, and They All Do Handstands Before They Spray

Researchers analyzed hundreds of spotted skunk specimens to classify the animals

The Nautilus, a research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, and the ROV Hercules (in the water) on the hunt for a cancer-busting marine bacteria.

A Marine Bacteria Species Shows Promise for Curing an Aggressive Brain Cancer

A new glioblastoma drug is derived from a microbe found in the ocean at depths of up to 6,500 feet

loading icon