wildlife

A dozen rat carcasses with upturned bellies were found littered along the sand in Brooklyn's Canarsie Park.

Rat Carcasses Wash Ashore in New York City After Hurricane Ida

Flood waters from record rainfall overwhelmed the rodents and forced them out of their homes

Scientists suspect that the vultures have expanded into Indiana in the past few decades because of climate change and changes in land use.

Federally Protected Black Vultures May Be 'Eating Cows Alive' in the Midwest

Farmers are seeking permits to cull any raptors harming their livestock, but experts say reports of vicious attacks are exaggerated

A thermal image shows a parrot releasing heat through its beak and talons. Researchers have found that since 1871 some parrots have increased their beak area up to 10 percent.

Animals Are Changing Shape to Cope With Rising Temperatures

Birds, bats, rabbits, mice and other creatures are growing bigger body parts to cool themselves off

The snail darter, a small fish that stopped construction of a federal dam project, is no longer threatened with extinction and can come off the Endangered Species List, wildlife officials say.

Trending Today

This Tiny, Endangered Fish Stopped Construction of a Federal Dam in 1975. Now, the Species Has Finally Recovered

The snail darter is no longer in threat of extinction and can be removed from the Endangered Species List

Tardigrades use their claws like grappling hooks and pull their bodies forward to move.

Scientists Discover Tiny Tardigrades Trot Around Like Insects

The microscopic organism's gait may have evolved to adapt to unpredictable terrains

A Brief, Fascinating History of Ambergris

The odd, enduring appeal of a scarce commodity few people use and no one really needs

A spotted skunk does a handstand.

Scientists Identify Seven Species of Spotted Skunks, and They All Do Handstands Before They Spray

Researchers analyzed hundreds of spotted skunk specimens to classify the animals

African wild dogs are skilled hunters.

Future of Conservation

Endangered Wild Dogs Rely on Diverse Habitat to Survive Around Lions

A new study shows that bramble and brush help the canines avoid attacks by the big cats, and may offer clues about where to reintroduce the dogs

American Black Duck by Peter Daverington at Halletts Point, Queens, is one of nearly 100 murals that make up the Audubon Mural Project.

The Audubon Mural Project Brings Threatened Birds Back to New York City

From purple finches to whiskered screech owls, artists are expanding a colorful flock of public artworks in Upper Manhattan

Olive sea snakes are among the largest marine snake species and sometimes make contact with divers.

Venomous Sea Snakes That Charge Divers May Just Be Looking for Love

A new study suggests apparent attacks are actually fleeting cases of mistaken identity

In an event where a cheetah attacks an impala and the prey survives, the trauma can leave lasting effects on the survivor’s behavior that resemble post-traumatic stress disorder in people.

Do Wild Animals Get PTSD?

Many creatures show lasting changes in behavior and physiology after a traumatic experience

The most recent additions to the scimitar-horned oryx herd at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are two calves borne from an improved artificial insemination method.

Future of Conservation

Two New Scimitar-Horned Oryx Calves Born Through Improved Methods of Artificial Insemination

The assisted reproduction method will help with population management efforts of these critically endangered species and their rewilding

An adult male woolly mammoth navigates a mountain pass 17,100 years ago.

Beyond Dinosaurs: The Secrets of Earth's Past

Woolly Mammoths Roamed Far and Wide Just Like Living Elephants

A new analysis of a mammoth tusk tracks the movements of an Ice Age icon

Carolyn Smith collecting beargrass in Klamath National Forest, 2015. For beargrass to be supple enough for weavers to use in their baskets, it needs to be burned annually. Ideally, it is burned in an intentionally set cultural fire, where only the tops are burned, leaving the roots intact. Prescribed fires in the Klamath National Forest are few and far between, so weavers “follow the smoke” and gather, when they can, after wildfires sweep through the landscape.

Smithsonian Voices

How Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Offers Solutions to California's Wildfires

“We need to reintegrate Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and cultural and prescribed burning into our landscape,” Carolyn Smith says

A sulfur-crested cockatoo flips open the lid of a bin.

Why Australia's Trash Bin–Raiding Cockatoos Are the 'Punks of the Bird World'

The birds can bust open garbage lids—and the behavior is catching on fast, which could be a sign of social learning

Maui's Haleakala is the world's largest dormant volcano, and its summit is considered the quietest place on Earth.

Ridiculous Reviews of Some of the Best National Parks

A new book combines illustrations of the parks with laughably bad critiques from disgruntled tourists

Southern giant petrels have so far killed nearly 100 Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses on Gough Island in the South Atlantic.

Giant New Predators Killing Imperiled Albatrosses

Videos show southern giant petrels killing Gough Island’s beautiful endangered seabirds

A black widow spider hangs from its web.

Eight Fun Facts About Black Widows

The venomous spiders are nimble, secretive and dangerous

A Chinese mountain cat photographed in a field of grass.

New Research

Elusive Chinese Mountain Cats Aren't Domestic Cats' Ancestors

Past genetic studies on feline domestication hadn't included this wildcat native to the Tibetan Plateau

The new gray wolf pups in Colorado have yet to be photographed, so for now you'll have to make do with this bright-eyed pair.

Gray Wolf Pups Seen in Colorado for the First Time in 80 Years

Wildlife officials spotted at least three pups around a den site located near the Wyoming border