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  • short-beaked echidna
  • Coral reef
  • images of plastic, nuclear tests, chickens
Your search has returned 862 articles:
  • It's Alive

    An echidna’s to-do list: Sleep. Eat. Dig up Australia.

    With no nipples and reptilelike eggs, short-beaked echidnas look like a first draft of a mammal. Yet, as Australia’s other digging mammals decline from invasive predators, the well-defended echidna is getting new love as an ecosystem engineer.

    The only mammals today that lay eggs are the four echidna species and the duck-billed platypus. Eggs are probably a holdover from the time before...

    11/18/2016 - 12:00 Animals, Ecology
  • Feature

    Reef rehab could help threatened corals make a comeback

    Coral reefs are bustling cities beneath tropical, sunlit waves. Thousands of colorful creatures click, dash and dart, as loud and fast-paced as citizens of any metropolis.

    Built up in tissue-thin layers over millennia, corals are the high-rise apartments of underwater Gotham. Calcium carbonate skeletons represent generations of tiny invertebrate animals, covered in a living layer of...

    10/18/2016 - 05:30 Oceans, Conservation
  • News

    Nuclear blasts, other human activity signal new epoch, group argues

    Humankind’s bombs, plastics, chickens and more have altered the planet enough to usher in a new chapter in Earth’s geologic history. That’s the majority opinion of a group of 35 experts tasked with evaluating whether the current human-dominated time span, unofficially dubbed the Anthropocene, deserves a formal place in Earth’s geologic timeline alongside the Eocene and the Pliocene.

    In a...

    09/25/2016 - 06:00 Earth, Climate, Science & Society
  • News

    Shrinking sea ice threatens natural highways for caribou, plants

    As warming breaks up the sea ice that serves as great frozen highways for Arctic wildlife, caribou and even wildflowers face route shutdowns, long detours or outright strandings.

    Already, ice bridges Peary caribou need for their seasonal migrations from island to island are becoming scarcer, with worse to come, an international research team reports September 21 in Biology Letters. In...

    09/20/2016 - 19:05 Ecology, Climate, Animals
  • News

    See where Clinton and Trump stand on science

    Hillary Clinton’s “I believe in science” declaration aside, science has not played a starring role in the 2016 presidential election. Far from it. For the most part, the candidates’ science policies have trickled out in dribs and drabs, and in varying degrees of detail — talking points on a website here, a passing comment in response to a spur-of-the-moment question there.

    Yet science...

    09/13/2016 - 12:25 Science & Society
  • Feature

    Fish escapes from marine farms raise concerns about wildlife

    On the dock in Buenaventura, Colombia, the fisherman needed help identifying his catch. “I don’t have any clue what this is,” he said, holding a roughly 50-centimeter-long, grayish-brown fish. Gustavo Castellanos-Galindo, a fish ecologist, recalls the conversation from last October. “I said, ‘Well, this is a cobia, and it shouldn’t be here.’ ”

    The juvenile cobia had probably escaped from...

    09/07/2016 - 16:12 Oceans, Ecosystems, Agriculture
  • It's Alive

    Dwarf lemurs don’t agree on sleep

    Contrary to many adorable children’s stories, hibernation is so not sleeping. And most animals can’t do both at the same time.

    So what’s with Madagascar’s dwarf lemurs? The fat-tailed dwarf lemur slows its metabolism into true hibernation, and stays there even when brain monitoring shows it’s also sleeping. But two lemur cousins, scientists have just learned, don’t multitask. Like other...

    09/05/2016 - 10:00 Animals, Physiology
  • News

    Nearby exoplanet trio new target in search for life

    Three Earth-sized planets orbiting a star practically next-door might be a good place to hunt for alien life — or at least check out some worlds that are different from anything in our solar system.

    The planets orbit a dim, cool star just 39 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. Each is outside or possibly on the edge of the star’s habitable zone — where average temperatures...

    05/02/2016 - 15:10 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • Essay

    Humans have pondered aliens since medieval times

    For beings that are supposedly alien to human culture, extraterrestrials are pretty darn common. You can find them in all sorts of cultural contexts, from comic books, sci-fi novels and conspiracy theories to Hollywood films and old television reruns. There’s Superman and Doctor Who, E.T. and Mindy’s friend Mork, Mr. Spock, Alf, Kang and Kodos and My Favorite Martian. Of course, there’s just...

    04/20/2016 - 10:30 History of Science, Astronomy, Science & Society
  • Feature

    How alien can a planet be and still support life?

    Just how fantastical a planet can be and still support recognizable life isn’t just a question for science fiction. Astronomers are searching the stars for otherworldly inhabitants, and they need a road map. Which planets are most likely to harbor life? That’s where geoscientists’ imaginations come in. Applying their knowledge of how our world works and what allows life to flourish, they are...

    04/19/2016 - 13:00 Planetary Science, Earth, Astrobiology