Letters Between Trees With a pandemic and record-breaking fire season raging, two individuals, seemingly worlds apart, find solace in their connections with one another and within the ecosystems they call home. Heeding the Pandemic’s Warnings 08.27.2021 Article - While wildlife trafficking receives more media attention, experts are urging global leaders to clamp down on legal wildlife trade and the significant disease threats it poses. Starling-Studded Skies 07.13.2021 Photo Essay - A modern approach to a 19th-century photography technique celebrates both the art and science behind one of the planet’s most mesmerizing spectacles. Signs of the Times 07.08.2021 Article - Despite their perceived abundance, the periodical cicadas that emerged across the eastern United States this summer point to a growing set of threats facing both the insects themselves and the ecosystems they help support. What it Means to be Wild 07.08.2021 Opinion, Review - Against the backdrop of a world so thoroughly altered by humankind, Emma Marris's latest book, Wild Souls, challenges our assumptions about nature and how we protect it. Into the Wild 06.18.2021 Article - North America’s rarest wolf subspecies is finally reclaiming its native territory in the Southwest, thanks in part to a fostering program that places captive-born pups into wild dens. The Big Picture 2021 05.27.2021 Photo Gallery - From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places. Antarctica’s Upside Down World 05.12.2021 Article - Clinging to the underside of ice hundreds of meters thick, strange communities of sea life eke out a living in perpetual darkness. Now, researchers are racing to find and study these creatures before they—and their ice sheets—disappear. Life, Death, and Renewal in the Campo Rupestre 04.22.2021 Photo Essay - In a little-known region of Brazil that calls to mind Tolkien’s Middle-earth, unique lifeforms have evolved to endure innumerable environmental challenges. Can they survive the country's latest era of deregulation? Are You My Mother? 03.29.2021 Spotlight - Before a timber rattlesnake mom leaves her babies to fend for themselves, she passes on an important piece of information: her scent. Extraordinary Animals and the People Who Love Them 03.29.2021 Opinion, Review - The new book Beloved Beasts hacks through the undergrowth of the conservation movement in search of a clear path forward. Home on the Range 03.23.2021 Article - Once thought to be extinct, tule elk have returned to roam across California's Point Reyes National Seashore, but the park—which also supports beef and dairy cattle—is getting crowded. Scales of Reference 03.11.2021 Article - Collected at the tail end of British Columbia's "silver fever," hundred-year-old salmon scales are now helping conservation scientists reconstruct and better manage the populations of one of Canada's most important fish. How to Count a Wolf 02.25.2021 Video - The first step in managing a rare and controversial predator—particularly in a state where it's been absent for decades—is knowing how many you have. That’s easier said than done with a species as elusive as this one. From Reviled to Adored 02.23.2021 Photo Essay - How one community—and one woman in particular—have found a way to protect the rarest stork in the world simply by learning to appreciate the species and embracing it as one of their own. Swamp Sentinels 02.18.2021 Article - Buried in mud for millennia, some of New Zealand's ancient kauri trees are revealing surprising clues about Earth's climate—past, present, and future. A New Hope 01.27.2021 Photo Essay - Discovered a mere four years ago, the Skywalker gibbon quickly landed on the list of the world's 25 most endangered primates. While its status remains precarious, the species is inspiring a newfound effort to protect and restore the forests of… The Other COVID Nurses 01.01.2021 Photo Essay - Caring for sick and injured wildlife has always been challenging, but during the pandemic, for many rehabilitators, it has become a grueling, 24/7 labor of love. Convenient Conveyance 12.24.2020 Spotlight - For a jellyfish, there are few hitchhikers more harmful than this juvenile brown paper nautilus, and for the nautilus, few rides could be more handy. Saving Slovenia’s “Human Fish” 12.15.2020 Article - Scientists in this Central European country are leading the charge to understand and protect a charismatic, cave-dwelling salamander—and the subterranean habitats that supply much of the region's drinking water. Mother Load 12.11.2020 Spotlight - Multitasking bat moms carry