wildlife

This spring, Brood XIII and Brood XIX of periodical cicadas will emerge together for the first time since 1803.

Cicadas Are Coming: Rare 'Dual Emergence' Could Bring One Trillion of the Bugs This Year

The 13-year and 17-year broods that will emerge from underground this spring will be appearing together for the first time in 221 years

Researchers studied roughly 50 numbats over the course of a year.

As the Planet Warms, Australia's Numbats Are at Risk of Overheating

The endangered, squirrel-sized marsupials forage for termites during the day—but they can become too hot after just ten minutes in direct sunlight, according to new research

A female elephant seal rests with her pup on the California coast. Pups in this population spend more days fattening up on mother’s milk than in southern populations on the Kerguelen Islands.

Inside Elephant Seal Pups' Race to the Depths

While northern pups dive right in, their southern cousins take their time

A California grizzly bear specimen at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The brown bear subspecies went extinct around 1924.

California Grizzlies Weren't as Big—or Bloodthirsty—as People Once Thought

The now-extinct bears were mostly vegetarians and measured about the same size as today's North American grizzlies

Barred owls are bigger, faster to reproduce and less picky about food and habitat.

Can Killing One Species of Owl Help Save Another?

Biologists and conservationists are grappling with a controversial plan to kill 470,000 barred owls in the Pacific Northwest over the next 30 years

Gaia is still getting comfortable in her new environment.

See the 'Adorable'—and Deadly—Black-Footed Cat at a Utah Zoo

Eight-month-old Gaia is part of a breeding program for her vulnerable species, which is considered the "world's deadliest cat"

A turtle appears to smile as a dragonfly alights on its nose.

See 25 Breathtaking Images From the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

Representing some of the world's best nature photography, the pictures are being put to a popular vote for the People's Choice Award

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The Rarest Fish on Earth Has an Unlikely Home—Nevada

Amid the vast Mojave Desert sits an oasis, one brimming with rare flora and fauna that exists nowhere else on earth

Monarch butterflies' signature white spots could help them fly—and inspire better drones.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2023 That Could Lead to New Inventions

Biologists learned lots about animals and plants this year, and their findings could inspire better robots, medicine and environmental technologies

Seabirds, such as puffins, have a well-earned reputation as sentinels of change in marine environments.

How Seabirds Can Help Us Predict the Size of Fish Stocks

The scientists who study terns, puffins and other birds are trying to get fisheries managers to heed their warnings

Cats are not picky and will eat nearly anything they can catch.

Cats Prey on More Than 2,000 Different Species

A new study sheds light on just how many creatures domestic cats will eat—including hundreds that are threatened or endangered

Covid-19 lockdowns had all kinds of effects on wild populations, helping some and hindering others. In one Mexican marine park, though, the sudden lack of tourists led to an increase in the density and diversity of marine species.

During Covid-19 Lockdowns, Fish Flourished in This Park

In the absence of tourists, the animals increased within Mexico’s Cabo Pulmo National Park

More than 200 cold-stunned turtles have already been rescued since November.

52 Cold-Stunned Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles Rescued From Cape Cod

The critically endangered creatures were flown by private plane to rehabilitation centers in Florida

Ten big dinosaur discoveries stood out in 2023.

The Top Ten Dinosaur Discoveries of 2023

From uncovering a tyrannosaur’s last meal to unlocking the secrets of a dino with a really long neck, these were the year’s biggest stories

A group of gray wolves in Canada. Before a wolf pack recently migrated to Colorado, gray wolves were last known to live in the state in the 1940s.

Colorado Will Reintroduce Endangered Gray Wolves This Month

In 2020, voters narrowly passed a measure in favor of wolf reintroduction, and now, wildlife officials are about to begin the controversial effort

Wolverines live in snowy, high-elevation habitats.

Wolverines Receive Federal Protection as a Threatened Species in the Lower 48 States

The carnivorous mammals will increasingly face habitat loss and fragmentation because of climate change, according to scientists

Chinstrap penguins incubate eggs.

Chinstrap Penguins Sleep Over 10,000 Times a Day—for Just Four Seconds at a Time

The amazing microsleep strategy may be an adaptation to group living and lurking predators in a harsh Antarctic environment

In 2023, wildfires ravaged communities in Canada, Hawaii and elsewhere across the globe.

Why Wildfires Are Burning Hotter and Longer

As conflagrations become more difficult to contain, a citizen movement to try to manage them through “prescribed burns” is growing

An iceberg breaks off the Knox Coast in the Australian Antarctic Territory in 2008. The moving iceberg scientists are now tracking broke off from Antarctica in 1986.

The World's Largest Iceberg Is Drifting Three Miles Into the Ocean Each Day

The iceberg, which naturally broke off Antarctica in 1986, had remained grounded for decades before moving again in recent years

This year's titles include Daughter of the Dragon, Whalefall and Witness.

Smithsonian Scholars Recommend Their Favorite Books of 2023

Curators and staffers satisfied their endless curiosity with novels, short stories, biographies, art collections and journalistic reporting

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