The –est

  1. Animals

    ‘Octomom’ sets egg-brooding record

    The deep ocean reveals a new record as an octopus mom broods the same clutch of eggs for almost 4.5 years.

  2. Animals

    Elephant’s big nose wins most sensitive sniffer

    A genetic survey reveals that African elephants harbor more smell sensors than any other known animal.

  3. Paleontology

    Fossils reveal largest airborne bird

    Despite its massive size, an extinct bird may have been an efficient glider.

  4. Life

    California mite becomes fastest land animal

    Despite being the size of a sesame seed, the Paratarsotomus macropalpis mite can outpace Usain Bolt and even a cheetah in terms of body lengths per second.

  5. Astronomy

    Young, hot exoplanet takes title for longest year

    Newly discovered exoplanet sits a whopping 2,000 times farther from its star than Earth does from the sun.

  6. Paleontology

    Loblolly sets record for biggest genome

    At 20 billion base pairs, the loblolly pine is the largest genome sequenced to date.

  7. Paleontology

    ‘Hidden dragon’ fossil is oldest flying reptile

    Researchers have unearthed the oldest pterodactyl ever discovered: Kptodrakon progenitor soared over the Earth 163 million years ago.

  8. Physics

    Laser kicks molecules into fastest ever spin

    The powerful kick of a laser has spun molecules faster than they’ve ever been spun before: 10 trillion rotations per second, or 600 trillion RPM.

  9. Paleontology

    Oldest bug bonk

    Preserved as fossils, two insects remain caught in the act 165 million years later.

  10. Physics

    Oldest pitch-drop experiment

    The allure of pitch — a black tarlike hydro-carbon by-product of distilling petroleum, wood or coal — comes from its split personality: It shatters from a quick hit with a hammer, but flows if set aside for long periods.

  11. Earth

    Biggest volcano hulks deep

    Tamu Massif forms a broad, rounded dome rising about 4 kilometers from the seafloor and stretching 450 by 650 kilometers across.

  12. Quantum Physics

    Most precise clock

    It would take more than 50 billion years for a new atomic clock to gain or lose a second.