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. Elephants

    Why mammals like elephants and armadillos might get drunk easily

    Differences in a gene for breaking down alcohol could help explain which mammals get tipsy.

  2. Microscopic springtail

    Earthy funk lures tiny creatures to eat and spread bacterial spores

    Genes that cue spore growth also kick up a scent that draws in springtails.

  3. water strider

    The ‘insect apocalypse’ is more complicated than it sounds

    Freshwater arthropods trended upward, while terrestrial ones declined. But the study’s decades of data are spotty.

  4. Leaf-cutter ants

    Insects’ extreme farming methods offer us lessons to learn and oddities to avoid

    Insects invented agriculture long before humans did. Can we learn anything from them?

  5. one-celled algae with flagella

    Algae use flagella to trot, gallop and move with gaits all their own

    Single-celled microalgae, with no brains, can coordinate their “limbs” into a trot or fancier gait.

  6. honeybees

    Engineered honeybee gut bacteria trick attackers into self-destructing

    Tailored microbes defend bees with a gene-silencing process called RNA interference that takes on viruses or mites.

  7. Panda climbing

    How pandas use their heads as a kind of extra limb for climbing

    Short legs on a stout bear body means pandas use a rare technique to climb up a tree.

  8. koalas

    Koalas aren’t primates, but they move like monkeys in trees

    With double thumbs and a monkey-sized body, an iconic marsupial climbs like a primate.

  9. Amazon fires

    A year of big numbers startled the world into talking about nature

    One million species are at risk. Three billion birds have been lost. Plus surges in Amazon burning.

  10. rodeo ant

    Texas has its own rodeo ant queens

    New species of rodeo ants, riding on the backs of bigger ants, turned up in Austin, Texas.

  11. kids holding trees to plant

    5 things to know about fighting climate change by planting trees

    One group’s idea of planting vast swaths of trees to curb climate change exaggerates the proposal’s power to trap carbon, some argue.

  12. Saharan silver ant

    Saharan silver ants are the world’s fastest despite relatively short legs

    Saharan silver ants can hit speeds of 108 times their body length per second.