This Week I Found: March 15- April 5 2014

I know that this covers more than a week, but I still wanted to share all the wonderful things that I found with you!

 

Things look very different in infrared and ultraviolet light.

Everything you ever wanted to know about black holes.

The face of the Big Bang, and here is another explanation, and another.

The planet Mercury is shrinking.

In 4 billion years, the Milky Way is going to collide with the Andromeda galaxy and it’s going to look amazing!

Want to be alerted when the ISS is passing overhead? There’s a device for that!

2/3 of Americans can’t see the Milky Way: get thee to a National Park!

Halley’s Comet will return in 2061!

Pro-tip: don’t stick your hand (or your head) in the Large Hadron Collider.

Can The Doppler Effect Help You Beat The Speed Camera?

The origin of the lights that come before earthquakes.

How Tardigrades Saved the Enterprise‘.

The Chernobyl fallout wreaked havoc on everything, including the microbes.

The evolutionary arms race between crops and pests.

Know your parasites.

Parasites, cat poop, and human culture.

How Animals See the World.’

Things look much different under a microscope.

What is a mass extinction and why should we care?

A comic about better sports mascots.

This winter’s cold could be bad for bees.

Just be glad that fleas today aren’t as large as their prehistoric relatives!

It should go without saying, but don’t ride sharks.

Frogs in pants helped to explain how sex works. Really.

Climate change is shrinking salamanders.

Iguanas Have Oldest Reptilian Sex Chromosome.

Poor sea snakes: even though they live in water, they’re always thirsty and dehydrated.

Homing pythons‘ slithered their way home.

The mating calls of some male tortoises.

Hummingbird songs sound surprisingly complicated when you slow them down.

What do we really know about the evolution of giant birds?

Cute comic about the calls of western American birds, and another about bird evolution.

If there were sabercats, there must have been saberkittens.”

Big cats really like the smell of Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men.

Cat domestication was complicated.

A bear tried to eat a GoPro Camera.

Pronghorns are weird and wonderful.

We might be getting closer to being able to clone a mammoth, but should we?

Learn about the extinction of Ice Age megafauna from the Oxford Megafauna Conference!

The return of the right whale.

Final Resting Place: Burials, Graves, and Funerary Rites.’

Where do geologists go when they die?

Why don’t Americans like IUDs?

Ancient Moss Revived After Ages on Ice‘.

In the past 39 years, the Rocky Mountain wildflower season has lengthened by a month.

It’s important to test science’s ‘just-so’ stories.

3D printing is revolutionizing paleontology.

A tornado made of fire and tumbleweeds.

Lake Michigan is beautiful in the winter.

How to dye the Chicago River green.

Check out this interactive map of all the wind turbines in the US.

Maps of earthquakes nicely outlines tectonic plates.

Light pollution can be bad for your health.

Statistically speaking, toilet seat covers aren’t worth it.

Scientifically measured speed idioms.

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Things I Wish I Had Known Earlier: Master’s Edition

I just submitted the final draft of my Master’s thesis to the Graduate School and I will graduate with an M.S. in Biology in May. I went directly from undergrad to my Master’s, so the learning curve was not as steep as it could have been, but, obviously, graduate school has been much different from undergrad. Lately, I’ve been looking back on what I learned in the past two years while doing my research. Hopefully, I will be able to save others from making the same mistakes that I did!

Do it (right) now

Simply put, parts of research/thesis writing are busy work. I recommend getting these things done and out of the way. Have 77 graphs to make? Have citations that need to be added to your literature cited? Don’t wait until the last minute. It’s so much easier to make little changes along the way than to have to change all the things at the last minute.If you are looking for a reference manager, I recommend Mendeley. Along those lines, do things right the first time. You will probably have to pretty things up later, but do Future You a favor and don’t just throw something together.

 

Write it down

Write down everything. Have an epiphany? Write it down. Change something? Write it down. Seriously. In the first few semesters of my Master’s, I would just assume that Future Me would remember what I had changed. Nope. I’ve had to start analyses from scratch because I didn’t write down what I had done. My advice: get a notebook and write in it every time you do anything with your research. If you like writing things down by hand, there are composition notebooks and Rite in the Rain notebooks,  as well as online notebooks such as Evernote (check out Dave Pappano’s open lab notebook).