their nursing pups underwing all while navigating a growing array of threats in the Australian forests they call home. Lens on Life 12.04.2020 Photo Gallery - While 2020 has thrown an endless string of challenges at many of us, nature hasn't gone anywhere. It's just as impressive and inspiring—and in many cases, just as imperiled as ever. Billfish Bounty 11.25.2020 Spotlight - A striped marlin slices through a shoal of baitfish, a beautiful reminder of the struggle between predator and prey—as well as the fragility and importance of healthy ecosystems. Africa’s Pandemic-fueled Conservation Crisis 11.17.2020 Article - The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing weaknesses in how we protect African wilderness and species. But it has also given us an opportunity to vastly improve our approach to these urgent challenges. Chennai Ran Out of Water — But That’s Only Half the Story 10.30.2020 Article - To reduce flooding and bridge droughts, India’s southern coastal metropolis is using ancient knowledge, community action, and wetlands restoration to harness its monsoon rains. Northern Lights from the Deep 10.28.2020 Spotlight - What could easily be an atmospheric apparition is in fact a formidable predator, and a critical member of its strange, open-ocean ecosystem The Gibbon’s Tail 10.14.2020 Article - For the world’s rarest ape, survival may depend on stories passed down for centuries among the people of its Chinese island home. A Novel Demise 09.22.2020 Spotlight - Although we’ve marveled over carnivorous plants for centuries, the plants’ penchant for vertebrate flesh has been largely overlooked. Raising Nature on Florida Ranchlands 08.11.2020 Article - “Rancher vs Environmentalist” has been a longstanding trope. But in the Sunshine State, ranching just may be the last, best hope for ecological salvation. Pandemics of Our Own Making 07.21.2020 Opinion - While it's critical that we devote our scientific ingenuity to beating back the current pandemic, we must also address our broken relationship with nature in a concerted effort to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. Wanted Alive 07.14.2020 Spotlight - For the first time in decades, Icelandic whalers have stopped hunting fin whales, thanks in part to a growing appreciation for the value these mammals bring to both marine and human communities. The Big Picture 2020 05.05.2020 Photo Gallery - From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places. Farming Insects to Save Lemurs 03.19.2020 Article - A reimagined approach to an age-old practice is helping to fight malnutrition in Madagascar—and may have the added benefit of protecting the island nation's imperiled primates and the forests they call home. Saving Mexico’s Lost World 02.18.2020 Article - Microbes have lived in Cuatro Ciénegas for 500 million years. They’ve survived countless cataclysms and extinctions. But can they survive us? Records of Change 01.17.2020 Video - Thanks to foresight and meticulous records collected nearly a century ago, scientists are reconstructing a picture of some of Mexico's most important ecosystems before they were transformed. Race Against the Biological Clock 12.24.2019 Spotlight - It turns out some contests between predators and their prey are more genetically determined than others. Standing Guard 12.24.2019 Photo Essay - The population of this critically endangered bird has stabilized thanks to the conservationists who look after them, but what happens if the caretakers leave? Mexico City and its Sacred Salamanders 12.10.2019 Video - Important symbols of both Mexican culture and ecosystem health, axolotls are on the brink of extinction in the wild, but a return to ancient practices offers hope for their future. The Scent of Water 12.10.2019 Spotlight - Most mammals can’t smell underwater, but Eurasian otters may have a way of sniffing out prey even while swimming. A Great Escape 12.03.2019 Spotlight - Invasive American mink, having escaped from British fur farms over the past century, are now wreaking havoc on native species—but this lucky gannet got away. A (Proposed) Pipeline Runs Through It 12.03.2019 Article - The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would divide mountains, farmland, and sacred Native American land along its 600-mile route, but it's uniting a diverse community of activists determined to halt its progress. Refilling the Carbon Sink 11.12.2019 Photo Essay - Long seen as wastelands, Scotland’s bogs are now the scene of an intense restoration effort in which millions of exotic trees are being felled to