Science news from the National Geographic Society

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News from the National Geographic Society. The society is is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. The National Geographic Society’s historical mission is “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources” and the news feed covers all manner of subjects in these areas.

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National Geographic News

Reporting our world daily: original nature and science news from National Geographic.

Last feed update: Saturday June 23rd, 2018 05:58:34 PM

Meet the Bug That Armors Itself With Shells

Saturday June 23rd, 2018 09:00:00 AM Liz Langley
The caddisfly is one of many insects that get creative in shielding themselves from predators.

Why the Short-Lived Pony Express Still Fascinates Us

Saturday June 23rd, 2018 04:01:00 AM Simon Worrall
The Pony Express operated for less than two years, but its legend—burnished by Buffalo Bill Cody—lives on.

Here’s What Makes a Dripping Faucet Go ‘Plink’

Friday June 22nd, 2018 08:25:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
Annoyed by the persistent dripping of water in a bucket, one scientist set out to learn what creates the distinctive sound.

Think Your Body Is Infested With Insects? You're Not Alone.

Friday June 22nd, 2018 07:44:15 PM Erika Engelhaupt
More people are turning to entomologists to diagnose seemingly inexplicable sensations of parasites crawling on their bodies.

Could Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist? Here's the Science.

Friday June 22nd, 2018 06:55:21 PM John Pickrell
“The dinosaurs would be aliens in our world.”

Why These Children Are Forced to Scale a 40-Foot Well

Friday June 22nd, 2018 06:38:38 PM Heather Brady
A short video shows young girls in India climbing into dangerous, deep wells to retrieve worm-infested water.

World’s Biggest Pig Captured in Rare Video

Friday June 22nd, 2018 06:23:00 PM Christine Dell'Amore
The 600-pound giant forest hog is expert at avoiding people, who are increasingly hunting the animal in its African habitat.

Smoking Ocean Vents Found in Surprisingly Shallow Water

Thursday June 21st, 2018 08:29:40 PM Stephen Leahy
Scientists have found new hydrothermal vents off the Azores, and they may harbor unique life.

Orcas Slap, Kill, But Don't Eat Their Prey

Thursday June 21st, 2018 07:45:32 PM Elaina Zachos
It’s impossible to tell why the whales didn’t eat their prey, one expert says, but here are a few suggestions.

Syphilis DNA Pulled From Colonial-Era Bones

Thursday June 21st, 2018 06:00:14 PM Sarah Gibbens
The 350-year-old genes may help researchers settle the debate about where the disease originated.

Ancient Royal Tomb Yields Strange New Ape Species

Thursday June 21st, 2018 06:00:00 PM Maya Wei-Haas
The toothy creature provides rare evidence of early human-caused extinctions.

Den of Mountain Lion Kittens Found in Unlikely Place

Thursday June 21st, 2018 04:24:46 PM Annie Roth
National Park Service researchers discovered a litter of four cougar kittens near California’s Simi Hills, an area surrounded by highways.

Why Koko the Gorilla Mattered

Thursday June 21st, 2018 02:48:00 PM Douglas Main
Featured twice on the cover of National Geographic magazine, Koko led to major revelations about animal empathy and communication.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Drops Monkey Circus

Thursday June 21st, 2018 02:11:57 PM Rachael Bale
At Vietnam’s Can Gio reserve, monkeys performed tricks in subpar conditions. The circus has left—but the monkeys remain in possession of the corporation.

This Summer Solstice, Earth's Days Are Longer Than Ever

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 09:20:55 PM Alejandra Borunda
Earth hasn't always had a 24-hour day. Here's what that means for the June solstice.

Why T. Rex Couldn't Waggle Its Tongue

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 07:34:00 PM Theresa Machemer
Scientists were in for a surprise after peering inside the mouths of modern alligators and birds.

Can Bees Help Save Elephants From Train Strikes?

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 06:55:00 PM Mary-Rose Abraham
In India, where elephants are hit by trains, people are trying innovative solutions.

This Bird Has Been Singing the Same Song for 1,000 Years

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 04:06:26 PM Annie Roth
The American swamp sparrow’s amazing ability to pass down its song perfectly is an example of handing down a cultural tradition, scientists say.

After Fleeing War, Refugee Children Face Lasting Psychological Trauma

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 02:21:48 PM Nina Strochlic
In Lesbos, Greece, young refugees cope with a growing mental health crisis.

