A family of black-tailed prairie dogs practices their vigilance from their colony in Highlands Ranch.

Denver’s Street-Smart Prairie Dogs

Researchers explore why members of one species are thriving in urban areas while rural populations dwindle

Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough travels to Nairobi, Kenya to understand the research programs and opportunities at the Mpala Research Centre.

Day 1: Seeing Kenya from the Sky

Despite many travel delays, Smithsonian Secretary Clough arrives in Kenya ready to study the African wildlife at the Mpala Ranch

The Zoo’s three pandas, here Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, require a constant supply of bamboo, a plant that is not very nutritious, especially for animals, like pandas, that are natural carnivores.

Feeding the Animals at the National Zoo

After hiring the first animal nutritionist 30 years ago, the National Zoo prepares specific, well-balanced meals for each animal

Dr. Murray operates on one of the Zoo’s gorillas.

On the Job: Zoo Veterinarian

Suzan Murray talks about making house calls at the nation’s zoo


Hatching a New Idea

Electronic eggs hatch new insights into breeding exotic birds at the National Zoo

May 6, 2006: Barbaro, with Edgar Prado aboard, nears the finish of the Kentucky Derby. He won the "Run for the Roses" by six and a half lengths, the largest margin in 60 years.

Barbaro's Legacy

The effort to save the fallen champion shows how far equine medicine has come in recent years. And how far it still has to go


Mirror Image

The first evidence that elephants can recognize themselves


35 Who Made a Difference: Clyde Roper

He's spent his life chasing a sea monster that's never been taken alive


To Catch A Thief

When biologists study food theft among endangered roseate terns, they find that crime most definitely pays



A new finding that fish feel pain has set off a tortured debate about the ethics of angling

Having logged thousands of hours observing chimpanzees and other apes, Frans de Waal (left, at his Atlanta field station) argues that primates, including humans and bonobos, are more cooperative and less ruthless than once thought.

Rethinking Primate Aggression

Researcher Frans de Waal shows that apes (and humans) get along better than we thought

Kandula frolicking with mother Shanthi at the National Zoo at 8 months.

Great Expectations

Elephant researchers believe they can boost captive-animal reproduction rates and reverse a potential population crash in zoos


Mystery Bumps

Scientists knew that alligators' jaws are covered in bumps but it took biologist Daphne Soares to figure out why

Having stopped a mother bear with a tranquilizer dart shot from the helicopter, Derocher (with Andersen, left, and Instanes, on Spitsbergen Island) tethers the cubs and takes tissue samples to gauge the mother's exposure to industrial chemicals like PCBs.

Bear Trouble

Only hundreds of miles from the North Pole, industrial chemicals threaten the Arctic's greatest predator

Bringing Up Baby

Scientists zero in on the caring and cunning ways of a seldom-seen waterbird


Sea Searchers

Scientists launch a $1 billion effort to track marine life worldwide

Royal Bengal Tiger

Behind the Lines: Close Calls

Danger comes with the territory for our writers


The Bone Collectors

A pair of biologists on Cumberland Island save the remains of dead sea critters for others to study

Eugene Gilbert in Bleriot XI attacked by eagle over Pyrenees in 1911 depicted in this painting

Evidence from the Skies

Animal Old Folks

For the National Zoo's esteemed senior citizens, only the very best in geriatric medical care will do

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