Natural History Museum

The National Museum of Natural History holds the majority of the human remains in the Smithsonian's collections.

The Smithsonian’s Human Remains Task Force Calls for New Repatriation Policies

The report provides recommendations regarding the return of human remains in the Institution’s collections

Could we use volcanic energy as a power source?

Could Volcanoes Power Our Planet? And More Questions From Our Readers

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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

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

An illustration of Lucayan divers spearfishing for parrotfish, turtles and conch

How Archaeologists Are Unearthing the Secrets of the Bahamas' First Inhabitants

Spanish colonizers enslaved the Lucayans, putting an end to their lineage by 1530

This blue whale skull is one of the largest in any collection on earth.

How an Eye-Popping Museum Specimen Boosted the Beleaguered Blue Whale

For decades, visitors to the Smithsonian could behold the immense size of the sea mammal with their own eyes

I thought I saw more red foliage this fall. Is that related to climate change?

Does Climate Change Affect Leaves' Fall Colors? And More Questions From Our Readers

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An artist's depiction of a person carving a pendant from bones of a giant sloth roughly 25,000 to 27,000 years ago. Research this year suggested humans and the sloths lived in Brazil at the same time, strengthening evidence that our ancestors populated the Americas earlier than thought.

Thirteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2023

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal some of the year’s most fascinating findings about human origins

Larval bony-eared assfish

These Ten Brilliant Portraits Illuminate Ocean Creatures' Nighttime Antics

Blackwater photographer Steven Kovacs takes spectacular shots of marine animals, helping scientists study tiny larval fish

A Gorgosaurus consumes its prey.

Amazing Fossil Preserves Teenage Tyrannosaur’s Last Meal

Stomach contents from a juvenile Gorgosaurus reveal it feasted on small, bird-like species 75 million years ago

Female mosquitoes need to drink blood in order to produce their eggs.

Male Mosquitoes May Have Once Sucked Blood, Amber Fossils Suggest

Today, only female mosquitoes feed on the blood of animals, while males are satisfied with plant juices

This year's titles include Daughter of the Dragon, Whalefall and Witness.

Smithsonian Scholars Recommend Their Favorite Books of 2023

Curators and staffers satisfied their endless curiosity with novels, short stories, biographies, art collections and journalistic reporting

The asteroid sample that is now on display at the National Museum of Natural History. By studying the retrieved space rocks, scientists aim to better understand how water and organic material first arrived on Earth.

How to See NASA's Bennu Asteroid Sample in Person

A tiny piece of the space rock made its public debut at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as scientists study the rest of the sample

Basilosaurus hunts fish.

Ancient Whales Were the Biggest and Smallest of Their Kind to Ever Roam the Oceans

New discoveries show how whale diversity exploded after the dinosaurs disappeared

Can every living thing be traced to a single cell?

Can Every Living Thing Be Traced to a Single Cell? And More Questions From Our Readers

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An illustration of the Homo erectus child with her mother in the Ethiopian highlands, two million years ago

Two Million Years Ago, This Homo Erectus Lived the High Life

Dating of a child's fossilized jaw and teeth suggest our relatives lived at altitude earlier than once thought

Artistic reconstruction of a group of hominins in direct competition for carrion with a hyena

One Million Years Ago, Our Human Relatives May Have Challenged Giant Hyenas for Carcasses

Groups of hominins might have successfully scavenged large kills, new modeling finds

The Hope Diamond was cut from Louis XIV’s “French Blue."

How a Smithsonian Curator Discovered the Hope Diamond’s Many Secrets

The storied past of the 45.52-carat sapphire-blue gemstone hails back to the days before the French Revolution

The female whale was found stranded in January on a beach near Palm Coast, Florida.

How an Orca Skeleton Made Its Way From Florida to the Smithsonian

Washed up in a rare stranding event, the newly collected specimen will offer rich exploration for researchers

Outside of Earth, is there any place a human could survive unprotected for even ten seconds?


 

Could Humans Survive Unprotected Outside of Earth's Atmosphere for Even Ten Seconds?

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