Some Rivers Are So Drug-Polluted, Their Eels Get High on Cocaine

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 10:00:00 AM Joshua Rapp Learn
Illegal drug residues in the water could be affecting native fish.

These Groundbreaking Photos Show Two Worlds in One

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 10:00:00 AM Christina Nunez
Photographer David Doubilet's "over-under" images present a view of the ocean most people will never get to experience.

Why This Rare Lobster Is Colored Like Blue Cotton Candy

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 08:18:33 PM Maya Wei-Haas
The critter’s pastel rainbow hues may be the result of a genetic mutation or an unusual diet.

Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 06:58:47 PM Douglas Main
New research on famous white sharks Mary Lee and Lydia shows the giant fish spend a surprising amount of time in warm oceanic eddies.

Would a U.S. Space Force Be Legal? Get the Facts.

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 05:42:22 PM Michael Greshko
With the president calling for a new military branch, get the pros and cons of the plan and find out what the U.S. military is already doing off-world.

Leopard Plays With Prey’s Own Bones

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 05:40:54 PM Elaina Zachos
Rare video shows big cat tearing open its warthog victim and perusing its innards with its jawbone.

What Is Hogweed, the Invading Plant That Burns and Blinds?

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 04:55:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
The striking plant was brought to North America to decorate gardens and arboretums, but now officials are working to wipe it out.

Nuns Resurrect Endangered Salamanders in First-of-its-Kind Conservation Effort

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 12:35:17 PM Elaina Zachos
This may be the first time a religious group has been involved in amphibian breeding program, an expert says.

These 38 Coral Reefs Are Thriving, Despite Threats

Monday June 18th, 2018 11:00:00 PM Theresa Machemer
A new study found "oases" of resilient coral reefs around the world that are beating the odds against warming, pollution, and other impacts.

Rare Manta Ray Nursery Discovered

Monday June 18th, 2018 09:57:43 PM Alejandra Borunda
Off the coast of Texas, a coral reef houses a vibrant nursery ground where young manta rays grow up.

Yellowstone: A Place, A Drama

Monday June 18th, 2018 08:45:00 PM
'Yellowstone' presents a sweeping tableau of family, money, and tradition with some of the West’s most stunning mountains and valleys as a backdrop.

12 Historic LGBTQ Figures Who Changed the World

Monday June 18th, 2018 07:45:00 PM Mary Beth McAndrews
These activists, artists, doctors, and writers had a lasting impact on communities around the globe.

No, World Cup Fans Didn't Trigger an Earthquake. Here's Why.

Monday June 18th, 2018 06:55:03 PM Annie Roth
Mexico's win over Germany rocked Mexico City. But not literally.

Python Swallows Woman Whole—What Experts Say About the Rare Attack

Monday June 18th, 2018 05:04:14 PM Sarah Gibbens
Development in their native habitat might be influencing their behavior, but humans have a history of conflict with snakes.

Long-Lost Panda Relative Revealed by 22,000-Year-Old Fossil

Monday June 18th, 2018 03:00:00 PM Maya Wei-Haas
The weathered remains from a cave in China contain the world's oldest sample of panda DNA.

Marine Protected Areas Are Important. But Are They Working?

Saturday June 16th, 2018 11:00:04 AM Sarah Gibbens
The world won't meet international ocean conservation targets by 2020, so a team of scientists is looking at what's next for saving our seas.

Searching for Elusive Green Sea Turtles in the Persian Gulf

Saturday June 16th, 2018 10:00:03 AM Craig Welch
Scientists are trying to solve riddles about where and how green sea turtles live in the Middle East, one of the world's least-understood turtle populations.

Meet the Single Dads of the Animal World

Saturday June 16th, 2018 09:00:00 AM Liz Langley
These fathers fly, swim, and hop the extra mile for their babies.

When Nature Runs Wild, the Results Can Be Spectacular

Saturday June 16th, 2018 04:01:06 AM Simon Worrall
So-called rewilding involves taking a hands-off approach to the land and letting natural processes happen.

How Surfing Helped These Scientists Make Waves

Saturday June 16th, 2018 01:32:00 AM Alejandra Borunda
From the oceans' depths to the insides of atoms, researchers of all stripes have found inspiration in the surf.

Where Did Soccer Start? Archaeology Weighs In.

Friday June 15th, 2018 07:49:10 PM Erin Blakemore
“The idea of the team sport was invented in Mesoamerica.”