fight climate change. Layers of Life 11.12.2019 Spotlight - On a crowded coral reef, species often make their homes on top of one another (literally), living lives that are tightly intertwined both biologically and evolutionarily. Beguiling Intruder 10.30.2019 Spotlight - Lionfish are hungry, long-lived, and extremely fertile invaders in their new-found Atlantic home. Song of the Mountain Chicken 10.30.2019 Article - These giant frogs—once a delicacy on two Caribbean islands—were almost wiped out by disease and natural disasters. But their resilience and years of dedicated conservation efforts have kept hope for the species alive. Restoring Harmony in Haida Gwaii 10.15.2019 Article - A collaboration between Haida tradition and Western science may offer a way to bolster both Haida culture and the marine ecosystem intertwined with it. Snake Fake 10.15.2019 Spotlight - For a plump caterpillar with no defensive body parts, masquerading as a deadly viper is an effective adaptation for survival in the Peruvian Amazon. Strength in Numbers 09.26.2019 Spotlight - A spirited game of tug-of-war is more than just a sweet moment among siblings—it’s a sign of an African wild dog pack with enough members to keep its pups both safe and well-fed. A Plague of Cactus 09.26.2019 Article - Across Kenya’s wildlife-rich Laikipia Plateau, a thorny enemy is advancing. But a tiny sap-sucking insect may help save the region’s animals and people. The Secret Garden 09.11.2019 Photo Essay - The crystalline rivers of the Serra da Bodoquena offer a window into Brazil’s freshwater biodiversity. But with deforestation on the rise, that window is becoming cloudier. A Precarious Perch 08.27.2019 Article - Swallow-tailed kites have lost much of their habitat in the southeastern United States, but thanks to an unlikely ally, their numbers are beginning to climb. Unexpected Playmate 08.27.2019 Spotlight - A young humpback whale is spotted off the coast of Sri Lanka. Is it a sign of a promising trend, or just a fluke? Bobcat Manor 08.14.2019 Photo Essay - Despite increasing hunting pressure, bobcats have proven themselves to be remarkably resilient in the face of human encroachment—and aren’t above raising their young in rural backyards. Enemy of My Enemy 08.14.2019 Spotlight - An Amazonian frog finds refuge under the watchful compound gaze of a surprising guardian. Lens of Time: Jaw Jumpers 07.30.2019 Video - Sometimes the best solution to a sticky situation is a quick escape, and few escapes are faster than a trap-jaw ant’s. Sucker Deception 07.30.2019 Spotlight - Mesmerizing bioluminescence is a rare trait—and a clever lure—for this deep-sea drifter. Ghosts of the Everglades 07.11.2019 Immersive - Clinging to survival in shrinking swamps, ghost orchids are so elusive that their pollinators have remained unknown—until now. One team’s findings may help to save both the flower and its threatened home. Raised in Rice Fields 06.26.2019 Article - California’s Chinook salmon have been losing habitat to agriculture for decades. Now, they’re getting a much-needed boost from strategically flooded fields. Handle With Care 06.26.2019 Spotlight - For one of the most heavily persecuted creatures on the planet, protection sometimes requires a very hands-on approach. Bounty Hunter 06.12.2019 Spotlight - When the Cape fur seals along the Namibian coast have their pups each December, the desert’s top scavengers become seal-hunting specialists. Hawaii’s Ancient Aquaculture Revival 06.12.2019 Article - In an ocean state that now imports half of its seafood, a determined group of activists is restoring the age-old aquaculture practices of Native Hawaiians. The Lobster Wars 05.29.2019 Article - In one coastal Mexican town, a sustainable fishery anchors the community. So why has Florida outlawed the same fishing methods? Assume the Position 05.29.2019 Spotlight - A master of disguise, this rainforest dweller doesn’t just wear the perfect outfit, it also performs the flawless impression of a tree branch. Hands Full 05.13.2019 Spotlight - Successfully raising a single infant is challenging enough that gorillas rarely have twins. But both of these babies are thriving, thanks to a few extra helping hands. The Big Picture 2019 04.30.2019 Photo Gallery - From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places. Deathly Beautiful 04.18.2019 Spotlight - This picturesque battle between a blue dragon sea slug and a Portuguese man o’ war is a matter of life or death—for both parties. Below the Bill 04.09.2019 Spotlight - One of the world’s largest birds has long been