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Coral reefs grow faster, healthier when parrotfish are abundant

A parrotfish feeding at the coral off Granita de Oro, Granita de Oro, one of 38 small, wild islands that make up Panama’s Isla Coiba National Park, in the Gulf of Chiriqui.

“Greek Slave,” the Washington, D.C. Legacy of Hiram Powers’ 1840s masterpiece

A 3-D printed glass-infused polymer replica of Hiram Power’s “Greek Slave,” in the Octagon Room of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery.

“It’s Summer Somewhere in the World”

Original, silk screened, 60-by-40-inch Day-Glo poster for The Endless Summer movie designed by John Van Hamersveld; National Museum of American History As snow sweeps across the country and the cold seeps into our bones, thinking about balmy temperatures on exotic shores offers a little relief from winter’s icy grip.

Colossal diamond’s erie glow Earns It a Fiery Name

The Foxfire diamond is the largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond mined in North America and is on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the Smithsonian’s First Choreographer-in-residence

Known around the world for personal and culturally inspired choreography, Dana Tai Soon Burgess has been named the Smithsonian’s first choreographer-in-residence at the National Portrait Gallery.

Microbes rule in ‘knee-high tropical rainforests’

Tropical forests are home to about 50 percent of all the Earth’s plant species. The Jurien Bay shrublands in Australia are another area of very high plant diversity.

Otterly engaging: Zoo enrichment

What’s an Asian small-clawed otter’s favorite enrichment toy? Anything it can get its paws on! This species’ dexterous, partially-webbed digits are adept at feeling for food and manipulating objects in the environment.

Uncovering the Moon’s Secrets

The Moon and its surface provide insight into the early history of the solar system in this video from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Farthest Milky Way stars might be ripped from another galaxy

The 11 farthest known stars in our galaxy are located about 300,000 light-years from Earth, well outside the Milky Way’s spiral disk.

Measuring trees with the speed of sound

Tomogram showing areas of wood decay in a tree with an irregularly shaped trunk, based on sonic tomography with the PiCUS 3 Sonic Tomograph.

New exhibit examines explosive growth of Latino communities in four U.S. cities

“Uprising Against ICE,” 2014 by Rosalia Torres-Weiner, Charlotte, N.C. North Carolina’s influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America and resultant deportations inspired this piece.

Our Galaxy’s Black Hole is Spewing Planet-size “Spitballs”

This artist’s conception portrays a collection of planet-mass objects that have been flung out of the galactic center at speeds of 20 million miles per hour (10,000 km/s).

Dormant Orchids Need Fungi to Rise Again

Small whorled pogonia orchid, Isotria medeoloides. (Photo by Melissa McCormick/SERC) If you are a plant, when life aboveground turns harsh, you have few options.

How Are Those New Year’s Resolutions Going?

Scouting for Girls: Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts Inc., 1920; Smithsonian Libraries If getting more exercise was one of your new year’s resolutions, take a page from the 1920 Scouting for Girls: Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts, which is in the Smithsonian Libraries’ collections.

Newly named, Hawaiian tree species already critically endangered

“Melicope oppenheimeri” and its habitat. (Photo by H. Oppenheimer) A newly discovered Hawaiian tree recently had the distinction of being added to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Critically Endangered Species in the same scientific article in which it was named.

Restoration of the Ohkay Owingeh Tribe’s historic pueblo

Ohkay Owingeh from Adventure Pictures on Vimeo. Currently featured in the exhibition “By the People” at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City through February, this short film tells the story of the decade-long restoration of the Ohkay Owingeh Tribe’s historic pueblo and new housing construction.

The incredible marine diversity under boat docks

Coastal marine environments are impacted by human disturbance. Dock pilings allow MarineGEO researchers to study these impacts in a standardized way around the world to understand whether biodiversity serves to stabilize ecosystems in the face of disturbance.

Speical Delivery

Carriers had fun with the idea of “mailing” babies and staged these photographs. This image is a part of a collection of Smithsonian photographs on Flickr and the most popular photograph from the Institution in that collection.

One-Stop Shopping for Federal Scientific Collections

A tray of bumble bees from the National Museum of Natural History’s bee collection awaits digitization.

Happy Holidays from the National Air and Space Museum

Happy Holidays from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum! The post Happy Holidays from the National Air and Space Museum appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.