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China’s Giant Salamanders Pose a Conservation Conundrum

China’s Giant Salamanders Pose a Conservation Conundrum

A Chinese giant salamander, in a glass enclosure in Zhangjiajie, China. There are as many as eight distinct species, but farming is muddling them into a single hybridized population.

These Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart.

These Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart.

Dr. Odile Madden, of the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, holding a piece of degrading plastic for use in trying out new methods of preservation.

Trapped in 99-Million-Year-Old Amber, a Beetle With Pilfered Pollen

Trapped in 99-Million-Year-Old Amber, a Beetle With Pilfered Pollen

A mid-Cretaceous beetle had a cavity filled with hair at the base of its mandibles for collecting pollen from plants known as cycads.

Being Antisocial Leads to a Longer Life. For Marmots.

Being Antisocial Leads to a Longer Life. For Marmots.

Marmot pups near Crested Butte, Colo. Researchers tracked yellow-bellied marmots’ interactions for 13 years and found that more solitary marmots lived longer lives.

Newly Discovered ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Civil War Surgeons’ Bitter Choices

Newly Discovered ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Civil War Surgeons’ Bitter Choices

A field technician excavating the remains of an amputated limb at Manassas National Battlefield Park in October 2015. The discovery of two nearly complete sets of soldiers’ remains, 11 partial limbs and other artifacts appeared to date to the Second Battle of Bull Run, which ended Aug. 30, 1862.

The Chambered Nautilus Is the Ocean’s Most Efficient Jet Engine

The Chambered Nautilus Is the Ocean’s Most Efficient Jet Engine

The chambered nautilus propels itself by sucking in and shooting out water, and uses far less energy to do it than other swimmers that use jet propulsion.

The F.B.I. and the Mystery of the Mummy’s Head

The F.B.I. and the Mystery of the Mummy’s Head

This mummified, severed head was recovered from an ancient Egyptian tomb in 1915. Scientists needed to collect DNA to figure out whom the head belonged to.

With 86% Drop, California’s Monarch Butterfly Population Hits Record Low

With 86% Drop, California’s Monarch Butterfly Population Hits Record Low

The population of western monarch butterflies in California dropped to a record low last year, according to a nonprofit conservation group.

Did Juul Lure Teenagers and Get ‘Customers for Life’?

Did Juul Lure Teenagers and Get ‘Customers for Life’?

Juul is under federal investigation for marketing its discreet, flash-drive-resembling e-cigarette product to youth.

Hot Heads: Why Mammals Need R.E.M. Sleep

Hot Heads: Why Mammals Need R.E.M. Sleep

Fur seals can switch off and on R.E.M. sleep when they're in the sea and on land, a pattern never seen before. Scientists believe it might mean R.E.M. sleep helps generate heat in our skulls, like shivering for the brain.

Robot Conquers One of the Hardest Human Tasks: Assembling Ikea Furniture

Robot Conquers One of the Hardest Human Tasks: Assembling Ikea Furniture

This robot, created by researchers in Singapore, took 20 minutes 19 seconds to make and execute a plan to assemble an Ikea chair.

1 Hen, 76 Ducklings: What’s the Deal With This Picture?

1 Hen, 76 Ducklings: What’s the Deal With This Picture?

Dozens of common merganser ducklings following Mama on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota.

Francisco J. Ayala, Famed Biologist, Resigns After Sexual Harassment Inquiry

Francisco J. Ayala, Famed Biologist, Resigns After Sexual Harassment Inquiry

Francisco J. Ayala, one of the university's more generous donors and a star professor, will leave the university as of Sunday without "emeritus" status.

The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live

The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live

A colored transmission electron micrograph of a human serous cell’s nucleus, with its nucleolus in purple. The nucleolus functions as the sort of brain of the nucleus, making rRNA, a basic ingredient for making proteins.

In Footprints on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Signs of a Dinosaur Playground

In Footprints on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Signs of a Dinosaur Playground

A sauropod footprint found in Scotland was among several that included tracks left by smaller, two-legged meat-eaters. Their presence together upends a theory that the larger plant-eaters waded into shallow, muddy waters to evade predators.

SpaceX’s Big Rocket, the Falcon Heavy, Finally Reaches the Launchpad

SpaceX’s Big Rocket, the Falcon Heavy, Finally Reaches the Launchpad

Almost 230 feet tall and weighing more than 3 million pounds, the Falcon Heavy is more powerful than any other rocket flying today.


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