Migration

New research shows that mass migration of ancient peoples from the south were essential to bringing maize cultivation to Maya communities in Central America. Scientists previously thought knowledge of farming techniques were shared by word of mouth between neighboring communities. 

New Research

New Study Finds Migrants Brought Maize to the Maya

DNA analysis of skeletal remains in Belize helps piece together how corn cultivation came to thrive in Central America

The flamingo in Cox Bay near Port Lavaca, Texas. 

Good News

Flamingo That Escaped From a Zoo in Kansas Is Spotted Once Again in Texas 17 Years Later

The zoo hasn’t made any plans to catch the bird, saying any attempts might harm the flamingo and other wildlife

Further analysis of bones collected from the Bluefish Caves in Yukon is expanding scientists’ understanding of what early Americans were up to

What Were Humans Doing in the Yukon 24,000 Years Ago?

Scientists have examined remains from caves and think the shelters served as temporary camps for hunters who targeted horses

A tiger shark swims in the Bahamas. Over the past several decades, the predators ventured farther north in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

Some Tiger Sharks Are Migrating Farther North Due to Climate Change

The predator’s movements in the Atlantic Ocean could scramble ecosystems and endanger the sharks by sending them outside marine protected areas

The remarkable Hudsonian godwit.

Planet Positive

This Wonder Bird Flies Thousands of Miles, Non-Stop, as Part of an Epic Migration

The more scientists learn about the Hudsonian godwit, the more they’re amazed—and worried

A roughly 2000-year-old mummified man of the Ansilta culture, from the Andes of San Juan, Argentina, had lice eggs and cement in his hair which preserved his own DNA

DNA Preserved in Lice Glue Reveals South American Mummies' Secrets

Remarkable samples from an ancient culture offer scientists a promising new way to study the past

New research suggests Celtic people—and their sheep—arrived on the Faroe Islands more than 300 years before the Vikings.

Ancient Sheep Poop Tells the Tale of the Faroe Islands' First Inhabitants

New analysis suggests the Celts arrived on the archipelago hundreds of years before the Vikings

A squid swims in the dark waters of the Mediterranean. Billions of aquatic animals, from krill to squid, travel to surface waters each night, a migration that scientists are only beginning to fully grasp.

What Drives Aquatic Animals to Make Vertical Migrations?

Researchers are trying to shed light on what leads many water dwellers—from plankton to large fish—to commute daily from the depths to the surface

Pictured: Richard's pipits (Anthus richardi) are migrating on an east to west axis instead of heading south towards warmer latitudes.

Bird Migration Patterns Are Changing—and Climate Change May Be to Blame

As winter months approach, some feathered friends have started migrating east to west instead of north to south

The sea eagle, native to Asia—specifically China, Japan, Korea, and Eastern Russia—has been spotted thousands of miles away from its range in places as far south as Texas and as far North as Alaska.

Thousands of Miles Away From Home, This Steller's Sea Eagle Couldn't Be Any More Lost

Now in Nova Scotia, the Asian raptor has been spotted several times in North America in the past year and a half

The naturally mummified remains were remarkably well preserved, with some still sporting clothing and hair.

Cool Finds

New Research Reveals Surprising Origins of Millennia-Old Mummies Found in China

Once thought to be migrants from West Asia, the deceased were actually direct descendants of a local Ice Age population, DNA analysis suggests

Chinese railroad workers near the Secret Town Trestle in Placer County, California, around 1869

Cool Finds

Artifacts Used by Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Workers Found in Utah

Researchers discovered the remains of a mid-19th century house, a centuries-old Chinese coin and other traces of the short-lived town of Terrace

The 'Ubeidiya site today is an expanse of grasses. Concealed from this view are slabs of fossilized pebbly clay, a source of ancient finds that have helped scholars learn about the journeys of Homo erectus.

Evotourism ®

What Drove Homo Erectus Out of Africa?

Excavations at a site in northern Israel are at the heart of a debate about the species' migrations

The researchers used carbon dating of seeds above and below the footprints to determine their age.

Cool Finds

Prehistoric Footprints Push Back Timeline of Humans' Arrival in North America

Found in New Mexico, the fossilized impressions date to between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago, a new study suggests

A cluster of western monarch butterflies clings to a branch as it overwinters in California.

The Best Place to Watch Monarch Butterflies Migrate Might Be This Little California Beach Town

Thousands of western monarchs migrate to Pismo Beach each fall to escape winter cold, but climate change threatens the species' survival

Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site is home to hundreds of petroglyphs and pictrographs.

Centuries-Old Pottery Could Reveal When the Crow Arrived in Wyoming

Radiocarbon dating of ceramics found at Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site may offer new insights on the region's Indigenous history

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter arrived on Mars on February 18, 2021.

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Great white sharks travel hundreds of miles to specific locations in the world’s oceans.

New Evidence Suggests Sharks Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate

Bonnethead sharks swam in the direction of their home waters when placed in a tank charged with an electromagnetic field

A prairie warbler greets the spring in New Jersey.

Smithsonian Voices

How Scientists Are Deciphering the Many Mysteries of Migratory Birds

Each spring across the forests, lakes and suburbs of North America, millions of birds take a long journey north in search of summer nesting territory

Butterflies in Mexico’s monarch reserve. Their wings can function as solar panels, converting sunlight into energy for flight.

An Epic Monarch Migration Faces New Threats

The butterflies’ path, which stretches thousands of miles, is endangered by an array of challenges, including changes in climate and pesticides

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