Natural History Museum

A remotely operated vehicle measured environmental conditions around the octopus nest site, including temperature and oxygen levels.

Why 'Hot Springs' Draw the World's Largest Gathering of Deep-Sea Octopuses

Some 20,000 octopuses congregate near an inactive underwater volcano off California's coast, using heat from thermal springs to hatch their eggs faster

Egyptian paleontologists Abdullah Gohar, Mohamed Sameh and Hesham Sallam are part of the study team that discovered the fossil and identified the new species of basilosaurid whale.

Fossil of Tiny, Extinct Whale Discovered in Egypt, Named for King Tut

The species was around the size of a bottlenose dolphin and thrived 41 million years ago

Catoctin Furnace in Cunningham Falls State Park, Maryland

DNA Links 42,000 Living People to Enslaved and Free African Americans Buried in Maryland

The research, initiated by the local African American community, could be a roadmap for future genealogy studies

An artist's interpretation of what Perucetus colossus would have looked like when it lived some 38 million years ago

This Massive Extinct Whale May Be the Heaviest Animal That Ever Lived

The newly discovered behemoth could unseat the blue whale for the title, but scientists can only make educated guesses about its weight

"Cellphone: Unseen Connections" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History walks through every aspect of the technology.

How Cellphones Connect Us All

A new Natural History Museum exhibition explores how the devices link us to Earth and to a network of people worldwide involved in their supply chain

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Briana Pobiner came across this hominin tibia in Kenya’s Nairobi National Museum. The magnified area shows cut marks.

Our Human Relatives Butchered and Ate Each Other 1.45 Million Years Ago

Telltale marks on a bone from an early human’s leg could be the earliest evidence of cannibalism

Public swimming at Clift Park in Skaneateles, New York

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2023

From an ultramarathon capital in the Rockies to a laid-back village in the Florida Keys, these vibrant towns are calling your name

Angraecum longicalcar is threatened by increasing fires and a buzzing black market for orchids. Conservators at England's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have been working to reintroduce seedlings into the wild.

Is This Endangered Orchid the Last of Its Kind?

Contemplating the portentous history and uncertain fate of an exceptionally rare flower

Kari Bruwelheide (background) and Douglas Owsley (foreground) of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History take measurements of the remains of the 17th-century skeleton. 

Archaeologists Uncover 400-Year-Old Skeleton in Sister Colony to Jamestown

The remains belong to a teenage boy buried at the historic city of St. Mary's, Maryland's first capital

Vaccinations of wild koalas began in March this year. For now, scientists hope to inoculate 50 individuals.

Scientists Begin Vaccinating Wild Koalas Against Chlamydia

The effort is part of a field trial to limit the debilitating bacterial disease that can cause infertility, blindness and death

Saurona triangula, one of the newly described butterfly species named for the evil Lord Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy

Butterfly Group With Fiery 'Eyes' Is Named After 'Lord of the Rings' Villain Sauron

Beyond their eye-like wing pattern, the two new species don't seem to show any signs of evil that would link them to Mordor

Male California sea lions are polygamous and must fight to defend their territories and their harems.

Why Male California Sea Lions Are Getting Bigger

The “raccoons of the sea” have varied diets, allowing them to grow large to compete for mates

One-third of the world’s population can’t see the starry band of light in the night sky that makes up the Milky Way (above). The new show “Lights Out: Recovering Our Night Sky” at the National Museum of Natural History looks at the devastating impacts of artificial light.

Why It’s Time for a Worldwide Lights-Out Program

A new Smithsonian exhibition delves into the issue of light pollution, with easy solutions offering an immediate change

Have any modern animals adapted to human activity through natural selection? 

 

Have Any Animals Evolved to Adapt to Human Activity?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

A fossil hippo skeleton and associated Oldowan artifacts were exposed at the Nyayanga site.

Who Made the First Stone Tool Kits?

A nearly three-million-year-old butchering site packed with animal bones, stone implements and molars from our early ancestors reignites the debate

At the Natural History Museum, "Cellphone: Unseen Connections" opens June 23; at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, "Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols" goes on view May 13; and "Ay-Ō's Happy Rainbow Hell" is part of the National Museum of Asian Art's centennial exhibitions, opening March 25.

Twenty-Three Smithsonian Shows to See in 2023

A rare Bible, George Clinton's colorful wig, Disney World history and Japanese ghosts debut this year

An Anolis cristatellus lizard in Puerto Rico.

Genetic Mutations Could Help Lizards Survive City Life

Urban Puerto Rican crested anoles show genetic changes related to immune function, metabolism and limb and skin development

Copepods at various life stages teem inside a water droplet. The creatures go through six larval and six juvenile stages between egg and adulthood. They grow a new pair of legs at each stage.

These Gorgeous Photos Capture Life Inside a Drop of Seawater

A passion for the infinitesimal leads a photographer to discover the countless creatures that live unseen in the ocean

After the American Revolution, why did the colonies keep their British nobility namesakes?

Why Did the American Colonies Keep Their British Names After the Revolution?

You've got questions. We've got experts

A team led by Laurits Skov and Benjamin Peter from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sequenced nuclear, mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA of 13 Neanderthal individuals. From these sequences, they determined that two of the Neanderthals represent a father-daughter pair and that another two are cousins.

Fourteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2022

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal the year’s most riveting findings about our close relatives and ancestors

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