The Ocean Is Getting More Acidic—What That Actually Means

Friday June 15th, 2018 06:15:41 PM Eric Niiler
Thanks to carbon emissions, the ocean is changing, and that is putting a whole host of marine organisms at risk. These scientists are on the front lines.

Why the Iceland National Team Has So Many Polish Fans

Thursday June 14th, 2018 07:14:00 PM Alexandra E. Petri
For many Polish natives, this island nation is their second home.

Rare Bunny-Faced Mammal Captured on Video

Thursday June 14th, 2018 06:08:00 PM Maya Wei-Haas
The tiny Ili pika faces many threats in its mountainous home of northwestern China.

Climate Change May Spark Global ‘Fish Wars’

Thursday June 14th, 2018 06:00:00 PM Craig Welch
Warming seas are driving commercial seafood poleward into waters controlled by other countries, setting up international conflicts.

Virunga National Park Sees Its Worst Violence in a Decade, Director Says

Thursday June 14th, 2018 05:46:00 PM Jani Actman
Gunmen recently killed five rangers and a driver—the park’s deadliest attack in recent history.

These 5 New Snake Species Suck Snails Out of Their Shells

Thursday June 14th, 2018 03:00:06 PM Elaina Zachos
The names of the snakes were auctioned off, and funds from the event will go toward preserving some of the species.

Meet the Next Generation of National Geographic Explorers

Thursday June 14th, 2018 01:41:08 PM Alexandra E. Petri
These six Explorers are using conservation, photography, science, and innovation to better understand our world and work toward improving it.

World's Oldest Rain Forest Frogs Found in Amber

Thursday June 14th, 2018 01:27:53 PM John Pickrell
“It was exhilarating to hold these small fossils up to the light to reveal the frogs within.”

Why Rescued Kangaroo Joeys Need Handmade Pouches

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 11:29:28 PM Alejandra Borunda
Orphaned joeys need care 24/7, as they would in a mother’s pouch—here's how caregivers mimic the marsupial experience.

Mars Rover Powers Down During Dust Storm—But It's Not Dead Yet

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 08:31:00 PM
A huge dust cloud has swallowed up a quarter of the red planet's surface, threatening NASA's Opportunity rover.

5 Surprising Raccoon Superpowers

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 07:18:00 PM Maya Wei-Haas
Though many see them as pests, these masked bandits have some pretty impressive skills.

Evian and Loop Industries: Starting a Revolution in Plastic Recycling

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 05:55:42 PM
An innovative recycling method invented in a garage is offering a solution to plastic waste.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Seems to Be Good at Collapsing

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 05:07:49 PM Douglas Fox
As it shrinks, sea level rises—and a new study finds it shrank dramatically even when Earth was not as warm as today.

These Soft, Magnetic Robots May One Day Crawl Inside Your Body

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 05:04:49 PM Sarah Gibbens
Researchers think the robots could perform a number of medical treatments like delivering medication or taking samples.

Ancient Native American King's House Rediscovered in Florida

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 03:30:00 PM Megan Gannon
Known from Spanish records, the once-lost structure belonged to Caalus, ruler of an indigenous people famous for resisting colonial missionaries.

32 Astonishing Photos From a Career Spent Underwater

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 10:01:02 AM Christina Nunez
Photographer David Doubilet sets out to astound people with his images—and inspire conservation. See how in this retrospective photo gallery.

These Communities Turn Discarded Fishing Nets Into Carpets

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 04:00:00 AM Laura Parker
Explorer Heather Koldewey is helping people in the Philippines and beyond clean up ocean plastic, starting with ghost nets.

Thousands of Tiny Red Crustaceans Strand on California Beach

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 06:58:18 PM Elaina Zachos
Roughly the size of your thumb, pelagic red crabs are not true crabs.

Where Women Must Defy the Odds to Become Scientists

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 06:58:00 PM Angeli Gabriel
In their new documentary, Clare Fieseler and Gabby Salazar explore the lives of women working in science despite intense cultural and social barriers.

These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 09:00:04 AM Adam Popescu
Scientists have found that many South American forests rely on large fish to transport their seeds—and that may put them at risk.

Artists Used 5,000 Bottles to Build Brooklyn Bridge Replica

Monday June 11th, 2018 09:57:00 PM Heather Brady
The bottles were also a nod to a larger installation made by National Geographic explorer Asher Jay, drawing attention to conservation issues.