Back it up

Save everything. All the time. There’s nothing like having your computer freeze to remind you that you haven’t saved your file in the past few hours. It seems to be a fact of the universe that your computer will die at the worst possible point in the semester, so back everything up multiple times. And for sanity’s sake, give it a name that makes sense. One of my fellow grad students learned that naming all the files you don’t like “poop” or “poop2” isn’t actually helpful and leads to the urge to flip tables.

Ask for help

I learned early on that it is better to ask for help when I don’t understand than to tough it out and struggle on my own in an effort to seem self-sufficient. Sure, there is merit to figuring things out on your own, but sometimes it is better to get help. I’ve had to unlearn convoluted methods that I figured out on my own because someone showed me an easier way to do things.

Take care of yourself

This advice is constantly repeated in lists of tips to get through grad school, but that’s because it is vitally important. I feel like a hypocrite saying it, because I know that in the last few months I haven’t been following this advice as well as I could have been, but I recognize its value. I know that when I ran regularly, I managed to work out kinks in my research and my life while on the trails. I know that I when I eat and sleep on a regular basis, I’m a more functional human being. I know that without the emotional support of my fellow grad students and my department chair, finishing my Master’s would have been orders of magnitude more difficult. My advice: exercise, eat healthy and regularly, get enough sleep, and ask for emotional support when you need it. Grad school is hard on everyone, so there’s no need to go through it alone.

The core of my paleoclimate research came from data-mined information and the analyses that I ran on it, so my experiences might be different from yours. Not all of my tips will be relevant to everyone, but hopefully they can give a push in the right direction. If you’re reading this because you’re in grad school, I hope you find it helpful and good luck!

Lots ‘o’ Links: Thesis and Spring Break Edition February 7-March 14 2014

Genetics, Disease and Medicine

The Unique Merger That Made You (and Ewe, and Yew)

Your Genetic Privacy is Probably a Lost Cause‘.

Syphilis: A Love Story‘.

Did the Vitruvian Man have a hernia?

Everything You Need To Know About Uterus Transplants‘.

Are Men the Weaker Sex?

Electric heart socks‘ can teach us about heart attacks and heart disease.

Prosthetic arm for drummers.

Some of my favorite bone diseases: porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia.

How do the blind dream?

Genetic engineering could save the American chestnut.

Bye-bye banana.

Paleontology

You wouldn’t want to mess with Dimetrodon.

Dinosaur pee. Enough said.

Science art: Neanderthals probably didn’t look all that different from us.

My favorite use of Google Glass: follow a paleontologist into the field!

Canada has another vast Cambrian fossil bed.

So many cool fossil are found during construction: here’s a new tusk!

Notes from the 10th North American Paleontological Convention.

An ancient whale graveyard.

Biology

Mary Anning’s Revenge wraps up 14 Days of Genitals (NSFW): the baculum, marsupial reproduction, porcupine mating, hippo mating rituals, water strider mating, newt orgies, otters can be pretty scary.

What’s in John’s Freezer 7 Days of Freezermas (NSFW): mystery CT slice, ostrich dissection, a bag of cats, trim your hooves, pig feet are weird, ostrich x-rays, mystery dissection.

Keep up with the Mammal March Madness on Twitter (#2014MMM) and on Storify: wild card battle, round 1 of social mammals, marine mammals, weird mammals, fossil mammals.

New cat species found in Nepal.

Rewriting the death of a giraffe. Another. And another.

Why Stinky Animals Live Alone‘.

How do porcupines mate?

Three more marsupials with suicidal sex habits found in Australia.

Did you know you can count whales from space?

There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written‘.

How do you euthanize a whale?

Gnus are cool.

Hummingbird nests are alive?

The first kakapo chick in three years recently hatched.

New crocodilian species discovered in Africa.

Some crocodilians can climb trees.

Orange, cave-dwelling crocodiles!

New World crocodiles.

Monitor lizards are some of my favorites.

The frog with the spiky, stab-y mustache.

Photosynthetic salamanders!

Octopus can change both color and texture.

Apparently spiders aren’t out to get me.

A new beetle species named after Darwin and David Sedaris might already be extinct.

Jewel wasps make zombie cockroaches.

10 Facts about Giant-Skipper butterflies.

Anthropology 

More from the Rising Star Expedition.

