July 2, 2013 Nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s pumped a lot of radiocarbon into the atmosphere. It went everywhere, including into plants that elephants eat. By measuring the levels of this carbon in elephant tusks, scientists can tell when an elephant died — and whether the ivory is being traded illegally.
July 1, 2013 One of the great dinosaur puzzles, the dinosaur mystery, is why did they suddenly die off? Scientists have been debating this question for almost a hundred years and one of the most beautiful notions came from an insect scholar who thought maybe caterpillars did it. I'm not making this up.
June 29, 2013 When a white-throated needletail was spotted off the northwest coast of Scotland, dozens of enthusiasts rushed to the area. "Twitchers" is British slang for those who have a passion for spotting hard-to-find birds. But their joy turned to grief when the little bird from Asia hit a wind turbine.
June 29, 2013 At night, in the ocean, they look like little Broadway billboards with dazzling trills of rainbow colored light. They have eight little runways on their bodies for light display. What are they?
June 27, 2013 Being able to throw stones with power and precision must have been fun for humans' early ancestors. It was essential, too, since we lack the the fangs and claws of other predators. A recent study suggests the ability to fire rocket fastballs depends on shoulder anatomy that chimps don't share.
June 26, 2013 The vast majority of the animals are used in studies of things like genetics and behavior. But in recent years, the scientific community has begun to feel even these studies are unnecessary.
June 26, 2013 First there was Rusty, the red panda. Now there are reports that a bear was captured in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, prompting (mostly unserious) concerns of a possible ursine siege on the nation's capital.
June 22, 2013 A big-headed, duck-footed, 4-year-old beagle-basset mix captured the title of World's Ugliest Dog, despite stiff competition from a gang of Chinese cresteds.
June 19, 2013 What's that beetle doing to that beer bottle? The beetle dropped down from the sky, grabbed the bottle's bottom, keeps hugging and hugging it, even when being attacked by ants, and it won't — refuses to — let go. It can't be the beer it's after. The beer is at the other end. What's going on?