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Shrinking Moon Linked to Earth’s Tidal Forces

Astronaut Eugene Cernan took this sequence depicting the North Massif and two lobes of the Lee-Lincoln scarp, visible as rounded mounds in the foreground of the pictures.

Did mystery worms cause world’s first mass extinction?

Earth’s first multicellular creatures had soft bodies. This illustration shows a community of Ediacaran biota, some of which resemble living ocean creatures.

Forest Giants Suffer Most During Droughts

Huge old ash tree (Flickr photo by spodzone) In a study published Sept. 28 in the journal Nature Plants, a team led by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists found that bigger trees suffer the most during droughts, regardless of location or forest type.

DNA solves puzzle of catfish dinners

A flathead catfish. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo) DNA analysis is proving to be a valuable tool for scientists trying to gauge the environmental impact that invasive blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) and flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) are having on native populations of fish in eastern Virginia waterways.


The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi is having a “shocking” effect on the surrounding dust clouds in this infrared image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope.

Drought causing jays and foxes on California’s Channel Islands to halt reproduction

Island Scrub-Jay, Santa Cruz Island, Calif. (Photo by Aaron Maizlish) California’s Channel Islands are located dozens of miles west of the state’s coast and surrounded by Pacific waters, yet they too are experiencing the same severe drought as the rest of the state.

On-line resources for Smithsonian Libraries

Here are some of the many resources the Smithsonian Libraries have to offer for Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History The post On-line resources for Smithsonian Libraries appeared first on Smithsonian Science News -.

Studying lionfish’s impact in Western Atlantic

The post Studying lionfish’s impact in Western Atlantic appeared first on Smithsonian Science News -.

Warming may shrink ancient range of heat loving desert lizard

Desert horned lizard, Joshua Tree National Park (Photo by Stacy Manson/National Park Service) The Mojave Desert and Death Valley are among the hottest, driest places in North America.

Smithsonian Enlists Star Trek Fans to Send USS Enterprise Back in Time

The National Air and Space Museum is asking Star Trek fans to search their memory banks for firsthand, pre-1976 images or film of the original studio model of the USS Enterprise.

On Mongolia’s deserts an ancient competition for water resumes

Reintroduced to areas of Mongolia and China in 2001 after being declared extinct in the wild decades earlier, researchers studied Przewalski’s horse interactions with the more abundant khulan to better understand their ecology and habitat requirements.

Meet the (flea) beetles! New species

A specimen of the newly described “Burumoseria yuae,” dorsal view, collected in Taiwan. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness are but a few of the symptoms one might anticipate after eating leaves from the Taiwanese shrub Erycibe henryi.

Fossil Specimen Reveals a New Species of Ancient River Dolphin

An artistic reconstruction of “Isthminia panamensis,” a new fossil dolphin from Panama, feeding on a flatfish.

Stunning deep space photo reveals new details of Orion nebulae

High resolution image of Messier 43 taken with the 6.5 meter Magellan telescope in Chile and the MMIRS, which sees into the near-infrared spectrum.

Interstellar Seeds Could Create Oases of Life

In this theoretical artist’s conception of the Milky Way galaxy, transluscent green “bubbles” mark areas where life has spread beyond its home system to create cosmic oases, a process called panspermia.

Scientists study Skydiving spiders in South America

Arachnophobes fearful of spiders jumping, creeping or falling into their beds now have something new to worry about. Some spiders might also glide in through the window.

Pulverized Planet Dust May Lie Around Double Stars

Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

Tattoos: Telling Stories in the Flesh. Q&A with Lars Krutak

From patterns etched into the skin of an ancient mummy to the colorful designs that adorn people today, tattoos are not just skin deep; they tell us about individuals and their cultures—and offer insights into what it is to be human.

Exam of the First Born Panda Cub

Around 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 23, 2015 veterinarians examined the cub Mei Xiang gave birth to at 5:35 p.m.

Warming temperatures may mean more monarch butterfly generations in some areas of North America

Monarch caterpillars seen in late summer are part of the generation that migrates to Mexico and overwinters there.