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Your Favorite Species

For three years I taught Animal Biology labs to undergraduate students at George Mason University. Extra credit assignments were not permitted, so I liked to build in a few intermittent low-ball quiz questions to provide some levity to an otherwise strict and challenging syllabus. My favorite question to ask was “what is your favorite species?”…

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: “Stiletto” Snakes, Cat Purrs

Why does your cat purr? What’s a stiletto snake? Check out this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Zaña, Peru… The Town That Almost Was

Sarah Kennedy is using animal remains to dig through Peru’s colonial past. The town of Zaña, where she is staying, has seen better days, and few truly realize the immensity of its past.

Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

To put an accurate price on carbon, you need to know how much you have and where it’s located, researchers say Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world’s most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change. Released…

July 27, 2014 Radio Show: Curing Cancer, Spending Summer Nights With Fireflies and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they invent a cheap cancer detection system, scour the earth’s poles for adventure, ingratiate themselves with a cheetah family, give the facts on fireflies, conjure life from the fangs of a viper, feed Africa from Africa, roadtrip across the United States in comfort, and photograph National Geographic’s past.

Genographic Project DNA Results Reveal Details of Puerto Rican History

DNA analysis of living inhabitants of Puerto Rico sheds light on the island’s colonial history.

Living Walls Turn Maasai Hunters into Lion Defenders (Video)

In a land where the lion truly is king, attitudes about traditional lion hunts are changing. Two Maasai people – one lion slayer and one lion savior – share the stories of their respective journeys. Species are disappearing at a rate that has scientists around the world calling this period the sixth mass extinction. Today,…

Journey of the Sea Lion, Part Two: Totem Poles, New and Old

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall join the voyage of the National Geographic expedition vessel, the Sea Lion, to tour and discover some of the best that the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Northwest have to offer. As the journey continues, the Haida people showcase their ongoing way of life and stunning artwork.

#okavango14: Over Africa’s Wetland Wilderness

Africa’s newly-minted UNESCO World Heritage Site, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, from the air and from space… This emerald green oasis buzzes with life during the summer months when grand thunderstorms sweep across the delta…

A Tahitian Welcome for the Worldwide Voyage

The Worldwide Voyage received a colorful and memorable welcome to Tahiti, which Hōkūle‘a crew member Ana Yawaramai writes about from her own perspective.

Dogs Get Jealous, Too

Jealousy in canines probably evolved to protect important social bonds in the pack, according to a new paper.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #71

Woodpeckers, nutcrackers, flycatchers, sunbirds, roadrunners and babblers in this 71st Edition! Astonishing what can be achieved with a bit of patience, care and a passion for birds. Wild birds have become the subject of choice for thousands of photographers around the world. They extremely hard to photograph. You need the best equipment you have access to…

Return of a Native: Reflections on the 38th Voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, July 11, 2014

By Patricia Paladines and Carl Safina The first whale was spotted at around 11am. We approached it with the quiet stealth afforded by a light wind in our sails. To the best of our knowledge the animal could not imagine or have any concern that a wooden whale-hunting ship was nearing its magnificent, enormous body.…

July 20, 2014 Radio Show: Making Music With Elephants, Running Hundreds of Miles Through Mountains and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend radio show we run ultramarathons through Nepal, Switzerland and Utah’s Rocky Mountains, then we save goliath, learn safety tips about the newest bacterial threat, making music with elephants, visit the world’s largest caverns, and find some secret cities.

Science on the Edge of the World: Tales From Madagascar’s Sakalava Menabe

Cara Brook is a disease ecologist from the Andrew Dobson Lab at Princeton, studying diseases that can leap from bats to humans. Her work is well underway, and it involves a lot more than just tagging and indexing bats.