A flurry of fossil discoveries over the past 15 years is allowing researchers to piece together the rise of mammals
Many red-colored birds have to convert yellow pigments in their food into the red pigments that make their feathers and beaks so brilliant.
Two different antibiotic-resistant E. coli strains have a protective relationship in which each disables a different antibiotic, allowing both to thrive. Christopher Intagliata reports.
Artist James Gurney explains how he modeled and painted the extinct Volaticotherium featured on Scientific American’s June 2016 cover and inside the magazine. Central to his reconstruction was a model with anatomically accurate muscles built atop fossil bones.
Recent fossil discoveries reveal that evolution began laying the groundwork for their rise to world domination long before the dinosaur-killing asteroid cleared the playing field
A preview by our editor in chief of the June 2016 issue of Scientific American
Tools and bones add to evidence of pre-Clovis humans in America
Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about his new book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. (Dutton, 2016)
A single-celled organism discovered in chinchilla droppings is the only known eukaryotic organism that lacks mitochondria-like organelles. Christopher Intagliata reports.
Our gorilla cousins sing as they supper
The Kennewick Man skeleton has been deemed Native American, but a cultural question delays its burial
Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about the necessary connections among the various ways we have of describing the universe.
But new species, like a 1.5-meter carnivorous plant, are still being found
The crocodile-size reptile lived about 242 million years ago, during the Middle Triassic period
An ancient alga developed large size and complex structure independently of other plants
Did the most successful family of languages in history originate in Turkey or the Pontic steppes? New evidence from DNA and evolutionary biology has only heightened the scientific disagreements
Globe skimmer dragonflies migrate more than 15,000 kilometers, breeding with the locals as they travel and creating an interrelated global population. A dragonfly from Japan may have more in common with Guyanese dragonflies, genetically speaking, than its own Japanese cousins.
The effective swimming motions of jellyfish inspire submarine design and medical diagnotics
Former Scientific American editor Mark Alpert talks about his latest science fiction thriller, The Orion Plan, featuring the method whereby aliens most likely really would colonize our planet.
Lemurs sometimes mix their smelly secretions to produce a bouquet of stank—which may boost the perfume’s staying power. Karen Hopkin reports.