wildlife

A North Atlantic right whale rests at the ocean’s surface. With an estimated 100 reproductive females remaining, the species could be unable to reproduce naturally in 20 years.

The Plight of the Right Whale

With dwindling numbers due to snags in lobster traps and collisions with ships, the right whale is looking for a way to make a comeback

To prevent animal species from going extinct, some ecologists suggest introducing them to urban environments to live alongside humans.

To Save Endangered Species, Should We Bring Them Into Our Cities?

Some ecologists believe our best chance to preserve biodiversity is to introduce non-native species to cities—but others warn of unintended consequences

Buffaloes at Rest recalls a time when bison were plentiful. When the print was created in 1911, only about 1,350 remained.

The Bison Returns to the Great American Plains

After years of fierce debate, the West’s greatest symbol will again roam the countryside

A record 105 tons of ivory was burned in Kenya in 2016, destroying tens of millions of dollars in illegal wildlife goods.

Rhino Horn and Tiger Wine: How the Illegal Wildlife Trade Is Growing Bolder

Wildlife author and journalist Rachel Nuwer discusses her new book <i>Poached</i> about one of the world's fastest-growing contraband industries

By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or 'ecstasy,' scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree.

Ecstasy Turns Antisocial Octopuses Into Lovestruck Cuddle Buddies—Just Like Us

The genetic and neurological similarities between octopuses and humans shed light on how creatures became social beings

Puma skull from the Motmot burial.

The Maya Captured, Traded and Sacrificed Jaguars and Other Large Mammals

New archeological findings suggest the Maya city state Copan dealt in a robust jaguar trade

Young grassland birds don't rush their final nest exit. They instead stick around as long as possible to gobble up as much food as they can stomach.

These Teen Birds Love Sleeping In, Too

A new study suggests young grassland songbirds postpone fledging in order to mooch off mom and dad as long as they can

This pipefish couple may seem the picture of romance, but the male may have something bigger and better in mind.

Pregnant Male Pipefish Are the Sea's Swaggery Swingers

Male pipefish, which take on the burden of carrying eggs to term, can compromise their own pregnancies if they see a “huge, sexy female” swimming by

Sniffer Dogs Represent the Latest Weapon in the Fight Against the Illegal Ivory Trade

A new system at Kenya's port of Mombasa allows dogs to detect elephant tusk, rhino horn and other illegal goods with one quick sniff

Sometimes, it's okay to skip leg day.

For Men, Gains in the Gym May Come at a Cost to Sperm

There might be a tradeoff between how strong men look and sperm count

Blue-and-yellow macaws are capable of blushing (left).

Like Humans, Some Birds Blush to Communicate

Blue-and-yellow macaws are capable of the feathered equivalents of facial expressions, new research shows

Elephants, which can weigh up to 100 times as much as humans, should be riddled with cancer—but they aren't.

Cancer Is One Worry Elephants Can Feel Free to Forget

The gentle giants' cells contain a tumor-fighting self-destruct button.

Darwin, described by caretakers as a bit "goofy," befriended even the Zoo's cassowary, widely considered one of the world's most dangerous birds.

The National Zoo’s Beloved, Aging Emu Has Died

Darwin delighted zoo patrons for 21 years with his clever antics and charisma

Four Przewalski's horse foals—one filly and three colts—have been born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute since mid-March.

Four Foals Join the Herd of Przewalski’s Horses at the Smithsonian

This endangered species, native to Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan, is slowly being revitalized with the help of conservation scientists around the world.

When Bsal first arrived in the Netherlands, the pathogen wiped out 96 percent of the resident population of fire salamanders in a few years.

How American Scientists Are Planning to Thwart a Salamander Apocalypse

Yet another fungus threatens to decimate amphibians in North America, but this time, scientists stand ready

Even at three-and-a-half months, the inquisitive Moke has already begun to explore his surroundings and approach the other members of his troop.

At Nearly Four Months Old, the Zoo’s Youngest Gorilla Has Begun to Show His Rambunctious Roots

Moke, the National Zoo’s first infant gorilla in nine years, enlivens the primate house with chatter and play.

A starfish and barnacles along the side of a formerly sunken wall

A Photographer Documents the Effects of Climate Change on Maine's Intertidal Zones

A marine biology student at Northeastern University captures the vulnerable organisms that have to survive high and low tide

The science behind the uptick in cheetah births includes a  new fecal hormone method to determine pregnancy in the animals.

Zoo Announces Another Seven Adorable Cheetah Cubs Are Born

With wild populations threatened, emerging and new techniques in the breeding science is growing ever more critical

New Research Suggests Dr. Seuss Modeled the Lorax on This Real-Life Monkey

Facial recognition software refreshes the classic book's message on conservation

Forest near Sarayaku, Ecuador

This Simulation Maps the Rise and Fall of Species Over 800,000 Years

Biogeographers have built a virtual world to trace the emergence and extinction of species during the last eight glacial cycles

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