Life sciences writer Susan Milius has been writing about botany, zoology and ecology for Science News since the last millennium. She worked at diverse publications before breaking into science writing and editing. After stints on the staffs of The Scientist, Science, International Wildlife and United Press International, she joined Science News. Three of Susan's articles have been selected to appear in editions of The Best American Science Writing.

All Stories by Susan Milius

  1. scores of small silver fish swimming

    Tiny crystals give a plain fish twinkling, colorful dots under light

    Fishes’ flashing photonic crystals may provide inspiration for ultra-miniaturized sensors that work in a living body.

  2. piles of grasshoppers on a sidewalk

    Weather radar shows 30 metric tons of grasshoppers swarmed Las Vegas one night

    Everything’s glitzier in Las Vegas. The most intensely lit U.S. city shows the impact of artificial light on insects on a megascale.

  3. two bald eagles in a tree

    A toxin behind mysterious eagle die-offs may have finally been found

    A 20-year study of water weeds and cyanobacteria in the southern United States pinpoints a bird-killing toxin, and it's not your usual suspect.

  4. green sea turtle swimming

    Why do sea turtles, penguins and sharks sometimes just swim in circles or spirals?

    Tracking devices recorded the loops and spirals of 10 marine species. In some cases, scientists have good guesses for why; other times it’s baffling.

  5. sea slug body next to detached head

    A sea slug’s detached head can crawl around and grow a whole new body

    Chopped-up planarians regrow whole bodies from bits and pieces. But a sea slug head can regrow fancier organs such as hearts.

  6. giraffes eating together

    Having more friends may help female giraffes live longer

    A more gregarious life, even while just munching shrubbery, might mean added support and less stress for female giraffes.

  7. mall Steatoda spider hoisting a lizard

    How a tiny spider uses silk to lift prey 50 times its own weight

    Dropping the right silk can haul mice, lizards and other giants up off the ground.

  8. Orange and black bat species

    A new orange and black bat species is always ready for Halloween

    A new species from the sky islands of Africa’s Nimba Mountains shows bats’ colorful streak.

  9. crested rats

    Rats with poisonous hairdos live surprisingly sociable private lives

    Deadly, swaggering rodents purr and snuggle when they’re with mates and young.

  10. male wrinkle-faced bat

    A face mask may turn up a male wrinkle-faced bat’s sex appeal

    The first-ever scientific observations of a wrinkle-faced bat’s courtship shows that, when flirting, the males raise their white furry face coverings.

  11. a photo of the transplant process of the giant shrub

    How passion, luck and sweat saved some of North America’s rarest plants

    As the list of plants no longer found in the wild grows, botanists and conservationists search for signs of hope — and sometimes get lucky.

  12. illustration on an ancient Lystrosaurus

    Ancient Lystrosaurus tusks may show the oldest signs of a hibernation-like state

    Oddball ancestors of mammals called Lystrosaurus might have slowed way down during polar winters.