What happens to bodies after they have been donated to science?

What neck rings do to the body.

‘Making a Baby the Not-At-All Old-Fashioned Way: I had a stranger’s DNA injected into me‘.

A facial reconstruction of the Crystal Skull vodka bottle.

The Olympics

The National Science Foundation has 7 videos on the science of the Olympics.

This is the first Winter Olympics to include women’s ski jumping because it was thought that it would damage their uterus and ovaries.

Luge is hard, but fun.

Curling ice is different from normal ice.

Making artificial snow in Sochi.

Weather and Climate

What is the polar vortex?

Watch the Great Lakes freeze over. Ice cover was as high as 92%!

Here’s a time lapse of the Great Lakes freezing over.

Global warming has not paused.

This winter has had terrible storms and they look amazing from space.

Thundersnow and snownadoes.

Except for in the eastern United States, January was one of the warmest on record.

The drought in California is a very big deal.

The heatwave in Australia was too much for flying foxes.

How do plants deal with climate change?

Forests are edging out mountain meadows.

Louisiana’s Coastline Is Disappearing Too Quickly for Mappers to Keep Up‘.

Climate change and Genghis Khan.

Space

Mars is going to mess up our bodies.

Have you heard of International Dark Sky Parks?

A review of the new Cosmos. (It was pretty great)

Geeky grab-bag

I Use Music to Make Better Spider Silk‘.

The Terminator time signature.

Overwintering Monarch Butterflies from Bug Bytes.

This Week I Found: February 1-7 2014

Another story of new species hidden in plain sight: this time in a boulder at an elementary school.

Monarch butterfly populations have plummeted to record lows.

Animals Sitting on Capybaras.

Megafauna feel greater impacts of climate change than smaller species.

The chemistry of tea.

Were Neanderthals humans? It’s complicated.

Week One of ’14 Days of Genitals’ (probably NSFW): moose antlers, the politics of bee sex, snakes and lizards have 2 penises, how to castrate large mammals, vervet monkeys have blue testicles, the logistics of squid sex, and the female hyena pseudo-penis.

Have you ever seen Stan the T. rex? I’ve seen him in two different museums.

In honor of the Super Bowl: 14 facts about Seahawks and 14 facts about Broncos.

Footballs were never made of pigskin.

It feels worse to lose by a little than to lose by a lot.

On the physics of field goals.

Pathologies are my favorite part of osteology and here is a collection of pathological skulls from the California Academy of Sciences.

Yes, the snow that paralyzed Atlanta was real snow.

Greeks and the secret of Sherlock’s mind palace.

Who Was the Snuggliest Dinosaur of All?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Przewalski’s Horses.

Before dinosaurs, some awesome synapsids ruled the world.

These fossil mammals are why I study paleontology.

The Great Lakes’ water level is dropping.

The physics of falling cats.

Some fossils are weird: Atopodentatus’ skull in profile looks like a tape dispenser.

Answers to Buzzfeed’s questions from creationists.

I bet you don’t know about the woman who discovered trisomy 21 (I know I didn’t).

It’s difficult to make prosthetics for the Winter Olympics.

How the Cold War Created Astrobiology‘.

Chickens with artificial tails walk like dinosaurs.

Science, Humanity…and Spock?

850,000 year old human prints found in Britain are the oldest ever found outside of Africa.

This Week I Found: January 18-31 2014

Woodpeckers think that emerald ash borers are delicious.

In a preview of ‘Your Inner Fish’, Holly Dunsworth and Neil Shubin talk about when human ancestors lost their tails.

Dear tv shows, consult osteologists before including skeletons.

Fungi sequester more carbon than leaf litter‘.

The story of Sue the T. rex is long and complicated.

Paleontologists are Speakers for the Dead and fossils are important.

A Vibrating Watch That Messes With Your Perception of Time‘.

Do we live in a simulation?

‘Why King Alfred’s remains are more exciting than Richard III’s‘.

Happy 8th birthday to the Tetrapod Zoology blog!

Britain might have a wild beaver for the first time in 500 years.

Moths may be the key to the reason why sloths come to the ground to poop.

Fewer trees, more syrup. Syrup production could become more commercial.

For people who bring smartphones into the wilderness: 14 apps you might enjoy.

Science Explains Why You Suck at Texting and Walking‘.