persecuted for both its outsized bill and its eating habits, but an ambitious cross-border plan is helping this threatened pelican bounce back. Mighty Mom 03.17.2019 Spotlight - One of the most attentive of all insect parents, this tiny treehopper fiercely defends her offspring until they're fully grown, using her thorn-shaped headdress as both shield and intimidation tool. Protected by Prawns 03.17.2019 Video - Restoring native crustaceans along West Africa’s Senegal River may be a critical step in controlling one of the world’s deadliest tropical diseases. Allure of the Flower Hat 02.27.2019 Spotlight - What looks like a flamboyant fashion accessory is actually this jelly's brilliant evolutionary strategy for attracting prey. Herding Meerkats 02.07.2019 Spotlight - To understand how and why these highly social animals have evolved such complex systems of cooperation, scientists have resorted to a very simple strategy. Resurrecting the Greenback, Take Two 02.07.2019 Article - After a case of mistaken identity, scientists face an upstream swim to save a fabled fish. Banquet on Legs 01.25.2019 Spotlight - When an octopus known for its size and hunting prowess encounters a football-field-sized team of spider crabs, the outcome isn’t what you might expect. The Unsung Reef 01.25.2019 Photo Essay - Australia's corals may get all the headlines, but the country's kelp-dominated temperate reefs are at least as important and imperiled. Now they're finally getting the restoration focus they deserve. Where the Rainforest Meets the Road 01.08.2019 Article - Community-led conservation has taken root in a remote corner of Papua New Guinea. Now the plan’s architects must ensure that ecological protection and economic prosperity can coexist. Mobile Home 12.18.2018 Spotlight - This caterpillar combines next-level camouflage and shelter-building to disappear into one of the most vibrant and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. The Wreckers 12.12.2018 Spotlight - The lionfish that haunt one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks are now laying claim to new battlegrounds. The Reservoir 12.12.2018 Article - In Bangladesh, a bat-borne virus you've probably never heard of is poised to become the next pandemic—and medicine alone may not be sufficient to stop it. Is an ecological intervention the answer? Spider House Rules 11.06.2018 Spotlight - For these hunters, no right-sized target is off-limits—regardless of whether or not it has a backbone. The Better to Bite You With 10.23.2018 Spotlight - Finding—and defending—prime fruit-picking perches is no easy task in the rainforest, but toucans have a few tricks up their beaks. Open Wide 10.09.2018 Spotlight - Their prey may be tiny, but these Indian mackerel need both gaping mouths and an assist from their school-mates to successfully snag a meal. Sounds of Survival 10.09.2018 Video - A quest to record a quiet frog’s call may mean the difference between its survival and its extinction. It’s a Wasp-Eat-Caterpillar World 09.11.2018 Spotlight - Shockingly, being eaten alive by dozens of hungry wasp larvae may have its advantages. Lens of Time: The Art of Staying Stable 08.27.2018 Video - A tiny copper cannonball is no match for this hawkmoth's hovering prowess. Raising Joey 08.27.2018 Spotlight - Kangaroo Island’s iconic animals are orphaned all too often by speeding cars. But a dedicated group of volunteers is working to save as many survivors as possible. The Long Haul 08.15.2018 Spotlight - While its partner is away on a long-distance foraging expedition, this sooty albatross patiently holds down the nest and awaits its turn to find food—contributing to an equal partnership that will last a lifetime. Double Fisted 07.31.2018 Spotlight - Grabbing ahold with both claws, a crab defends itself—and steers the course of another species’ evolution. Facing the Day 07.18.2018 Spotlight - Before embarking on an icy fishing expedition in the Southern Ocean, king penguins pause to soak up the morning’s first light. Fulfilling a Promise 06.26.2018 Opinion - Creating protected areas is a critical first step, but reaping their benefit requires more than lines on maps. Dine and Dash 06.12.2018 Spotlight - For American pikas, the rush to store enough food for winter is becoming more hazardous—and climate change isn’t the only culprit. Lens of Time: Growing Against the Odds 06.12.2018 Video - As reefs endure another onslaught, scientists are taking a closer look at how corals live and grow—and what may enable some of them to persist in a changing world. Basking on the Brink 