These Are the First Jaguars Born in This Argentinian Wetland in Over a Century

Monday June 11th, 2018 09:48:00 PM Elaina Zachos
A pair of cubs was born in Iberá National Park, and scientists are aiming to be as minimally invasive in their lives as possible.

Here’s What It Really Means to Become a National Geographic Explorer

Monday June 11th, 2018 05:49:00 PM Alexandra E. Petri
These scientists, conservationists, storytellers, and educators are changing the world.

Africa's Oldest Trees Are Dying, and Scientists Are Stumped

Monday June 11th, 2018 03:02:20 PM Nadia Drake
A mysterious killer is claiming the mighty baobab.

See Amazing Ocean Creatures That ‘Glow’

Monday June 11th, 2018 04:01:06 AM Elaina Zachos
From coral to sea turtles, marine biologist David Gruber has found several biofluorescent marine species.

Why a Squirrel Stashed 50 Pounds of Pine Cones in a Car

Saturday June 9th, 2018 09:00:12 AM Liz Langley
Many animals have discovered that human-made objects are even better than what's found in nature.

When, How Did the First Americans Arrive? It’s Complicated.

Saturday June 9th, 2018 04:01:00 AM Simon Worrall
The first Americans weren't one group of people; they arrived at different times, and likely by different methods.

How These Remote Locations Celebrate LGBTQ Pride

Friday June 8th, 2018 11:02:00 PM Alexandra E. Petri
Even at the ends of the Earth, LGBTQ communities are finding ways to celebrate one another.

No, Killer Dog Flu Isn't the Next Human Pandemic

Friday June 8th, 2018 08:28:16 PM Theresa Machemer
A study about a new strain of canine influenza made waves this week. Here's why claims about it triggering a human pandemic should give you pause.

These Millennial Monks Are Adapting to a Modernizing World

Friday June 8th, 2018 06:09:50 PM Heather Brady
Young Buddhist monks in Mongolia look to keep their religion alive by passing on their traditions to younger citizens.

Turtle Trafficker Sentenced, But Suspected Mastermind Still Not Charged

Friday June 8th, 2018 05:33:54 PM Jani Actman
Vietnamese man trading endangered hawksbill turtles was sentenced to more than four years in prison. The alleged kingpin has yet to be brought to justice.

This Lizard Has a Blue, Ultraviolet Tongue—Here’s Why

Friday June 8th, 2018 03:29:19 PM Elaina Zachos
When threatened, the northern bluetongue skink brandishes its UV-reflective, cobalt tongue.

New Game Asks Players to Clean the Ocean of Plastic

Friday June 8th, 2018 02:38:36 PM Sarah Gibbens
It also highlights pressing issues like warming oceans and coral bleaching.

For Cash and Pride, Replanting Canada's Forests by the Millions

Friday June 8th, 2018 01:32:00 PM Michelle Z. Donahue
Each year, twentysomethings from all over the world take on one of the most grueling yet satisfying summer jobs imaginable.

Why Humpback Whale Babies Whisper to Mom

Friday June 8th, 2018 10:00:00 AM Dawn Spiller
On World Oceans Day, we take a deeper dive into the fascinating world of marine mammals.

Musician Jack Johnson Wages War on Ocean Plastic

Friday June 8th, 2018 04:00:00 AM Richie Hertzberg
The artist and surfer, who grew up in Hawaii, is driving awareness of ocean pollution.

This Baby Elephant Might Be Feeling 'Awkward'

Thursday June 7th, 2018 07:10:09 PM Richie Hertzberg
This seemingly strange behavior may be the baby elephant’s version of feeling ‘awkward’.

This Blood Test Could Predict When Babies Will Arrive Early

Thursday June 7th, 2018 06:52:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
Premature birth is one of the leading causes of infant mortality, and a new test could help doctors spot it.

Building Blocks of Life Found on Mars

Thursday June 7th, 2018 06:00:05 PM Michael Greshko
Two landmark discoveries reveal organic carbon on the red planet, shaping the future hunt for life on Mars.

Decapitated Snake Head Nearly Kills Man—Here’s How

Thursday June 7th, 2018 04:58:31 PM Stephen Leahy
Scientists warn that rattlesnakes can remain dangerous long after they are dead.

One of the Deepest Caves in the World is Even Bigger Than We Thought

Thursday June 7th, 2018 04:07:00 PM Andrew Bisharat
While trapped inside Mexico's Sistema Huautla by torrential flooding, cavers and scientists discovered new connections—expanding the map of the Western Hemisphere's deepest cave.