I learned about salps and the Taxonomy Fail Index.

Paleoclimatology offers a unique perspective on the drought in California.

Last week one of the closest supernovae in recent history was visible in the night sky, and it was discovered by students.

I like bones, and I especially enjoyed this post on segmental hypoplasia on the Veterinary Forensic Pathology blog.

And speaking of dental pathologies, see what pipe smoking can do to your teeth.

I love to listen to paleontology podcasts when I work in the lab and here is a great review of some of the best.

Sex does not equal gender.

Between the Northern Lights and these pillars of light, northern latitudes seem to have all of the cool lights in the sky!

Cows produce more milk for daughters than for sons.

I have a soft-spot for The Mammoth Site and loved this write-up about Dr. Agenbroad.

Climate change could have an impact on the Winter Olympics.

Alien Moths Are Coming for Your Nuts‘.

The physics of the Olympics: figure skating.

The connection between blood clots and birth control.

Did Sauron lose because he didn’t give his orcs vitamins?

Foot-Long, Sex-Crazed Snails That Pierce Tires and Devour Houses‘.

What’s it like to be the only female vulcanologist in North Korea?

Looking for a scientist memoir to read? Here’s a helpful list.

A nice, simple overview of why osteology is important.

The same species of rattlesnake has drastic variation in venom: one goes for the blood, one goes for the nerves.

If you like Emily Graslie, The Brain Scoop or museums, check out this interview.

Did sauropods like Brachiosaurus swim?

I Am Curious Yellow: Life With Synesthesia‘.

When moles move, they look like they’re swimming.

Check out this video of the global weather of 2013.

Having bedbugs might be terrible, but so is injuring yourself getting rid of them.

Thank Jurassic Park: ‘How Dilophosaurus Became a Rock Star‘.

Beelzebufo (the ‘Devil toad’) is one of my favorite scientific names. This frog was scary!

Don’t listen to ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ while you’re driving.

First-person view of Felix Baumgartner’s Space Jump.

Kari Byron answers important questions, like how to blow things up while you’re pregnant.

The blog Mary Anning’s Revenge is writing up 14 days of animal genitalia.

Check out this video on the Yucca Giant-Skipper butterfly!

This Week I Found: January 11-17 2014

The capybara as a unit of measurement.

The Pasta Theory of Memory & Your Personal Beginning of Time‘.

In case you ever wondered how a corpse can be transformed into a diamond.

Wiping out top predators wreaks havoc on the balance of the ecosystem: some things are meant to be eaten.

Lizards Need Social Lives, Too‘.

Colour-change ‘lemmings’ with bi-pronged seasonal super-claws‘. This almost makes me like voles.

A nuclear bomb helped us learn about the longevity of great white sharks.

The ancient oceans were a crazy place.

Over the years, fashion has done a number on our bones.

We now know where tannins, an important component of red wine and black tea, come from in a plant.

Speaking of wine, what makes it good?

In Norway, the sea froze so fast that it killed thousands of fish.

How did so many dinosaurs coexist in North America?

What does Tiktaalik teach us about tetrapods and how we got on land?

What Happens When Water Freezes in a Box So Strong It Can’t Expand?

The heat wave in Australia is wiping out bee hives.

Why vulcanologists go through so many boots.

80-Year-Old Vintage Snake Venom Can Still Kill‘.

An indigenous Malaysian language allows speakers to describe smells like we describe colors.

I find this title very amusing: ‘Six Years After Chemical Ban, Fewer Female Snails Are Growing Penises‘.

Snow fleas are rather adorable.

If you dumped all the world’s tea in the Great Lakes, it wouldn’t taste very good.

Some birds fly in a V formation and it’s complicated.

Old trees can better deal with climate change.

It’s Really Hard to Get Rid of Dead Whales‘.

Of course Australia has dragons. And by dragons, I mean lizards.

More rediscovered kings: this time it’s the remains of King Alfred the Great found in museum storage.

Ball lightning is definitely not a hallucination.

I don’t think I have the acting chops to be a ‘standardized patient‘.

Forget the ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’, here’s how to reconstruct dinosaur fights.

China and India each have only one time zone. What if the whole world only used one time zone?

Lithopedions or ‘stone babies’ are rare but incredibly fascinating and terrifying.