06.05.2018 Photo Essay - An "unholy" river in India may be the last, best hope for one of the world's largest and most imperiled crocodilians. By the Skin of His Teeth 05.08.2018 Spotlight - On the island of Nauru, a young noddy hunter practices a skill that’s been passed down for centuries—one that now requires more patience. The Big Picture 2018 05.01.2018 Photo Gallery - From the beautiful to the bizarre, this photographic showcase of life on Earth shines a light on some of our planet's most amazing species and places. Lens of Time: Huddle Masters 04.24.2018 Video - Emperor penguins just may be the best huddlers on Earth—and scientists are finally revealing the secrets to their success. Mystic Minipizza 04.24.2018 Spotlight - This might be your only chance to meet the best-named fish in the sea. High Drama 04.19.2018 Spotlight - Sometimes the best way out of a sticky situation is up, up and away. Pacific Piggyback 03.27.2018 Spotlight - Aboard a reef dweller that acts as a living cruise ship, this tiny hitchhiker may receive much more than just a free ride from one patch of coral to another. Taking Down Goliath 03.08.2018 Spotlight - The world’s largest frogs are also among the most coveted in the African bushmeat trade. Can grassroots efforts save the goliath frog from extinction? A Helping Hand 02.28.2018 Spotlight - Specialized though it may be, Madagascar’s largest living lemur may need an extra hand to survive in a rapidly changing world. Keeping Pygmy Sloths Afloat 02.20.2018 Photo Essay - They do almost everything else in slow motion, but Panama’s pygmy sloths are surprisingly proficient swimmers—and they find relative safety in the sea. Face Off 02.20.2018 Spotlight - With eight eyes, two hydraulic legs, and impressive cognitive abilities, this jumping spider has a leg up on even the feistiest prey. Head over Heels 02.13.2018 Spotlight - To woo a potential mate, a male humpback whale pulls out some surprisingly smooth—and tender—moves. The Anomalies: Venom Race 02.06.2018 Video - A group of scorpions is evolving increasingly deadly toxins, and scientists might finally know how and why. Beach Crashers 02.06.2018 Spotlight - Risking it all, some orcas have taken their hunt onto the shore, and their strategy is catching on. Quiver Kingdom 01.23.2018 Spotlight - Quiver trees thrive in arid conditions, but as climate change makes the Namib Desert hotter and drier, can these immobile icons find a way to beat the heat? Lens of Time: A Record-Breaking Tongue Lashing 01.17.2018 Video - The smallest chameleons on Earth perform one of the most explosive movements in the animal kingdom. Golden Hour 01.17.2018 Spotlight - For these spectacular South American birds, the key to attracting a mate is finding—and fighting for—the right time and place to shine. The Pond of Youth 01.09.2018 Spotlight - A simple lifeform, prevalent in freshwater pools the world over, could reveal the secret to ever-lasting life. Boxing Day 01.02.2018 Spotlight - Female hares can deftly defend themselves when unwelcome suitors pay a visit, but when climate change comes calling, fighting back proves more difficult. Unexpected Dinner Guests 12.19.2017 Spotlight - Something strange is happening off the northern coast of Norway—transforming natural enemies into unlikely partners. Hammerhead Gaze 12.13.2017 Spotlight - This apex predator's widely set eyes give it much better binocular vision than most sharks—just one of several reasons why hammerheads are such successful hunters. The Rainforest Next Door 12.05.2017 Photo Gallery - Just minutes from a major metropolis, Malaysia’s Penang Hill rainforest boasts some of the richest backyard biodiversity on the planet. Life Stories 11.07.2017 Opinion - In today’s world, solutions-based science and environment stories aren’t just a pleasant diversion—they’re a critical step toward a healthy future for our species. Lens of Time: When Plants Fight Back 11.07.2017 Video - Under cover of subtlety and slow-motion, plants not only perceive the organisms around them, they respond—and in some cases, prepare for battle. Bat Odds 10.31.2017 Spotlight - We’ve feared and maligned them for centuries, but it’s the bats that really have something to be afraid of. Hide and Glow Seek 10.24.2017 Spotlight - The secret to this squid’s disguise lies in its relationship with a smaller, brighter species. Are You My Allomother? 