Natural History Museum

Chris Meyer, a marine invertebrate zoologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, dives around French Polynesia with equipment used to track coral reef health.

Meet the Reef Expert Collecting Environmental Time Capsules

Collecting DNA in waters worldwide can help scientists figure out which places are the most important for conservation

Two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni) live in the canopy layer of the Panamanian rainforest. Find out why in a family program streaming July 17.

Five Free Natural History Programs Streaming in July

From permafrost to the rainforest canopy to the protection of pollinators, the online events are perfect for beating the summer heat

James Smithson was the Smithsonian’s founding donor, bequeathing approximately one ton of gold British sovereigns.

Why Did James Smithson Leave His Fortune to the U.S. and More Questions From Our Readers

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Head scientist at the Smithsonian Marine Station, Valerie Paul, collects blue-green algae samples to study the chemicals they emit. Those chemicals can endanger coral reefs, but also have biomedical potential.

How Algae Communicate

Smithsonian scientist Valerie Paul studies the ways marine biochemicals can potentially help restore coral reefs and create new biomedicine

Townsend captured the Oregon dark-eyed junco, above, and the Townsend’s warbler, below, named after him—for now.

Birds Collected Nearly Two Centuries Ago Still Help Scientists Today

The specimens gathered during an illustrious expedition by naturalist John Kirk Townsend continue to provide value to researchers

The Algodón River flows through a forest of the Amazon Basin in the remote northeastern corner of Peru. Scientists collected and analyzed a series of ten roughly 3-foot-long soil cores from three sites, each located at least a half-mile away from river courses and floodplains.

In a Remote Amazon Region, Study Shows Indigenous Peoples Have Practiced Forest Conservation for Millennia

Smithsonian researcher Dolores Piperno says native people have always played an important role in sustainability

A giant replica of the Aedes mosquito, a known vector for the disease yellow fever, has been waiting for visitors to return the National Museum of Natural History’s “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” exhibit.

Don't Miss These Objects When the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum Reopens

See everything from a giant replica of a mosquito, to an Allosaurus fossil, to a pink fairy armadillo when the museum opens June 18

This jellyfish, Scolionema suvaense, was raised in the National Museum of Natural History’s Invertebrate Zoology “AquaRoom.” Here, the species is sinking through food with its tentacles spread wide.

Live Jellyfish Make a Splash in Marine Education

Smithsonian's AquaRoom helps scientists learn more about these animals’ lives and educate future generations about their marine neighbors

Oil Spill #10, Oil Slick at Rip Tide, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010 (detail) by Edward Burtynsky, 2010

The Sad Truths Behind These Unsettling Works of Art

A new exhibition reflects on the haunting aesthetics of human impact on the planet

Sourcing her fish skin from Iceland, Elisa Palomino-Perez designs, dyes and assembles her fashion accessories. Bag handmade by Jay Zaccheus.

Does Fish Skin Have a Future in Fashion?

To promote sustainability in the industry, designer Elisa Palomino-Perez is embracing the traditional Indigenous practice of crafting with fish leather

While this year’s Arctic sea ice extended further than last year’s, there still wasn’t as much of it as there was only two decades ago. Thinner and younger sea ice in winter and less ice in the summer are two of the many elements of the Arctic’s new reality.

Climate Change Redefines Meaning of Normal in the Arctic

As Earth’s climate changes, people around the world are witnessing insidious changes and responding to their new normal

Climate change is causing oceans to warm, which in turn affects fish and fishers. Now, scientists are turning towards management strategies to protect species and the industry.

Why Fish Are the Catch of the Day for Climate Research

Fishery management systems can teach scientists how fish can be raised sustainably in wild fisheries

The digital realm is not limited by the dimensions of the museum walls and instead brings learning experiences to visitors of all ages in new and exciting ways.

Navigate Hidden Treasures With These Smithsonian 3-D Games

AR/VR technologies give audiences new ways to experience museums that complement a traditional visit, engaging visitors and fueling learning opportunities

In a bloody brawl, Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops horridus battle to the finish in the much-loved new dinosaur hall at the National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Will Reopen in June

Discover tips for visiting the T-Rex, the Hope Diamond and more, when 10 Smithsonian museums reopen this summer

Leafcutter ants can be found across Central and South America. They build gigantic, subterranean nests with complex societies.

Thinking of Eating Cicadas? Here Are Six Other Tasty Insects to Try, Too

The practice of eating insects, known as entomophagy, is widespread around the world

Coral reef health is an important indicator of the ocean’s well-being. Scientists can study corals to learn more about how climate change is affecting the oceans.

DNA Makes Waves in the Fight to Save Coral Reefs

This emerging technique could help scientists understand and anticipate the threats coral reefs face

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

Why Did NASA Test a Helicopter on Mars?

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Researchers study burial sites like the Falcon Necropolis at Quesna to learn more about ancient Egyptian culture and biodiversity. The site is protected by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Mummified Shrew Discovery Unearths Ancient Egypt's Wetter Climate

The mummified Güldenstaedt's White-toothed shrew adds to scientists’ understanding of climate in the region more than 2000 years ago

The Irish elk, or Megaloceros giganteus, ranged across northern Eurasia from Siberia to Ireland and shed its giant antlers every year. It is on display in the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Biggest. Antlers. Ever. Meet the Irish Elk

On view at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, this specimen of the extinct species unlocks an evolutionary mystery

Zircons are the oldest minerals in the world and come in colors like the rich blue above. Researchers have now used these gemstones to identify when modern plate tectonics began.

Earth's Oldest Minerals Hold Clues About the Likely Start of Plate Tectonics

New research reveals how one of Earth’s defining geologic features likely formed—and set the stage for the emergence of life

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