Color Isn't Always About Sex, Study Finds

When it comes to birds, males—with their bright feathers, extra accessories, and impressive mating displays—tend to get all the attention. But for many birds, such as the Choco Toucan pictured above, brilliant plumage has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with survival. » 3/29/15 1:00pm Sunday 1:00pm

Here's Why Forests Should Matter to All of Us

Today is International Day of Forests, a global celebration of the importance of trees in our everyday lives. You're a techie who spends all day in front of your computer and you haven't cracked a window recently? Forests still matter, a lot. » 3/21/15 11:00am 3/21/15 11:00am

Top Predators May Be the Most Important Animals on Earth

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with other predators. Grizzly bears, crocodiles, great white sharks—these are among our planet's most awe-inspiring creatures. Still, we'd never want these deadly animals in our backyards. But new scientific evidence suggests that we need them far more than we realized. » 3/09/15 12:30pm 3/09/15 12:30pm

After Thousands of Years, Earth's Frozen Life Forms Are Waking Up

What's happening in Siberia's thawing permafrost and Greenland's melting glaciers sounds borderline supernatural. Ancient viruses, bacteria, plants, and even animals have been cryogenically frozen there for millennia—and now, they are waking up. » 2/23/15 2:00pm 2/23/15 2:00pm

The Quest to Resurrect an Extinct Animal Without Cloning

Before there was the cow, there was the auroch, a sinewy beast that roamed Eurasia by the millions. And over thousands of years, humans bred the creature into the millions of milk-and-steak-machines we have today. The last auroch, however, died in the 17th century. A group of scientists now want to bring back the… » 9/11/14 7:10pm 9/11/14 7:10pm

The Newest Weapon in the Fight Against Land Mines Could Be...Plants

Land mines are not only explosive but also poisonous, leaking toxins into the soil that make plants sick. That's unfortunate for the plants but fortunate for us—if we can figure out how to look for sick plants as harbingers of land mines. Airplanes equipped with a low-cost sensor that captures non-visible light might… » 8/15/14 5:44pm 8/15/14 5:44pm

This beautiful newly-discovered species is about to disappear soon

"Just described 'microjewel' snail in extinction danger," announces NewScientist. Every time I see a headline like that and I look a the picture, it really makes me sad. Just admire that beautiful, delicate little beast. Which secrets will this soon-to-be-gone species take away with it? » 4/04/14 1:30am 4/04/14 1:30am

This Wind-Powered Tumbleweed Robot Aims to End Desertification

Robots have a hard time walking. They're getting better! But we're a ways away from having a robot that you can send on an excursion through a dune-covered desert. That's why, when he wanted to design a robot to collect climate data, designer Shlomi Mir looked to nature. Specifically, to tumbleweeds. » 2/06/14 1:40pm 2/06/14 1:40pm

How a Poorly Camouflaged Insect Reshapes Its Ecosystem

For an insect trying to avoid becoming dinner, the consequences of bad camouflage are clear. What's less obvious is how the effects then ripple like an aftershock through an entire ecosystem, subtly changing which shrubs are eaten and which critters thrive. For example, the consequences of a single species of badly… » 1/03/14 12:00pm 1/03/14 12:00pm

The Earth Is a Machine

The more we learn about ecosystems, the more obvious it becomes that we won't save the Earth until we admit that our planet is a giant, incredibly complex machine that can be programmed. And, with enough study, it can be reprogrammed, too. » 11/27/13 1:54pm 11/27/13 1:54pm

Swarms of Drones Will Be Mapping the World All By Themselves in No Time

You're probably used to hearing about drones as these scary, deadly things causing chaos in Pakistan, but the scientific community is actually pretty pumped up about the technology. Why wouldn't they be? Drones can makes 3D maps of mountains. » 10/31/13 6:20pm 10/31/13 6:20pm

This Bee Skyscraper Could Help Decimated Populations Thrive

Bees: they’ve had a tough couple of years. Between the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder and pesticide poisoning, the Department of Agriculture recently estimated that around ten million hives have been lost over the past seven years. » 5/07/13 10:17am 5/07/13 10:17am

California Deploys Wasp Army to Counter Merciless Apple Moth Threat

In the unceasing war between man and nature, the ranks of homo sapiens is about to use a dirty trick—using the natural world against itself. Californian agricultural officials are sending in wasps as instinctive mercenaries. » 7/11/11 11:40am 7/11/11 11:40am

SciSpy App for iOS Lets You Practice Being a Real Ecologist

Do you believe, deep down, that it is your hidden calling to become a masterful ecologist? SciSpy, the Science Channel's new app, lets you dabble in this field by allowing you to document the natural world around you—even if you don't go any further than your own backyard. » 3/30/11 11:00pm 3/30/11 11:00pm

This Is What 15,000 Gallons of Animal Fat Look Like

Gross, that's how it looks. This is what happened on the Houston Ship Channel last Tuesday. It had to be closed because a failure in a storage tank holding 15,000 gallons of beef fat. No dinner for you tonight. [Buzzfeed] » 1/06/11 6:18pm 1/06/11 6:18pm

BioBot Makes Bio Diesel at Home!

You would think that making your own Bio Diesel at home would be a tough, multi-stepped procedure that has a few dangerous spots to misstep. Well before the BioBot, a system that makes Bio Diesel from old cooking oil, you would have been right. Unfortunately, after the BioBot, you would have been right, too. Here is… » 10/22/08 3:45pm 10/22/08 3:45pm