10.19.2017 Spotlight - A newborn elephant's aunts, sisters, and cousins all lend a helping trunk to support the newest member of their clan. The Anomalies: The Acorn Woodpecker 10.10.2017 Video - These highly social birds defy the typical two-parent family structure, proving that cooperation can make good evolutionary sense. Fire on the Reef 10.10.2017 Spotlight - Normally invisible to humans, fluorescent light shows like the one this fireworm puts on are helping medical researchers fight disease. Tongue-tied 10.03.2017 Spotlight - These clownfish host some uninvited, and undesirable, guests on the tips of their tongues. Last Grasp 09.26.2017 Spotlight - To catch and swallow their prey, these eels use both an obvious set of tools and an even more remarkable secret weapon. Framed Frog 09.19.2017 Spotlight - Portrait-worthy for more than just its beauty, this toxic frog may revolutionize our approach to pain management. Turning Turtle 09.13.2017 Spotlight - Even sea turtles’ taste buds change with age. Fight or Forage 08.29.2017 Spotlight - At the bottom of the Earth, this dauntless bird finds calories wherever it can. Please Pass the Vole 08.23.2017 Spotlight - Doting falcon fathers deliver meals to their young even after they’ve left the nest. Salts of the Earth 08.15.2017 Spotlight - Life can be fleeting in one of the world’s hottest and most tectonically active environments. A Colorful Cleanup 08.08.2017 Spotlight - Living off the energy they extract from heavy metals, these bacteria create spectacular natural displays—and leave clean drinking water in their wake. Lens of Time: Secrets of Schooling 08.08.2017 Video - Shimmering schools of fish have dazzled scientists for centuries with their synchronized maneuvers. Now, high-speed video is revealing how—and why—they do it. Making Tracks 08.01.2017 Spotlight - For some snakes, taking the path of least resistance requires getting off the ground. Bipes Aren’t Coming for You 07.26.2017 Video - A mysterious worm lizard squirms its way out of the Baja sand and straight into our hearts. Golden Eye 07.18.2017 Spotlight - This rufous-eyed brook frog has a sparkle in its eye, thanks to a third eyelid strewn with flecks of gold. Swimming with Shark Pups 07.11.2017 Spotlight - A young shark wriggles its way into the world, and one lucky—and dedicated—photographer is there to capture the moment. A Moth’s-Eye View 06.27.2017 Spotlight - Even the commonest of creatures can reveal stunning beauty (and impressive ingenuity) upon closer inspection. Invisible Nature: Return of the Wood Frog 06.27.2017 Video - A common frog species takes an unusual approach to winter—one that would kill most other vertebrates. Survival of the Smallest 06.13.2017 Spotlight - When El Niño hits the Galápagos Islands, marine iguanas struggle to find enough food—then they undergo a remarkable transformation. Catch of the Day 06.07.2017 Spotlight - Octopus is on the menu for this Cape fur seal—and the powerful predator has developed a surprisingly effective method for preparing its meal. World Traveler 05.31.2017 Spotlight - This tiny songbird treks cross-hemisphere over deserts, oceans, and mountain ranges in one of the animal kingdom’s most impressive migrations. Forgotten but not Gone: The Pacific Fisher 05.23.2017 Video - Facing new threats—including toxins from illegal marijuana grows—the fate of this little-known mammal hangs in the balance. Troubled Waters 05.16.2017 Spotlight - The world’s largest aquatic frog may soon vanish from its namesake home high in the Andes. Dawn Display 05.09.2017 Spotlight - An intrepid photographer climbs high into the rainforest canopy to capture one of the world's most dazzling courtship rituals. Greatest Shoal on Earth 05.02.2017 Spotlight - One of the planet’s most massive migrations, the KwaZulu-Natal sardine run triggers a dazzling feeding frenzy off the coast of South Africa. The Great Divide 04.25.2017 Spotlight - A fateful crossing of the Congo River by ancestral apes led to the rise of the modern bonobo. Can Mushrooms Save the Honey Bee? 04.25.2017 Video - A blood-sucking mite is wreaking havoc on honey bees—but scientists have discovered a surprising new way to fight back. Tear Hunter 04.11.2017 Spotlight - In one of nature’s more surprising interactions, a butterfly hunts crocodilian tears in search of life-sustaining salts. Lion Guardians 04.11.2017 Photo Essay - With human-wildlife conflicts on the rise across East Africa, Kenya’s iconic predators find some unlikely allies. The Ice Frog Cometh 04.04.2017 Spotlight - Living at the extreme edge of its range, an alpine frog begins its breeding season with a march across a rather forbidding landscape. Invisible Nature: Star of the Dunes 04.04.2017 Video - Coastal dunes set the stage for a