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5 Reasons the Inka Road is one of the Greatest Achievements in Engineering


The Inka Empire is one of the greatest civilizations in the Western Hemisphere, spanning from the 13th century until the Spanish invasion in 1532.

New study may help free whales from fishing rope


This four-year-old male right whale entangled in heavy fishing rope was spotted in February 2014, 40 miles east of Jacksonville, FL.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Marks 50 Years of Making a Difference


The world’s coasts are home to more than 70 percent of the human population and experience intense development as a result.

Satellite tracking helps with curlew conservation


A curlew wades on the shore near Corpus Christi, Texas. ( All photos courtesy of Colin Newstead) Ever heard the joke about flying in from Mexico, and boy, are my arms tired?

The oldest microscope in the museum


  In the store-rooms of the National Museum of American History curators recently discovered a small microscope made around 1750 by John Cuff (1708-1772), a talented instrument maker whose shop was found “directly against Serjeant’s-Inn Gate in Fleet-Street, London.

Scientists Find Andean Bears with Camera Traps In Peru


For the first time, a team from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability collected photo evidence of an Andean bear (also known as the spectacled bear) in Peru’s Amarakaeri Comunal Reserve using camera traps—automated cameras with motion sensors.

Scientists Find Andean Bears with Camera Traps In Peru


For the first time, a team from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability collected photo evidence of an Andean bear (also known as the spectacled bear) in Peru’s Amarakaeri Comunal Reserve using camera traps—automated cameras with motion sensors.

Fossil shows Prehistoric Reptile Gave Birth in Open Ocean


A Clidastes mosasaur gives birth to live young in the open ocean 85 million years ago. (Illustration by Julius Csotonyi) A case of mistaken identity turned out to be the key for proving that a prehistoric aquatic reptile did not lay eggs, but rather gave birth to live young in the warm seas of the Mesozoic.

Fossil shows Prehistoric Reptile Gave Birth in Open Ocean


A Clidastes mosasaur gives birth to live young in the open ocean 85 million years ago. (Illustration by Julius Csotonyi) A case of mistaken identity turned out to be the key for proving that a prehistoric aquatic reptile did not lay eggs, but rather gave birth to live young in the warm seas of the Mesozoic.

Hi-Tech Analysis Cracks Curious Case of Contaminated Cremains


The conglomerated material found inside the urn was damp and clumpy, very unlike the dry, dusty ash it should have been.

Hi-Tech Analysis Cracks Curious Case of Contaminated Cremains


The conglomerated material found inside the urn was damp and clumpy, very unlike the dry, dusty ash it should have been.

In Belize, Critically endangered wrasse now favorite food of invasive lionfish


A lionfish shown with two mature female social wrasses, “Halichoeres socialis,”recovered from its stomach in Belize.

In Belize, Critically endangered wrasse now favorite food of invasive lionfish


A lionfish shown with two mature female social wrasses, “Halichoeres socialis,”recovered from its stomach in Belize.

Video from Solar Dynamics Observatory wows museum visitors


The 7-by-6-foot Dynamic Sun Video Wall shows full sun observations captured the previous day, space-weather information and scientific explanations of solar features.

Video from Solar Dynamics Observatory wows museum visitors


  The 7-by-6-foot Dynamic Sun Video Wall shows full sun observations captured the previous day, space-weather information and scientific explanations of solar features.

Water may Have Been Abundant in First Billion Years after big bang


This Hubble image features dark knots of gas and dust known as “Bok globules,” which are dense pockets in larger molecular clouds.

Water may Have Been Abundant in First Billion Years after big bang


This Hubble image features dark knots of gas and dust known as “Bok globules,” which are dense pockets in larger molecular clouds.

Study: Male bonding brings peace, lets primates live in big groups


Bearded saki (Flickr photo by Allen Hopkins) While studying the social dynamics of the bearded saki, a primate living in the rainforests of Suriname, primatologist Tremaine Gregory of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute observed an unusual behavior she described as “piling up.” After separating from the larger troupe, a group of male monkeys converge on a high tree branch and “all pile on top of each other, like they are wrestling,” Gregory says.

Study: Male bonding brings peace, allows primates to live in bigger groups


Bearded saki (Flickr photo by Allen Hopkins) While studying the social dynamics of the bearded saki, a primate living in the rainforests of Suriname, primatologist Tremaine Gregory of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute observed an unusual behavior she described as “piling up.” After separating from the larger troupe, a group of male monkeys converge on a high tree branch and “all pile on top of each other, like they are wrestling,” Gregory says.

Before Apple Watch: A TV watch plus the Hamilton Ventura


Seiko Watch Man TV wristwatch. Click for video ad. (Seiko photo) “We may think of the Apple Watch as new and exciting but it is not the first effort to put the latest technology on our wrists,” explains Carlene Stephens, curator of the watch collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.


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