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Smithsonian study reveals white-tailed deer in eastern U.S. are infected with a malaria parasite

Through sheer coincidence, two Smithsonian researchers at the National Zoological Park have discovered that 18 percent of the white-tailed deer population in the Eastern United States is infected with the malaria causing parasite Plasmodium odocoilei.

Capturing a new species with a submersible

The Smithsonian Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) captures a new species of deep-reef fish, the Godzilla goby, using the Curasub submersible.

Remarkable butterfly look-alike lived 50 million years before butterflies appeared

New fossils found in Northeastern China have revealed a remarkable evolutionary coincidence: an extinct group of insects known as Kalligrammatid lacewings (Order Neuroptera) share an uncanny resemblance to modern day butterflies (Order Lepidoptera).

Partners in the Sky

Unlocking the mysteries of animal migration through precise, near real-time tracking can solve major conservation challenges and transform wildlife science worldwide.

Loss of breeding grounds in North America is likely cause of Wood Thrush Decline

Wood thrush (Flickr photo by Bob Devlin) For the past 50 years, the number of wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) that breed in the United States has decreased more than 60 percent.

Theorists Propose a New Method to Probe the Beginning of the Universe

How did the universe begin? And what came before the Big Bang? Cosmologists have asked these questions ever since discovering that our universe is expanding.

Some hardy Zoo animals also love a snow day!

Mei Xiang, a 10-year-old female giant panda rolls down the snow-covered hill at the National Zoo. Snowstorms and blizzards send people to raid supermarkets and prepare their homes for days of staying indoors, but how do the animals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo prepare for a winter storm?

Smithsonian Botanist Discovers New Ground-Flowering Plant in Panama

Rattlesnake, zebra and peacock plants have a new wild relative, discovered by Rodolfo Flores, Panamanian botanist and intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).

Elusive bush dog widespread in Panama

Bush dogs photographed in Donoso, Colón Province, Panama, Dec. 7, 2012. (Image provided by Ricardo Moreno, MWH Global, Inc., Minera Panama S.A.) The bush dog is one of the most enigmatic of the world’s canid species, seldom seen throughout its range in Central and South America.

Meet Juan Rodriguez, panda keeper at the National Zoo

Bei Bei, Bao Bao, Tian Tian. Many people recognize the names of the giant pandas that reside at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

George Washington on schedule for high-tech examination

When the famous Lansdowne portrait of George Washington is taken off public display next month at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery for an 18-month conservation, it will be receiving a series of in-depth diagnostics from the latest imaging technology and treatment to correct some existing problems.

New Montana ant species emerge from 46-million-year-old rock

“Crematogaster aurora,” queen. This specimen is the oldest known species in its genus. She was a stunning brown queen; drowned some 46 million years ago in a shallow lake in Montana.

Trees employ similar strategies to outcompete their neighbors

  By studying forests in the same way at sites around the world, the Smithsonian ForestGEO network provides some of the best on-the-ground data to understand forests and their responses to global change.


Globular star clusters are extraordinary in almost every way. They’re densely packed, holding a million stars in a ball only about 100 light-years across on average.

New Study Helps Smithsonian Scientists Prioritize Frogs at Risk of Extinction

“Atelopus certus,” lives Cerro Sapo (or Toad Mountain) in the Darien Region of eastern Panama, and is one of the most strikingly colored of all harlequin frogs.

X-ray fluorescence shines new light on arthritis in dogs

Osteoarthritis in dogs is a serious and painful malady that effects many breeds. Recently Janine Brown, a biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., has been working with colleagues at Chiang Mai University in Thailand to evaluate the mineral composition of healthy dog pelvic bones and those showing severe osteoarthritis.

The Power of Touch: Sex-changing snails switch sooner when together

Many animals change sex at some point in their lives, often after reaching a certain size. Snails called slipper limpets begin life as males, and become female as they grow.

Agustín Stahl: The Scientist Who Introduced “arbol de navidad” (Christmas Tree) to Puerto Rico

Agustín Stahl’s “Estudios sobre la flora de Puerto Rico” (“Studies about the flora of Puerto Rico”), published in 1883.

Research shows same growth rate for farming, non-farming societies

Prehistoric human populations of hunter-gatherers in a region of North America grew at the same rate as farming societies in Europe, according to a new radiocarbon analysis involving researchers from the University of Wyoming and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

From Wind-Up Dolls to Handheld Computers, Toys Follow Evolution of Tech

Got a kid who’s expecting the new Xbox One under the Christmas tree, or a teenager who absolutely must have the latest phablet?