surprisingly valuable partnership between a fungus and a tree. High Fliers 03.28.2017 Spotlight - Lancing their granite backdrop with a streak of pink, Chilean flamingos soar over Torres del Paine National Park. Backcountry Drug War 03.28.2017 Article - In the Golden State, dangerous drug cartels are growing pot on public lands—putting wildlife, water supplies, and outdoor enthusiasts at grave risk. Graceful Giant 03.21.2017 Spotlight - Their record-setting heft doesn't stop blue whales from being surprisingly sinuous swimmers. Venomous Weaponry 03.21.2017 Photo Essay - Nature’s arsenal contains thousands of venomous creatures and a diverse array of armaments that are as brilliant, varied, and surprising as the creatures that wield them. How to Feed Africa Sustainably 03.14.2017 Opinion - Renowned sustainability expert shares ideas for addressing food shortages in Africa without compromising ecological health. Ancient Crops Find New Life 03.07.2017 Article - Feeding the world sustainably—and nutritiously—may require crops that most people have never even heard of. The Lungs of the Planet 02.28.2017 Immersive - The Amazon rainforest faces myriad threats. But this iconic ecosystem—one of Earth's most important natural resources—may be more resilient than scientists ever expected. From Leaf to Landscape 02.28.2017 Infographic - A tropical rainforest’s ability to take a deep breath depends in large part on a somewhat surprising factor—the age of its leaves. Catching the Rainforest’s Breath 02.28.2017 Video - Armed with a suite of high-tech tools, scientists are measuring the flow of gases into and out of the Amazon rainforest to understand how this iconic ecosystem responds to seasonal and climatic shifts. Dancing for Their Lives 02.21.2017 Spotlight - To cultivate long-lasting pair bonds, red-crowned cranes perform an intricate—and stunningly graceful—pas de deux. Invisible Nature: The Glowing Squid 02.21.2017 Video - Instead of hiding in the dark, the Hawaiian bobtail squid cruises through moonlit waters—and hides its own shadow. Lens of Time: Building a Butterfly Wing 02.15.2017 Video - Scientists open a window—literally—into a process that normally remains hidden deep inside a butterfly’s chrysalis. The War for Science 02.14.2017 Opinion - It’s more than a skirmish over funding, censorship, and “alternative facts.” It’s a battle for basic decency, the people we love, and the future of our planet. Guardian of the Cotton-top 02.07.2017 Article - The landscape architect who became the unlikely steward of Colombia’s critically endangered one-pound monkey Darwin’s Fox 02.07.2017 Spotlight - His finches may be more famous, but this small fox also helped Darwin develop his revolutionary theory of evolution. The Catch with Unreported Fish Catches 01.31.2017 Opinion - Millions of tons of fish caught each year go unreported, and that impacts our ability to manage fisheries sustainably—but not in the way you might expect. Savanna Socialites 01.31.2017 Spotlight - In spotted hyena society, it's not the strength of the bite, but a strong network of allies that matters most. Star Attraction 01.24.2017 Spotlight - Even a night sky of pirouetting stars can’t upstage the otherworldly beauty of a red-gilled nudibranch. For the Love of Fish Lips 01.18.2017 Spotlight - In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale, a fish’s lips have become both its most prized asset and its greatest liability. Maggot Revolution 01.18.2017 Article - Agricultural entrepreneurs want to solve the planet’s livestock-feed crisis by farming insect larvae. Will their scheme fly? Ahead of the Curve 01.10.2017 Spotlight - A dolphin frolics unperturbed in the bow wave of one of the open ocean’s clumsier and less-efficient seafarers. The Anomalies: The Dewlap 01.03.2017 Video - An apparent inconsistency leads scientists to a new discovery about the role the environment plays in animal communication. Bird’s-eye View 12.27.2016 Spotlight - What began as the seasonal arrival of just a few dozen cranes has become one of India’s most renowned wildlife spectacles. Invisible Nature: Invasion of the Caterpillars 12.27.2016 Video - Gypsy moths have been gaining ground in North American forests for 150 years. Can a caterpillar-melting virus keep them in check? Moonlight Gliders 12.13.2016 Photo Essay - Wintertime in a remote Montana forest heralds the arrival of mating season for the flying squirrel—and one of nature's most spectacular air shows. Lens of Time: Velvet Worms—Secret of the Slime 12.13.2016 Video - Physics and biology meet to create one