Biology

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are two of the giant pandas who lived at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in recent years. They were returned to China in November 2023.

More Giant Pandas Are Coming to the U.S. in a New Loan From China

China plans to send a male and a female panda to the San Diego Zoo as early as this summer, and negotiations are underway for pandas' possible return to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Sandhill cranes fly over Nebraska's Platte River, where they gather each year during their spring migration, in 2009.

38,000 Sandhill Cranes Flock to Nebraska in a Record-Breaking Start to Spring Migration

Wildlife biologists counted the birds—likely lured by the region’s mild winter temperatures—during their first aerial survey of the season

The world's oldest living wild platypus (not pictured) is nearly 24 years old.

The World's Oldest Wild Platypus Shocks Scientists at 24 Years of Age

The animal was tagged in 2000, when it was estimated to be about one year old, and re-discovered alive in the wild last year

Charlotte, a round stingray, was determined to be pregnant, despite not having a male ray companion for at least eight years.

A Female Stingray That Hasn't Had a Mate in Eight Years Is Mysteriously Pregnant. Is a Shark the Father?

Though the round stingray, named Charlotte, shares her aquarium tank with two male sharks, experts say it is impossible for a shark to impregnate a ray

An etching of Darwin's study, commissioned a week after he died.

See What Charles Darwin Kept in His 'Insanely Eclectic' Personal Library, Revealed for the First Time

On the English naturalist's 215th birthday, more than 9,000 titles from his expansive collection are now accessible online

The 23 pairs of human chromosomes. People who inherit two tall X chromosomes (bottom right) are much more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than people with one X and one short Y chromosome.

Why Do Women Get More Autoimmune Diseases? Study of Mice Hints at Answers

Four in five people with an autoimmune disease are women. New research points to an RNA molecule involved in silencing one of their X chromosomes as a potential culprit

Ice worms spend most of the day burrowing their way through the cold, dark interior of the glacier, coming to the surface only in the afternoon to feed on algae and bacteria.

This Eight-Day Festival Celebrates One of Alaska's Weirdest Worms

Welcome to the Cordova Ice Worm Festival, a quirky local tradition honoring the mysterious creatures that live in glacial ice

Western monarchs prefer to cluster in areas with little to no wind, high humidity, dappled sunlight and easy access to nectar-producing plants.

Monarch Butterflies Wintering in California Are Down 30 Percent From Last Year

The insects' population is slowly rebounding from a historic low in 2020, but they remain in crisis, having declined by more than 95 percent since the 1980s

When researchers reviewed footage of flying insects, they saw that the bugs tilted their backs toward the source of artificial light.

Why Are Flying Insects 'Attracted' to Lights? Scientists May Finally Have an Answer

Moths and other insects might turn their backs toward the brightest source of light around—which has historically been the sky—to determine which way is up and which is down, according to a new paper

A mother "Dorado" octopus, one of the newly announced species, protects her eggs some 3,000 meters under the ocean's surface.

Biologists Discover Four New Octopus Species in the Deep Ocean Off Costa Rica

One species was found brooding eggs near low-temperature hydrothermal vents, a rare sight that could unlock new information on deep-sea cephalopods

One possible explanation for the low-frequency noises? Mating black drum fish.

Mysterious Bass Sounds Irking Florida Residents Might Just Be Fish Mating Loudly

The Tampa community raised money to fund an investigation, and now, a local scientist will install underwater microphones to look for the source of the racket

Female northern white rhinos Najin and Fatu are the last of their species and reside at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

World's First IVF Rhino Pregnancy Could Save a Nearly Extinct Subspecies

Only two northern white rhinos remain, but the new reproductive breakthrough may pull them back from the brink of erasure

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Top Harvard Cancer Institute Will Retract Six Studies and Correct 31 More After Photoshop Claims

British biologist and blogger Sholto David alleged that executives at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute published papers with manipulated data and images

This spring, Brood XIII and Brood XIX of periodical cicadas will emerge together for the first time since 1803.

Cicadas Are Coming: Rare 'Dual Emergence' Could Bring One Trillion of the Bugs This Year

The 13-year and 17-year broods that will emerge from underground this spring will be appearing together for the first time in 221 years

Colored scanning electron micrograph of a water bear, or tardigrade

How Are Tardigrades So 'Indestructible?' Scientists Finally Have an Explanation

The tiny animals nicknamed "water bears" can endure extreme conditions by entering a deep hibernation with a switch at the molecular level, a new study finds

Poor sad blobfish, voted the world’s ugliest animal.

In Defense of the Blobfish: The 'World's Ugliest Animal' Is Our Fault

The distinguished blobfish has been judged unfairly

The 160-year-old pelt of the woolly dog Mutton in the Smithsonian’s collection

What Happened to the Extinct Woolly Dog?

Researchers studying the 160-year-old fur of a dog named Mutton in the Smithsonian collections found that the Indigenous breed existed for at least 5,000 years before European colonizers eradicated it

Barred owls are bigger, faster to reproduce and less picky about food and habitat.

Can Killing One Species of Owl Help Save Another?

Biologists and conservationists are grappling with a controversial plan to kill 470,000 barred owls in the Pacific Northwest over the next 30 years

Paola Magni in 2022, taking a water sample from Italy’s Lake Bracciano—the site of the mysterious death of a local teenager, ten years before.

The Scientist Using Bugs to Help Solve Murders

At crime scenes around the world, the forensic entomologist Paola Magni is taking her field into uncharted waters

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, on the surface of a lake. Bacteria were the first organisms to photosynthesize, creating the oxygen essential for the evolution of life on Earth.

Scientists Uncover the Earliest Fossil Evidence of Photosynthesis

Ancient cyanobacteria contained structures for producing oxygen around 1.75 billion years ago, according to a new study

Page 3 of 84