Baby Animals

The Octopus bimaculoides, or the California two-spot octopus

Scientists Figure Out Why Female Octopuses Self-Destruct After Laying Eggs

A new study finds several biochemical pathways, including one that produces a precursor to cholesterol, may be key to this behavior

Peconic, a 3-month-old gray seal, makes his way back to the ocean.

Good News

Baby Seal Found in a Traffic Circle on Long Island Released Back Into the Ocean

The three-month-old gray seal had wandered through streets and parking lots until it was captured by a local nonprofit, rehabilitated and released

"The Mice at Work: Threading the Needle," The Tailor of Gloucester artwork, 1902; watercolour, ink and gouache on paper.

Leap Into the Surprising, Art-Filled Life of Beatrix Potter in a New Exhibition

The beloved author of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" also wrote diaries in code, sketched fungi and raised prize-winning sheep

Betty White poses with a parrot at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2014.

Good News

Animal Shelters See an Influx of Donations in Honor of Betty White

Fans donated thousands of dollars to local animal shelters on what would have been her 100th birthday

A female dolphin cald swims about her mother at the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium in 2018.

Female Dolphins Have a Fully Functional Clitoris

A new study finds surprising similarities between human and cetacean sexual anatomy

Panda cub Xiao Qi Ji somersaults through the fresh powder.

See Pandas, Elephants, Cheetahs and More Enjoy a Snow Day at the National Zoo

At least six inches of snowfall covered Washington, D.C. this week causing closures and delays for residents, but the zoo animals were out to play

A Magdalena River turtle hatchling

Inside the Local Movement to Recover Colombia’s River Turtles

In river basins across the country, communities are working to protect the endangered and endemic reptiles

The California condor's population stooped dangerously low to 22 individuals in the 1980s, and scientists have been running a captive breeding program since then to save these birds.

California Condors Surprise Scientists With Two 'Virgin Births'

Genetic data revealed that two females laid fatherless eggs

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”

Scientists first spotted the tracks, including this one from a calf, after storms in 2020 swept away several feet of sand in Spain.

Fossilized Footprints Reveal an Ancient Elephant Nursery in Spain

Straight-tusked elephants as young as two months old trampled around the area with their mothers

Musk ducks join an elite group of non-human animals that can mimic speech.

Listen to Ripper the Duck Say 'You Bloody Fool!'

New research highlights the rare trait of vocal learning among animals with examples of musk ducks imitating human speech and other noises

Mother and pup of the bat species Saccopteryx bilineata. Similar to human infants, pups begin babbling at a young age as they develop language skills.

Baby Bats Babble—Just Like Human Infants

Both species make similar sounds as they develop language skills at an early age

In an event where a cheetah attacks an impala and the prey survives, the trauma can leave lasting effects on the survivor’s behavior that resemble post-traumatic stress disorder in people.

Do Wild Animals Get PTSD?

Many creatures show lasting changes in behavior and physiology after a traumatic experience

One year ago, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed Xiao Qi Ji—a precious giant panda born in the midst of a global pandemic.

Smithsonian Voices

Watch Giant Panda Cub Eating Sweet Potatoes, Tumbling With Toys and Tasting Snow

Celebrate Xiao Qi Ji's birthday with a look back at his first year

The most recent additions to the scimitar-horned oryx herd at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are two calves borne from an improved artificial insemination method.

Future of Conservation

Two New Scimitar-Horned Oryx Calves Born Through Improved Methods of Artificial Insemination

The assisted reproduction method will help with population management efforts of these critically endangered species and their rewilding

The specimen (pictured) was so well-preserved in permafrost that it's whiskers are still intact.

Near-Perfect Cave Lion Cub Corpse Found in Siberian Permafrost

Scientists discover two mummified cubs estimated to be approximately 28,000 and 43,000 years old

Pork producers are challenging the law in Iowa, where a third of the country’s hogs are raised, claiming it will cost “tens of millions of dollars” annually to meet the requirements.

New Animal Welfare Law Could Drive Up Pork Prices in California—and Nationwide

In 2018, Californians overwhelmingly supported Proposition 12, an initiative designed to create humane conditions for farm animals

Emperor penguins are the world's largest penguin, standing almost four feet tall and weighing around 88 pounds. They live almost exclusively in Antarctica and need sea ice to survive.

New Research

Climate Change Poised to Push Emperor Penguins to the Brink of Extinction

Study estimates 98 percent of colonies will be quasi-extinct by 2100 unless the world drastically reduces its greenhouse gas emissions

Paleontologist François Therrien measures the jaws of a Gorgosaurus.

Tyrannosaurs Dominated Their Cretaceous Ecosystems

Studies of body size and bite force show that the predators, from babies to adults, filled many niches in their environment

Two researchers observe a bird carcass found at a wind energy facility.

Dogs Sniff Out Answers to Bat and Bird Fatalities Near Wind Turbines

Aided by canines, researchers found larger models do not necessarily pose a greater threat to wildlife

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