This Gasoline Is Made of Carbon Sucked From the Air

Thursday June 7th, 2018 03:00:06 PM Stephen Leahy
A Harvard-affiliated Canadian company is making a liquid fuel that is carbon neutral, and they hope the economics will be in their favor.

Why Male Dolphin Buddies 'Hold Hands'

Thursday June 7th, 2018 03:00:03 PM Jason Bittel
Bottlenose dolphins in Australia call each other by name and touch frequently to maintain alliances with other males, a new study says.   

Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell Set Historic Speed Record on El Capitan

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 09:14:00 PM Jayme Moye
The expert speed climbers reached the top of Yosemite's grandest wall in under two hours—something never before accomplished.

Why This Huge Full Moon Seems to Be Falling From the Sky

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 06:52:00 PM Nadia Drake
A video taken near a volcano may look like Hollywood at work, but it’s really a great example of how science can mess with your mind.

High Seas Fishing Isn’t Just Destructive—It’s Unprofitable

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 06:00:42 PM Sarah Gibbens
Government funds prop up more than half of fishing in the open ocean, a new study reveals.

Hurricanes Are Moving Slower—And That's a Huge Problem

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 05:00:03 PM Craig Welch
When tropical cyclones slow, they drop far more rain, sparking even more devastating floods. Future climate change is expected to slow them still more.

This Invention Helps Deep-Dwelling Fish Journey to the Surface

Tuesday June 5th, 2018 09:36:10 PM Sarah Gibbens
Without the small, pressurized chamber, a fish's swim bladders likely wouldn't survive the ascent out of water.

Farming: There's an App for That

Tuesday June 5th, 2018 07:57:05 PM
More farmers are going high tech, maximizing yields of crops by tapping GPS, data analytics, and apps—tools known as precision agriculture.

Rare Moose Triplets Spotted—Here's Why They're So Unusual

Tuesday June 5th, 2018 07:37:06 PM Elaina Zachos
Based on a recent video, the trio of calves seem to be “in great shape,” according to one expert.

‘Holy Grail' Test for Illegal Cyanide-Caught Aquarium Fish May Be Fatally Flawed

Tuesday June 5th, 2018 03:11:41 PM Ret Talbot
A widely celebrated test believed to be able to determine if tropical marine aquarium fish were caught illegally using cyanide may be based on problematic data, a new study says.

Burned Skeletons Are Rare Remains of Ancient Goth Invasion

Tuesday June 5th, 2018 02:41:18 PM Sarah Gibbens
The child and two adults lived in an ancient city in what's now Bulgaria before it was conquered by a Germanic army 1,700 years ago.

Actor Adrian Grenier Is Cutting Out Plastic. Here's How You Can, Too.

Tuesday June 5th, 2018 09:00:05 AM Susan Goldberg
The 'Entourage' star and UN Ambassador started with plastic straws and is now working on a plastic-free house.

Why Guatemala's Volcano Is Deadlier Than Hawaii's

Monday June 4th, 2018 07:00:33 PM Sarah Gibbens
More than two dozen were killed by the Fuego volcano's eruption, and experts fear more danger could come.

Blue-Eyed Coyote Could Be One in a Million

Monday June 4th, 2018 04:23:01 PM Callie Broaddus
A wildlife guide recently spotted the unusual canine in California's Point Reyes National Seashore.

How This Whale Got Nearly 20 Pounds of Plastic in Its Stomach

Monday June 4th, 2018 03:45:00 PM Elaina Zachos
Eighty shopping bags and other plastic debris clogged the animal’s stomach, making it unable to eat.

Reducing Plastic as a Family Is Easy. Here's How.

Monday June 4th, 2018 09:00:04 AM Allyson Shaw
Choosing a cone, instead of a cup, for your ice cream is one fun tip.

Why Mongooses All Give Birth on the Same Day

Saturday June 2nd, 2018 09:00:06 AM Liz Langley
These small, sleek mammals have some intriguing quirks in the animal kingdom—like male childcare.

Why Today is the Golden Age for Dinosaur Discoveries

Saturday June 2nd, 2018 04:01:00 AM Simon Worrall
As more countries open their borders to paleontology, a new generation of dino hunters is uncovering almost one new species a week.

As Tigers Become Rarer, Poachers Are Targeting Lions

Friday June 1st, 2018 05:02:55 PM Alexandra Fisher
Growing numbers of wild lions in Africa are slaughtered for their teeth and claws, sought in Asian countries for jewelry.

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