The only native parrot species still living in the U.S., these birds nearly went extinct in the second half of the twentieth century. By 1975, only 13 parrots remained.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes can have far-reaching effects beyond the damage caused on the day they occur. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti damaged the already limited sanitation systems leading to areas without adequate toilet and washing facilities; perfect for the spread of infection diseases...
Some considerable years ago - February 2007, actually - I made the decision to write a short Tet Zoo article on speculative zoology. It was on the biology of Godzilla, and I published it with trepidation, my concern being that people would balk at the fact that I was covering an imaginary creature, not a [...]..
BROOKLYN--It wasn’t hard to name Lil Wayne. He actually volunteered to take the rapper’s moniker. On April 2, Frank Grasso, director of the Biomemetic and Cognitive Robotics Lab at Brooklyn College, showed me around his lab spaces--from where they build mobile robots to where they keep their axolotls and fiddler crabs to the crown jewel: [...]..
This is a guest post by my friend Pinkesh Patel, a data scientist at Facebook. Pinkesh has a PhD in physics from Caltech during which he worked on LIGO, the gravitational wave detector.
A rare reptile found only on a few islands off the California coast has become the latest species to recover and leave the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S.
April Fools’ Day is not unique to Western cultures. People all over the world and all throughout history have celebrated the coming of Spring with festivals of deception and lightheartedness...
The more complex the mind, the greater the need for play. Okay, I ripped that off from Star Trek , episode 15, but I like to think the conceit applies to the Scientific American community of readers, writers, editors and authors...
Yet again, the world is cockahoop and head-over-heads in awe over another thrilling, dumbfounding, truly novel zoological discovery. No, I'm not talking about the discovery of suspension-feeding anomalocarids, ancient echolocating odontocete cetaceans, or even of new tapirs (did I mention the new tapir?), but of a stupendous new living bird, discovered clinging to existence in [...]..
Friends and colleagues who know that I illustrated Neil Shubin’s first book, Your Inner Fish, have been asking if I was involved in the three-part PBS series hosted by Shubin that will air next week on April 9th...
Attend the ASU Origins Project Great Debate event, Transcending Our Origins--Violence, Humanity, and the Future, either live or by webcast on April 5th.
This week I'll swap the traffic and sunshine of Los Angeles for the rainforests of Indonesia, where I'll be living for the next 18 months. The reason for my long trip is to collect data for my PhD dissertation studying orangutans, and I'm excited to be writing this expedition blog which I hope will give [...]..
A few days back I wrote a post explaining why I am all for private support of basic science, especially in an age when government funding and support is flagging.
In the dark of night, between Monday, March 17, and Tuesday, March 18, dozens of fully formed baby octopuses burst forth from their outsized eggs.
I know they look like they belong in the ocean 250 million years ago, but trilobite beetles are actually pretty happy existing in the present day.
Octopuses are tricky animals to keep in captivity. They’re smart, strong and slinky. But surely their eggs much be easier--being naturally contained and all.
An advantage of having a, let’s say, ‘volatile’ memory is that you can sit back and do microscopy… on your own hard drive.
Welcome to a brand new video series from Scientific American Mind. ‘Brain Basics’ is a series of short films on the human brain, how we think, feel and act.
I get tired, now and then, of being such a sourpuss–a Debbie Downer, as my girlfriend calls me, always complaining about something. The wrongness of drone strikes and neuro-weapons research, the downside of psychiatric drugs and tests for cancer, hype about optogenetics and deep brain stimulation and theories of cosmic creation...
You need to have pretty good eyesight to see the tiny snails from the genus Plectostoma. These almost impossibly small gastropods from Malaysia and Thailand only reach a millimeter or two in width, but they make up for their lack of size with their stunning beauty...