of the world's strangest weapons: the slime cannon. Up in Arms 12.06.2016 Spotlight - A pair of male stag beetles bring their oversized mandibles to bear in the age-old fight to find a mate. The Return of Jaws 11.29.2016 Spotlight - A brave fisherman drags a mighty fish-out-of-water back to the relative safety of the sea. The Color of Drought 11.22.2016 Video - A record-setting dry spell is transforming California’s forests—and in this case, colorful foliage is not a good thing. High Stakes Fox Trot 11.15.2016 Spotlight - While scouring the frozen tundra, an arctic fox scores a goose egg—and secures a critical meal for its pups. Blood, White, and Blue 11.08.2016 Spotlight - Weary, bloodstained, and ultimately victorious, one bird symbolizes the plight, fight, and recovery of our nation’s most iconic species. Sink or Swim 10.18.2016 Spotlight - When its partially eaten prey starts to lose buoyancy, a young green sea turtle struggles to hold on to its lunch. Lens of Time: How Hummingbirds Hover 10.18.2016 Video - Armed with the latest technology, scientists are beginning to unlock the secrets of one of nature’s most acrobatic flyers. Head in the Clouds 10.11.2016 Spotlight - By feasting on tropical fruits—and later dispersing the seeds—this canopy-dwelling bird helps to ensure the survival of its cloud forest home. Spikes and Malice 10.04.2016 Spotlight - For the armored bush cricket, survival in the Namib Desert requires a diverse and surprising arsenal of defenses. Agave Whisperers 09.27.2016 Spotlight - As they follow—and mentally map—flowering agaves from Arizona to Mexico, lesser long-nosed bats pollinate the plants that bring the world tequila. Digging Down Under 09.20.2016 Spotlight - For this marsupial mole, surfacing to snack on a centipede is a rare respite from tunneling through the dark, sandy underground. Lens of Time: Spider Seduction 09.13.2016 Video - For these jumping spiders, stayin' alive requires all the right dance moves—and the perfect soundtrack, too. Predator in Training 09.06.2016 Spotlight - Feathered foes practice one of nature’s most routine but perilous interactions. The Emperor’s Throne 08.30.2016 Spotlight - Perched atop the elegant back of a Spanish dancer nudibranch, this tiny shrimp enjoys one of the safest seats in the sea. Hiding in Plain Sight 08.23.2016 Spotlight - In one of the world’s harshest environments, and pressured by human encroachment, blending in is the snow leopard’s best option. Cancer at Sea 08.23.2016 Article - A mysterious disease afflicting California sea lions is helping scientists understand the causes of cancer in all animals—including humans. The Zika Challenge 08.17.2016 Opinion - As we look for ways to prevent the world’s latest mosquito-borne disease, our focus on the mosquitoes themselves might be obscuring a more sustainable solution. A Life Aloft 08.09.2016 Spotlight - Orangutans weather the storm against an onslaught of threats to their canopy home. Lens of Time: Bat Ballet 08.02.2016 Video - Hundreds of thousands of bats emerge from a hole in the ground, and scientists with high-speed video cameras are there to make sense of the overwhelming spectacle. Shark Haven 08.02.2016 Spotlight - A lemon shark cruises through the submerged branches of a mangrove forest, oblivious to the many threats this critical habitat faces. Holey Mola 07.26.2016 Spotlight - A sea lion’s desperate foray into unusual prey reflects recent dramatic shifts in the marine ecosystem off California’s coast. Foraging by Starlight 07.12.2016 Spotlight - It's no accident that the opportunistic wild boar has become one of the most widely distributed mammals on the planet. Invisible Nature: Life in the Clouds 07.05.2016 Video - Scientists are looking skyward to explore one of biology’s last frontiers, and discovering a rich diversity of microbial life high above our heads. Arid Apparition 07.05.2016 Spotlight - Once driven to near extinction by trophy hunting, the black rhino’s slow recovery is now encountering a new threat. The Birds and the Bombs 06.28.2016 Article - The fate of the Southeast's longleaf pine forests, and the endangered woodpeckers that depend on them, may rest in the hands of the U.S. military. Red Velvet 06.28.2016 Spotlight - While shedding velvet is a common annual occurrence among bull moose, photographers aren't often on hand to document the graphic details. Frog Leg Feast 06.21.2016 Spotlight - With native fish populations in decline, resourceful European otters have turned their attention to frogs and toads, a food source that presents its own challenges.