I don’t know much about birds, but I really like this infographic: Never Trust Passerine Nomenclature.

To save the northern spotted owl, the barred owls are being shot.

Scurvy, skinny-dipping and giant sea cows.

Cicada Princess‘ is a short video narrated by Stephen Fry.

Hope Jahren explains why she ‘hijacked’ #ManicureMonday.

Dr. Carin Bondar’s Miley Cyrus ‘Wrecking Ball’ parody: Organisms Do Evolve.

Twitter + Science = Communication

It’s the beginning of a new year and of a new semester. Maybe you’ve resolved to use Twitter for networking or as a news source. Regardless of your reasons why or what you’re interested in, there are plenty of scientists on Twitter for you to follow. Here’s a small sampling of people that I follow.

Science Communication

Kate Wong is a science writer who covers paleontology, anthropology, archeology and animal behavior for Scientific American.

Carl Zimmer is a science writer who covers a wide, wide range of topics. I won’t try to pigeonhole him.

Hannah Waters is a science writer who tweets about science and equality.

Ed Yong is a science writer force of nature. Between Ed and Carl, they supply me with most of my science news.

Realscientists is a curated account that features a new scientist tweeting every week. Topics range from microbiology to astronomy to paleontology.

Kyle Hill is a science writer and is my source for exceptionally nerdy links.

Nautilus Magazine and Aeon Magazine are digital magazines with articles about science, culture and philosophy.

Paleontology

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) tweets about news in vertebrate paleontology, as you would expect.

The Geological Society of America, like SVP, tweets about news in the geosciences.

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer who covers paleontology. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love Brian’s tweets.

Jacquelyn Gill is a paleoecologist at the University of Maine who tweets paleontology, ecology, and conservation.

Darren Naish writes for the blog Tetrapod Zoology and is half of the Tet Zoo podcats (podcast).

Anthropology

John Hawks is a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was a part of the Rising Star Expedition at the end of 2013.

Sex and Our Species is devoted to tweets about reproductive health, sex and gender, as well as other relevant topics.

Strange Remains tweets about stories in forensic anthropology and bioarcheology.

Lee Berger is a paleoanthropologist at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He was also a part of the Rising Star Expedition.

Entomology

Andy Warren is one of my favorite entomologists on Twitter. He tweets lots of pictures of butterflies!

Bug Girl is my other favorite entomologist on Twitter. Her blog posts have taught me everything I know about insects.

Biology

The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) tweets about life at the station, as well as news in conservation, ecology and biology.

Brilliant Botany tweets about, you guessed it, botany. She also sprinkles in some science outreach and museum enthusiasm.

Hope Jahren is one of my favorite voices on Twitter. She tweets science, equality and routinely makes me laugh out loud.

Astronomy

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most well-known scientists today. He is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Follow him for occasional tweets about the universe.

The Curiosity Rover tweets from the red planet!

Katie Mack tweets about the universe and women in STEM.

Women in STEM

Tenure, She Wrote describes themselves as ‘women on the tenure track with something to say’.

Trowelblazers is all about women in geology, paleontology and archeology.

5 Brainy Birds are women scientists writing about their experiences.

This Week I Found: January 4 – 10 2014

What Paleontology Teaches Us About Our Own Future‘.

In case I haven’t made it clear, here are 5 reasons not to use antibacterial soap.

I have a newfound admiration for the pink fairy armadillo.

Why do tropical rain forests have so much diversity?

An icebreaker was just rescued from the Antarctic ice and it does not disprove global climate change.

Global climate change is to blame for the wandering polar vortex.

Is the polar vortex more like the Hoth or beyond the wall?

The extreme cold from the polar vortex might help to wipe out invasive insects, as well as kudzu.

Now that the polar vortex is back in the Arctic, how did plants cope with the cold?

While North America is experiencing record low temperatures, the Australian heat is killing off thousands of flying foxes.

The Palaeobiology Database lets you visualize extinct species in time and space.

What does the Universe have in common with the floor under your fridge?

Dinosaur poop is harder to find than you would expect.

Home HIV tests are coming and that’s a good thing.

E. coli is one of the most well-known microbes, and it still surprises us.

If you want to find a new species, I recommend first looking in a little rural market or in museum collections, or in the Amazon.

Humans had cavities before the rise of agriculture.

