Natural Sciences

Blindfolded insect larvae opted to perch on twigs matching their body coloring about 80 percent of the time

These Caterpillars Can Detect Color Using Their Skin, Not Their Eyes

In experiments, peppered moth caterpillars successfully camouflaged themselves even when blindfolded

One critic of the proposed redefinition says, "It would be hard for most French museums—starting with the Louvre—to correspond to this definition, considering themselves as ‘polyphonic spaces'"

The Term ‘Museum’ May Be Getting Redefined

But experts are divided on the proposed new definition

Nom, nom, nom.

Researchers Think They Know Why Cats Eat Grass

Contrary to popular belief, grass only occasionally makes cats vomit

Neonics are responsible for 92 percent of the increase in U.S. agricultural toxicity

Toxic Pesticides Are Driving Insect ‘Apocalypse’ in the U.S., Study Warns

The country's agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 25 years ago

This moth specimen was mistakenly identified as a butterfly in 1793, leaving biologists to wonder what happened to the missing "butterfly" for more than 200 years.

One of the 'Rarest Butterflies Ever' May Have Been a Moth All Along

A species description from more than two centuries ago has fooled scientists until now

Lake Michigan's making a pointed statement

Photographer Captures Stunning Images of Ice Shards Along Lake Michigan

As the lakes melts, glassy sheets of ice are piling up along another along parts of the Michigan shoreline

A drinking horn made from the horn of an aurochs bull.

Testing the DNA in Museum Artifacts Can Unlock New Natural History, but Is it Worth the Potential Damage?

Museums house a wealth of rare animal specimens, such as arctic clothing, medieval parchment and Viking drinking horns, but DNA testing can be destructive

The researchers posit that Darwin contracted Lyme disease while exploring the expanses of Great Britain

Did Charles Darwin Have Lyme Disease?

New study attributes British naturalist's persistent poor health to tick-borne disease

A polarized-light microscopy image (in background) of a section from the Allende meteorite is one-thousandth of a millimeter thin.

The Oldest Material in the Smithsonian Institution Came From Outer Space

Decades after the Allende Meteorite plunged to Earth, scientists still mine its fragments for clues to the cosmos

The Magformers Sky Track was a favorite for testers.

The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts This Year

Experts and kids of all ages recommend these tech toys, which inspire year-round curiosity

Federal police forensic specialists investigate the cause of the fire that tore through Brazil's National Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

Five Things We've Learned Since Brazil’s Devastating National Museum Fire

Luzia, the oldest human fossil in the Americas, was recovered from the rubble

A mesmerizing murmuration of starlings

Your Hysterical Tweet About That Spider in Your Sink Could Prove Useful for Science

A new study suggests mining social media for phenology data is fairly reliable and could assist researchers tracking how rapidly the world is changing

Throughout the mid-1800s, improvements on the spectroscope allowed physicists to more accurately measure the wavelengths of light and identify new elements—like helium.

How Scientists Discovered Helium, the First Alien Element, 150 Years Ago

First found only on the sun, scientists doubted the mysterious element even existed for more than a decade

Aggressive or sexual behavior in crows interacting with dead bodies might happen more often when sex hormones run rampant.

It's Not Without Caws That Crows Desecrate Their Dead

What dead crows can teach us about the connections between sex and aggression

Using an artist's tools and the skills of a scientist, Tangerini makes “art in the service of science.”

The Botanical Artist Who Translates Plant Science Into Beautiful Art

The Smithsonian’s first and only botanical illustrator brings her subjects to life in all their scientific glory

Islandiana lewisi, found in a single cave in southern Indiana

New Spider Species Discovered In Indiana Cave

The translucent sheet-weaving spider shows that scientists haven't yet found everything in our own backyard

Due to their ubiquity at archaeological sites, teeth are like the pennies of ancient human remains. But unlike pennies, fossil chompers can be a treasure trove.

How Ancient Teeth Reveal the Roots of Humankind

From diet to evolution, prehistoric chompers tell archaeologists a surprising amount about our ancestors

Prototype of one of the magnets that will be used in the upgraded Large Hadron Collider.

The Large Hadron Collider Is Getting A Huge Power Boost

A multi-year upgrade will lead to up to 10 times the collisions, and perhaps the discovery of mysterious new particles

The team’s findings compared the estimated visual acuity, or sharpness, of about 600 species.

How Does Your Vision Compare to Other Critters in the Animal Kingdom?

A new review of visual acuity compares the sight of 600 species, from mosquitoes to eagles

Attenborougharion rubicundus is one of more than a dozen species named after the legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Why Scientists Name Species

From the Beyonce fly to the David Attenborough possum, the names we bestow on animals have real conservation impacts

Page 5 of 15