Part interactive field guide, part map, a new app compiles millions of records on species ranges worldwide. By pinpointing your location, the Map of Life app lets you explore plants and critters you might see nearby. Or tap around the globe to see what might be blooming in Singapore, for example. Click on a species name to reveal its range map (one...
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Thank You, Madagascar
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When Alison Jolly died last year, the world lost one of its leading authorities on lemurs. Jolly began studying these primates on her first trip...
For a dwarf mongoose, a handstand is a crucial skill learned at an early age. “It’s funny to watch the youngsters trying to do it … almost as soon as they can walk,” says Lynda Sharpe, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. “They tend...
The final puzzle piece in the chemical pathway that makes morphine has been identified, scientists report June 25 in Science. The work fills in the center piece in the path — the protein converting the compound (S)-reticuline to (R)-reticuline.
By analyzing poppy DNA and confirming its function in yeast,...
A little yeti crab makes the most of a pretty rough neighborhood.
Newly discovered Kiwa tyleri lives in the dark about 2,500 meters below the surface of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, researchers in England report June 24 in PLOS ONE.
K. tyleri’s stout body and spiny legs help it cling to the walls of hydrothermal vents, where it seeks a narrow...
Whether it’s upside down or right side up, Hallucigenia sparsa looks like it wriggled right out of a nightmare. And giving the wormlike creepy-crawly a head hasn’t helped.
At plant markets in Thailand, exquisite orchids are for sale. Those orchids are unlike the ones you can buy at many U.S. shops; many of them are rare species that were collected from the wild. Selling them is illegal.
This trade is “invisible” because hardly any of it makes it into government statistics that are supposed to document illegal trade in wild flora, Jacob Phelps and Edward...
Hairs on the Saharan silver ant help keep the insect kicking in scorching desert heat. The sophisticated heat-regulating properties of the ant hairs’ silvery sheen, reported June 18 in Science, could inspire materials that thermally shield objects in hot environments.
Previous research revealed that silver ants (...
Baboons don’t follow the leader. When a troop of these monkeys splits up and starts moving in two dramatically different directions, animals gravitate toward the more popular choice, a new study finds.
When traveling baboons branch off in only moderately conflicting directions, the animals compromise by taking an in-between path, say quantitative and computational biologist Ariana...
Ivory poachers tend to hunt elephants in just a few key spots in Africa, a new genetic analysis shows.
The DNA signatures of smuggled tusks seized by law enforcement officials over the last 20 years finger central and southeastern Africa as hotbeds of organized ivory trafficking crime and corruption, scientists suggest online June...