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  • Wild Things

    Big cats hunt livestock when wild prey is scarce

    If farmers don’t want big cats to kill their livestock, they should make sure that the kitties have enough wild prey to eat. Lions, tigers and other big cats tend to hunt cattle, goats and sheep only after their regular prey has fallen below certain thresholds, a new study finds.

    The seven species that make up the big cats —...

    11/05/2015 - 12:39 Animals, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    African herbivores share space but not diet

    There’s a good reason why so many people want to go on an African safari — savannas in Kenya and other countries are home to plenty of large, photogenic animals, including elephants, giraffes and lions. Who wouldn’t want to see those creatures up close?

    But there’s something a bit quirky about those savannas. They can be home to 10 or even 25 different species of herbivores that all seem...

    06/03/2015 - 15:00 Animals
  • News

    E-commerce sites personalize search results to maximize profits

    The convenience of comparing airfares at a single travel website while browsing from a smartphone is undeniable. But these modern perks can have a hidden cost: Researchers have uncovered multiple instances of travel and retail websites steering customers toward more expensive prices depending on factors such as whether customers are on a mobile phone, use a particular browser or have purchased...

    10/23/2014 - 12:14 Science & Society, Technology, Computing
  • Feature

    Carbon capture and storage finally approaching debut

    Like every other project, Jänschwalde failed.

    In 2008, it was set to become the world’s largest demonstration of just how cleanly coal could be burned to generate electricity. The revamping of an aging power plant in Germany, Jänschwalde was to become a paragon of a technology that can slash up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuel–burning power plants — the single...

    08/22/2014 - 15:11 Pollution, Climate, Sustainability
  • It's Alive

    Look beyond pest species to find beauty in cockroaches

    Yes, the shiny purple-green creature above and the sky-blue one below are cockroaches. But they do not at all want to live in your house.

    Among the world’s more than 4,600 or so roach species, “people have tended to concentrate on just the boring pest species,” says George Beccaloni, curator of cockroaches and their relatives at the Natural History Museum in London. That’s only about 30...

    06/12/2014 - 07:30 Animals, Physiology
  • Gory Details

    Why was Marius, the euthanized giraffe, ever born?

    Marius the giraffe was a surplus animal, from the Copenhagen Zoo’s perspective. His genes were common within the facility’s breeding program, so he could not be allowed to mate with females because of the risk of inbreeding. He died February 9 from a shot to the head with a bolt gun.

    A furor erupted after Marius was killed, necropsied and fed to lions. Whatever you think about the case...

    02/18/2014 - 15:00 Animals
  • Wild Things

    A year of rediscovered species

    When reading the latest news about the world’s animals, plants and other species, it often seems that everything has gotten pretty dreary: The western black rhino was declared officially extinct this year. Poaching...

    12/24/2013 - 11:30 Animals, Plants
  • Wild Things

    Protecting wildlife with legal hunting is a complicated issue

    Big game hunting is controversial. Some people object to all hunting, while others take exception to hunting for sport. Last month, there was an uproar on the Internet when Outdoor Channel TV personality Melissa Bachman...

    12/16/2013 - 15:45 Animals
  • Wild Things

    Some elephants get the point

    Not all animals understand what a human means when he points at something. Dogs get it, as do several other domesticated animals. Now we can add African elephants to that list.

    The pointing test, known as the “object-choice” task, is one of the ways that scientists investigate whether animals, including humans, understand social cues. The set-up is simple: A reward, often food, is placed...

    10/10/2013 - 12:28 Animals
  • Science & the Public

    Terrorist-resistant ‘source’ of moly-99 hits the U.S.

    Molybdenum-99 is the radioactive feedstock for the most widely used diagnostic nuclear-medicine isotope. On December 6, the first commercial batch of moly-99 that had been produced using a terrorist-resistant process arrived in the United States from a reactor in South Africa.

    Instead of using highly enriched — i.e. weapons-grade  — uranium, or HEU, the new process relies on low-...

    12/07/2010 - 13:00 Technology, Humans & Society, Biomedicine