A Cape ground squirrel sits upright on its hind legs, holding its forelimbs up to its face.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Andy Carstens | Jan 3, 2023 | 10 min read
Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.
Slideshow: Meet the Neuston, the Diverse Organisms Living at the Ocean’s Surface
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 2 min read
The ocean’s surface harbors an ecosystem of colorful, understudied life, ranging from protists and cnidarians to insects.
Illustration showing where neuston reside
Infographic: Neuston Drift Atop the World’s Oceans
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 1 min read
The sea surface is home to a diverse group of animals adapted to life in the open ocean, but increasingly, they’re sharing that space with plastic debris.
A fishing cat with a fish in its mouth
Genome Spotlight: Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Dec 22, 2022 | 5 min read
A high-quality reference genome for this vulnerable feline may help scientists understand why they’re so prone to transitional cell carcinoma in captivity.
A grayscale tomography image of snake tissue
Snakes Have Clitorises After All, Study Finds
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Dec 13, 2022 | 4 min read
Researchers visualize the snake clitoris in detail for the first time, finding evidence that the organ may be evolutionarily important for snake sex.
Modified from the cover of <em >The Sounds of Life</em>
Opinion: Listening to the Biosphere Is Key Step in Saving It
Karen Bakker | Dec 12, 2022 | 4 min read
New insights into the functionality of nonhuman sound may help us conserve nature and protect ourselves from excessive noise.
Photo of floppy disks and motherboards
Inside the Project Trying to Save Datasets from Extinction
Ian Rose | Dec 1, 2022 | 5 min read
Researchers race to find ecological data kept on outdated media or in dusty backroom boxes—before they’re lost forever.
<em >Lymantria&nbsp;</em>species make ultrasonic, mechanical rasping noises when they hear bats nearby.&nbsp;
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats
Connor Lynch | Dec 1, 2022 | 5 min read
A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.
Brown-red ants climb over a pile of white translucent larvae and orange pupae. Some use their mandibles to position the larvae.
Ant Pupae Feed Adults, Larvae with Secreted Liquid 
Viviane Callier | Nov 30, 2022 | 4 min read
The molting fluid of ant pupae functions as “metabolic currency” in the ant colony and may have enabled the evolution of eusociality. 
Three flying foxes (a type of bat) hanging upside down on a bare branch
Climate Change, Deforestation Drive Bat Virus Spillover Into Humans
Amanda Heidt | Nov 17, 2022 | 4 min read
Bats that experience food shortages due to climate change and habitat loss end up roosting in urban settings, where they shed more of the deadly Hendra virus. 
Cover of <em>Pests.</em>
Book Excerpt from Pests
Bethany Brookshire | Nov 14, 2022 | 5 min read
In a chapter on cats, author Bethany Brookshire explores the thorny issue of felines that live freely.
Cover of <em>Pests.</em>
Opinion: Are Cats Friends or Fiends?
Bethany Brookshire | Nov 14, 2022 | 4 min read
In Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains, I explore what it is that makes an animal a pest—and it has nothing to do with their behavior, but rather our own desires and beliefs about the natural world.
A closeup of a dead frog floating in water with aquatic plants underneath it
Chytrid Fungus Deploys Varying Strategies to Infect Amphibians
Tess Joosse | Nov 14, 2022 | 2 min read
The ability to activate different sets of genes has likely helped the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis spread widely in amphibians, resulting in global population declines. 
Close up of spider
Science Snapshot: Legs for Days
Lisa Winter | Nov 2, 2022 | 1 min read
This image took 4th place at the 2022 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.
Three grasshoppers
How a Grasshopper Gave Up Sex, Took Up Cloning
Dan Robitzski | Nov 1, 2022 | 5 min read
Meet the grasshopper that has reproduced asexually for a quarter of a million years—without acquiring undue numbers of harmful mutations.
Image of Gollum
Opinion: The Problem with Researchers Hoarding Resources
Jose Valdez and Sandeep Sharma | Nov 1, 2022 | 4 min read
For too long, some scientists have acted like Gollums of the ivory tower, guarding precious study sites, model organisms, and even entire fields of inquiry.
Fernanda, a Fernandina giant tortoise (<em>Chelonoidis phantasticus</em>), was identified in 2019, decades after her species supposedly went extinct.
When an Extinct Species Is Found Alive, What Happens Next?
Andy Carstens | Nov 1, 2022 | 6 min read
Finding a creature in the wild that had been considered long gone brings hope—and quite a bit of uncertainty.
Embryonic gecko hand
Science Snapshot: Show of Hands
Lisa Winter | Oct 28, 2022 | 1 min read
This image took the top prize at the 2022 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.
Three turtles resting closely together on a log, one end of which is submerged in brackish water
Turtle Vocalizations Reframe Origins of Auditory Communication
Amanda Heidt | Oct 26, 2022 | 4 min read
Sounds made by more than 50 vertebrates previously thought to be mute push back the origin of this type of communication by at least 100 million years, a study finds.
Swarm of honey bees around green foliage
Some Honey Bee Swarms Generate Electrical Charges Stronger Than Storms
Jef Akst | Oct 24, 2022 | 2 min read
Small charges carried by individual insects can add up, a study finds, with larger swarms generating substantial electrical fields.