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Writer Rudolfo Anaya is subject of National Portrait Gallery’s first Latino commission

New Mexican author Rudolfo Anaya, recent recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities National Humanities Medal and author of the nationally best-selling novel “Bless Me, Ultima.” This 2016 portrait by Gaspar Enriquez was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.

One cold bug: Fossil beetle discovered in Antarctica

Antarctica is home to fewer insect species than anywhere else on earth. But it wasn’t always that way.

NASA, Smithsonian renew hunt for Antarctic meteorites

This 4.5-billion-year-old ureilite meteorite is one of the oldest objects in the Smithsonian’s collection.

Carlos Vives donates vallenato guitar to Smithsonian

Painted guitar Carlos Vives donated to the Smithsonian The guitar shown above belonged to Colombian Grammy Award-winning singer and composer Carlos Vives, who is best known for his vallenato chart-topping hits.

By simply pooping, comb jellies expel long-held scientific error

The comb jelly “Mnemiopsis leidyi” is one of two species used in a recent study proving these animals have a through-gut and excrete through anal pores.

Steven Young Lee-Visions and Revisions: Renwick Invitational 2016

Steven Young Lee blends Eastern and Western traditions with anachronistic, often playful imagery and striking pattern in his porcelain works.

7 Babe Ruth facts from National Portrait Gallery exhibit “Babe Ruth: One Life”

Babe Ruth and first wife Helen Woodford, by Underwood & Underwood; gelatin silver print 1925 (Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC) It was an era of “anything goes,” big cars, telephones, The Roaring Twenties and massive industrial growth.

Monarch Butterflies Make the Most of the Smithsonian’s Gardens

A monarch butterfly (Photo by richiebits) Spending time in a beautiful garden can be transformative. In fact, some visitors to the Smithsonian’s Mary Livingston Ripley Garden in Washington D.C.

Teeth topography of modern mammals opens window to extinct animal diets

These laser-scanned digital maps of a gorilla’s teeth visualize shape, orientation and slope information.

Feathered diplomats unite pupils in North and South America

With an area of about 100 square miles, Ometepe is the largest island in the world that’s situated in a freshwater lake.

Ant bridges connect tropical tree crowns

Canopy of “D. aromatica” at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. (Photo by Patrice78500) Internet and phone connections are essential for effective communicators and for success in business.

ROBODOC Hip/Knee Replacement Surgical Robot prototype donated

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has acquired a 1989 prototype of ROBODOC, an orthopedic surgical device created for hip and knee replacement surgeries.

Giant wind tunnel sped aircraft innovation

National Air and Space Museum Curator John Anderson describes major flight innovations made possible by the Full Scale Tunnel, built in 1931 at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Langley Memorial Laboratory in Hampton, Va.

Basque Dance Troupe “Aukeran” at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Aukeran is a professional dance troupe from Basque country founded in 1997 by Edu Muruamendiaraz. The beautiful and graceful professional dancers have backgrounds in both Basque traditional and contemporary dance.

Discovery: Australia’s invasive cane toads modify their bodies to conquer new territory faster

Three female cane toads occupy an irrigation pipe in the Northern Territory of Australia. (Photo courtesy Cameron Hudson) In 1935, 101 cane toads from Hawaii were set loose in Australia to help control beetles that were decimating the Australian sugar crop.

Jennifer Trask – Visions and Revisions: Renwick Invitational 2016

Jennifer Trask engages nature as both medium and subject matter, combining unexpected materials such as bone, vertebrae, butterfly wings, resin, metal, and antique frame fragments to create arresting jewelry and large-scale sculptures.

Annual Smithsonian-led science festival draws crowds in Ft. Pierce, Fla.

At Smithsonian Marine Station’s Mangrove ID table, visiting University of South Carolina graduate student Zac Cannizzo tests visitors’ knowledge of the parts and pieces of the three species of mangrove that grow around the Indian River Lagoon.

A Planet in Peril: Q&A with Suzan Murray of the Smithsonian Global Health Program

Black Rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. (Brocken Inaglory) With roughly 5,500 individuals remaining in the wild, the black rhino population is critically endangered.

Five Things You probably Didn’t Know About Military Mail

While serving overseas in Australia in 1943, Army nurses of the 268th Station Hospital receive their first mail from home.

Secret Adventures: “Claws and Effect”

This Secret Smithsonian Adventures series follows four middle schoolers as they foil events by two dastardly doers who try to dangerously change the true course of history.