January 2012

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Koalas, kangaroos and wallabies are abundant on the island

Family Reunion

Mammals come in three types and the best place to see them all in one place is this small island off the southern coast of Australia


Beautifully Adapted

Some of the world's oldest organisms left behind fossilized shells that, when translated to a large sculpture, bring an artistic edge to evolution

Isle Royale

Fight for Survival

Moose and wolves face off in the world’s longest-running study of predators and prey

Whales evolved from mammals

Whales Walked Here

In Egypt's Western Desert, evidence abounds that before they were the kings of the ocean, whales roamed the earth on four legs


Discovering Human Ancestors

The world's greatest source of hominid fossils is among dozens of caves just hours from Johannesburg

saddleback giant tortoise

Darwin's Laboratory

The exotic locale, home to tortoises, cacti, iguanas and finches, was a source of inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution

Spirit Lake 1982

In the Aftermath

Over thirty years after the volcanic eruption, plant and animal life has returned to the disaster site, a veritable living laboratory

The Jurassic Coast

Extinction Beach

The best opportunity to play paleontologist is on the southern coast of England, a site rich with marine reptile fossils

friar Gregor Mendel

Deciphering Heredity

At an abbey in the Czech town of Brno, a friar studied peas and laid the groundwork for modern genetics

Cristian Samper

Evolution Museum

The director of the Natural History Museum discusses why understanding evolution is so critical

Cormohipparion occidentale

Prehistoric Horses

Prehistoric rhinoceroses and horses died of volcanic ash inhalation 12 million years ago – their fossils are studied now as an example of natural selection

Stein Family

An Eye for Genius

Would you have bought a Picasso painting in 1905, before the artist was known? These siblings did


Catalyzing Modern Art

Like the Steins, other collectors and patrons influenced 20th-century art by supporting new genres and unheralded artists

Roger Williams

God, Government and Roger Williams' Big Idea

The Puritan minister originated a principle that remains contentious to this day—separation of church and state




From the Editor

Going Places

Whether as a tourist, an outcast or a pilgrim, traveling is discovering

Indelible Images

Cold Comfort

A 1912 photograph proves explorer Captain Robert Scott reached the South Pole—but wasn't the first


Galina Mindlin, Neurophychiatrist, New York City

Neuropsychiatrist Galina Mindlin suggests that listening to particular songs on your mp3 player can make you a more productive person


Way of the Wolverine

After all but disappearing, the mammals are again being sighted in Washington's Cascade Range

My Kind of Town

Keeping it Weird

Aren't the residents of the proudly hip city of Austin, Texas, just traditionalists at heart?

From the Castle

Inca Highway

Around the Mall

Deep Thinking

The Natural History museum offers an inside look at the dramatic rescue of men trapped half a mile underground in a Chilean copper mine

The Object at Hand

Cut and Paste

Thanks to an extensive restoration process, the public can now see how Jefferson created his own version of the Scripture

What's Up

What's Up

The Last Page

The Hoarding Instinct

Dispatches From My War on Stuff