The ancestor of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) wasn’t very big or fearsome.

Speaking of lions, they’re nearly extinct in West Africa.

I love when technology and paleontology collide: fossils and 3d printing.

Congratulations to the Great Lakes, the only region in the US with an increase in wetlands!

An interesting visual of how a few dog breeds have changed over the past 100 years.

Prairie dog ‘jump-yips’ are like a cross between a yawn and a sound off.

Birds and crocodiles use tools, but did dinosaurs?

Some birds eat fish and some fish eat birds.

My inner child can’t believe that there are ways to determine what color fossil organisms were.

I Love Science Because‘.

‘How to fossilize…yourself’ from TED-Ed

Ice balls in Lake Michigan

Paleontology and the Species Problem

A few months ago I wrote a post about ‘What Makes a Species‘. However, I only talked about the biological species concept which states that a species must be able to interbreed and produce viable offspring. Like I mentioned before, nature doesn’t like to follow the rules that we establish for it.

As genetic techniques have improved in the last few decades, they have been used more and more to identify new species. Genetic species share a common gene pool and are more genetically similar to each other than to anything else. For example, traditionally there were two species of elephants: African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Recent genetic evidence suggests that African bush elephants (L. africana) and African forest elephants (L. cyclotis) are separate species. To many, genetic species identification is the gold standard. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible.

Paleontologists have to deal with a unique set of problems when it comes to species. How can you identify species when you have never seen these creatures and have few clues as to how they behaved? The primary method is morphology, or what the organism looked like. Paleontologists assume that organisms that are more closely related will look more similar than organisms that are more distantly related. Unfortunately, fossil remains are typically restricted to bones, while soft tissues such as cartilage, fur and feathers generally don’t preserve (with some impressive exceptions). However, morphology can be misleading. Just think about those elephants; even though African bush and forest elephants look the same, they are genetically different. Regardless, scientists often use comparative collections of modern species to identify fossil specimens. 

So what happens after paleontologists compare fossils to modern specimens? Depending on the age of the fossil, things could get complicated. More recent specimens may have modern relatives that are similar in appearance, which makes comparison easier. But what about more ancient fossils without obvious modern relatives? Historically, fossils have been dramatically misinterpreted. When the Greeks found the fossils of ancestral elephants, they thought the bones were the remains of the giant cyclops. Victorian scientists studying dinosaurs drastically misunderstood the creatures’ morphology. It takes time, experience and quality comparative collections to identify a taxon’s place in the taxonomic hierarchy.

Finally, how long can a single species exist? After millions of years, can taxa be considered the same species even if they look the same? Dr. Benjamin Burger presented on the topic of mammal species durations in the fossil record at the GSA 125th Annual Meeting. According to his talk, the insectivore Centetodon magnus survived for about 25 million years, while the proboscidean Gomphotherium angustidens persisted for about 23 million years. Often, scientists will name new species or genera because it seems unlikely that a single species could persist that long. However, that is a problem for another day.

The moral of the story is that taxonomic methods are human constructs. We are the ones who decided to classify all life on Earth. The more we learn, the more obvious it becomes that our current methods are frequently insufficient. Don’t let that discourage you! That’s the beauty of science; the more you learn, the more there is to learn.

To learn more about even more species concepts, check out this list.

This Week in Science: December 28 – January 3 2014

How much energy would it have taken for the dwarves to melt all that gold in The Desolation of Smaug?

Are dwarves and hobbits more closely related to humans or elves?

Smaug Breathes Fire Like A Bloated Bombardier Beetle With Flinted Teeth‘.

I love terrible science jokes.

What will it take to get more women in science?

No, dolphins aren’t getting high on pufferfish toxin.

This comes as no surprise to any rural Michigander: snow melts faster in the forest than in fields.

12 year old Jake has a great natural history blog.

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2013‘.

Here are 10 species that were declared extinct in 2013.

What can Doctor Who teach us about the fear of spiders?

Of vole plagues and hip glands‘.

Sometimes saving a species dooms it for the long term.

Is nail polish harmful?

I agree with Brian Switek: talking dinosaurs make me cringe.

What happened to the Neanderthals and why? The answer is: it’s complicated.

What did the people of Pompeii eat? Some things that you would expect and some things that you wouldn’t (giraffe).