Wildlife

A sulfur-crested cockatoo flips open the lid of a bin.

Why Australia's Trash Bin–Raiding Cockatoos Are the 'Punks of the Bird World'

The birds can bust open garbage lids—and the behavior is catching on fast, which could be a sign of social learning

The fuzz of the fingernail-sized rosy maple moth may remind you of a teddy bear.

These Moths Are So Gorgeous They 'Put Butterflies to Shame'

To celebrate National Moth Week, bask in the beautiful variety of these oft-overlooked insects

There's more to a flamingo than its bright pink feathers.

Smithsonian Voices

10 Things You Didn't Know About Flamingos

There's more to these birds than their bright pink feathers; get to know these delightfully unusual creatures

Southern giant petrels have so far killed nearly 100 Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses on Gough Island in the South Atlantic.

Giant New Predators Killing Imperiled Albatrosses

Videos show southern giant petrels killing Gough Island’s beautiful endangered seabirds

The ancient mammal Gobioconodon (right) squabbles with a therian mammal over a meal in the Late Cretaceous.

Other Mammals, Not Dinosaurs, Kept Our Ancestors Down

The asteroid impact that ended the Cretaceous gave our mammalian ancestors, the therians, an edge over their mammalian competitors

An Atlantic White Shark Conservancy boat and crew work to tag a great white shark in the waters off the shore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 13, 2019.

Can New Tools Help Beachgoers Predict the Likelihood That a Shark Is Nearby?

Great whites have returned to Cape Cod, and efforts are underway to help people coexist with them

A seabird known as the white tern or Manu-o-Kū has surprised birders by taking up residence in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Future of Conservation

Meet the White Tern, a Seabird Surprisingly Thriving in a Big City

The bird—also known as Manu-o-Kū—has excited ornithologists, its population growing within Honolulu, the busiest of Hawai'i's urban landscapes

A black widow spider hangs from its web.

Eight Fun Facts About Black Widows

The venomous spiders are nimble, secretive and dangerous

Citizen science can play a crucial role in helping solve the mystery of what’s happening to these birds.

Smithsonian Voices

Help Scientists Solve the Riddle of What Is Killing Birds in the Mid-Atlantic

Smithsonian bird researchers are calling on citizen scientists to help figure out the cause

Scientists reconstructed a new beetle species in 3-D thanks to X-ray scans of fossilized poop.

New Species of Beetle Found in 230-Million-Year-Old Feces

The insect is older than any amber-encased specimen, and may inspire scientists to look for more insects in fossilized dung

Fire ant swarms form tentacles when they float on water.

Floating Fire Ant Rafts Form Mesmerizing Amoeba-Like Shapes

Researchers say the morphing colonies help ants feel for solid land in a flooded environment—and might inspire swarming robots one day

Townsend captured the Oregon dark-eyed junco, above, and the Townsend’s warbler, below, named after him—for now.

Birds Collected Nearly Two Centuries Ago Still Help Scientists Today

The specimens gathered during an illustrious expedition by naturalist John Kirk Townsend continue to provide value to researchers

Western lowland gorilla Moke eating a snack

Smithsonian Voices

The Science Behind the Snacks Animals Eat

Meals to please the palates of giant pandas, flamingos and fishing cats

James Eike’s field book entry for April 6, 1971; his 31st Anniversary.

Smithsonian Voices

A Bird-Watcher's Field Books Became a Journal of Life's Passions and Travails

Bird lover and citizen scientist James W. Eike documented birds near his home in northern Virginia along with the joys of his family life

An artist’s rendering of Oculudentavis naga

World's 'Smallest Dinosaur' Revealed to Be a Mystery Reptile

Paleontologists analyzed two skulls and made the call, but aren't sure about the exact type of animal they've discovered

This jellyfish, Scolionema suvaense, was raised in the National Museum of Natural History’s Invertebrate Zoology “AquaRoom.” Here, the species is sinking through food with its tentacles spread wide.

Smithsonian Voices

Live Jellyfish Make a Splash in Marine Education

Smithsonian's AquaRoom helps scientists learn more about these animals’ lives and educate future generations about their marine neighbors

This bison calf, standing in the doorway of a barn on the Blackfeet Reservation, is a symbol of hope for the Blackfoot people.

When the Bison Return, Will Their Habitat Rebound?

An effort to bring wild bison to the Great Plains aims to restore one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems

A Libo leopard gecko (Goniurosaurus liboensis). After this species of cave gecko was first described in 2013, it quickly appeared online for sale.

Reptile Traffickers Often Target Newly Described Species

Traders trawl recently published scientific papers to get the names and locations of animals to sell to collectors

Southern cassowary brothers Irwin (left) and Dundee (right).

Smithsonian Voices

Meet Cassowary Brothers Irwin and Dundee, Descendants of Dinosaurs

This giant bird is considered to be the dinosaurs’ closest living relative

Illustration of Smilodon fatalis cubs playing
together.

The Softer Side of Sabercats

The iconic fanged predators may have raised their young for years—dragging baby mastodon bones home for them and slowly teaching them how to hunt

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