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. Bathochordaeus mcnutti
    Animals

    Larvaceans’ underwater ‘snot palaces’ boast elaborate plumbing

    Mucus houses have valves and ducts galore that help giant larvaceans extract food from seawater.

  2. Asian giant hornet
    Life

    More ‘murder hornets’ are turning up. Here’s what you need to know

    Two more specimens of the world’s largest hornet have just been found in North America.

  3. bumblebee
    Life

    Pollen-deprived bumblebees may speed up plant blooming by biting leaves

    In a pollen shortage, some bees nick holes in tomato leaves that accelerate flowering, and pollen production, by weeks.

  4. Asian small-clawed otter
    Life

    Why otters ‘juggle’ rocks is still a mystery

    Shuffling pebbles really fast looks as if it should boost otters’ dexterity, but a new study didn’t find a link.

  5. Elephants
    Animals

    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.

  6. Microscopic springtail
    Animals

    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.

  7. water strider
    Animals

    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.

  8. Leaf-cutter ants
    Animals

    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?

  9. one-celled algae with flagella
    Life

    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.

  10. honeybees
    Life

    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.

  11. Panda climbing
    Life

    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.

  12. koalas
    Life

    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.