The Ten Best Ocean Stories of 2012

From deep-sea squid habits to vanishing coral reefs, here are the ocean stories we couldn’t stop talking about this year.


The Scientific Reason Why Reindeer Have Red Noses

Some reindeer really do have red noses, a result of densely packed blood vessels near the skin's surface


The Persistence of Memory in Mice

A new study shows that female mice who smell pheromones in potential mates' urine will constantly return to the site of exposure even weeks later

A new study shows that microscopic barbs allow porcupine quills to slice into flesh easily and stay there stubbornly.

Could Porcupine Quills Help Us Design the Next Hypodermic Needle?

Microscopic barbs allow porcupine quills to slice into flesh easily and stay there stubbornly—qualities that could prove useful in medical applications

Prehistoric humans correctly depicted the gait of four-legged animals, such as this bull in the famous cave paintings of Lascaux, France, more frequently than modern artists.

Cavemen Were Much Better At Illustrating Animals Than Artists Today

A new study finds that prehistoric humans correctly depicted the gait of four-legged animals much more frequently than modern artists


Beavers On Parachutes

Beavers On Parachutes


Scientists Say Chimps and Orangutans Have Mid-Life Crises

A new study indicates that, like humans, these great apes go through a nadir of happiness in middle age


The World’s Rarest Whale Species Spotted in New Zealand

A pair of spade-toothed whales washed ashore on a beach, the first time the complete body of a member of this species has ever been seen


Video: This Elephant Learned to Speak Korean

Koshik, an Asian elephant at a South Korean zoo, learned to uncannily mimic five Korean words by stuffing his trunk in his mouth

Black-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps)

Alan Dudley’s Wondrous Array of Animal Skulls

A new book delivers fascinating photographs of over 300 skulls from the British taxidermist's personal collection—the largest in the world


Nikon Announces the Winners of its “Small World” Competition

See a selection of beautiful images captured by scientists gazing through light microscopes

Defying its reputation as aloof, this tortoiseshell cat was labelled “the friendliest cat we met”

Judging a Cat (Wrongly) by the Color of its Coat

Black cats aren't evil, and torties aren't always aloof. But people often think coat color and behavior are linked


Scientific Illustrations: Your Go-To Guides for Halloween Costumes

The details are what separate a good outfit from an amazing one. The images in the Biodiversity Heritage Library can help you make the leap


Same Gene Guides Cheetah and Tabby Cat Coat Patterns

A mutation in one gene produces tabby cats with blotches and cheetahs with stripes


Scientists Manipulate Brainwaves of Cocaine-Addled Monkeys to Improve Decision-Making

By stimulating neural activity with electrodes, researchers boosted the mental skills of rhesus monkeys under the influence of cocaine


Researchers Working on a “Chill Pill” for Sharks

In response to stress, sharks can undergo dangerous changes in blood chemistry, so scientists are attempting to develop a solution

Some chemicals in antibacterial soap have been banned by the FDA after testing showed they did not provide any benefit over normal soap and water.

Triclosan, a Chemical Formerly Used in Antibacterial Soaps, Was Found to Impair Muscle Function

In a study, the chemical inhibited muscle activity in individual human heart cells, mice and minnows


Ocean Acidity Rivals Climate Change As Environmental Threat

Rising ocean acidity is now considered to be just as much of a formidable threat to the health of Earth’s environment as the atmospheric climate changes

One of the snow leopard cubs discovered in Mongolia’s Tost Mountains.

First Ever Video of Wild Snow Leopard Mother and Cubs

Researchers came upon a wild snow leopard den in the Tost Mountains of Mongolia and captured a mother with cub on camera for the first time


The Fate(s) of Australia’s Mega-Mammals

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