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Animals

The most common wombat is also the least understood

Australia’s iconic marsupial has been viewed as a food source, pest, mascot and, now, a conservation concern. Scientists are breaking down myths — using genetics, robots and citizen science — and finding new ways to protect the animals.

A scientific mission to save the sharks

Despite increasing protection measures, these fish are among the world’s most endangered animals. New tests to detect species being traded, as well as population studies, aim to help save them.

Cleaning up cow burps to combat global warming

New tools for lowering methane emissions from livestock are on their way

Abracadabra! How magic can help us understand animal minds

By performing tricks for birds, monkeys and other creatures, researchers hope to learn how they perceive and think about their world

A lifetime of love for the charismatic narwhal

An independent scientist working with the Inuit has unraveled many mysteries of the one-tusked ‘unicorn of the sea’

Invasive species are transforming the Everglades

From Burmese pythons and Asian swamp eels to Old World climbing ferns, South Florida hosts hordes of non-native animals and plants. What can be done about the ecological havoc they are wreaking?

Spots, stripes and more: Working out the logic of animal patterns

More than 70 years ago, mathematician Alan Turing proposed a mechanism that explained how patterns could emerge from bland uniformity. Scientists are still using his model — and adding new twists — to gain a deeper understanding of animal markings.

Fit for a dog? The latest science on CBD for pets

Though studies are still mixed, and products often inconsistent, many scientists have hope that cannabidiol can help canines and other furry patients suffering from arthritis, allergies and anxiety

In defense of wild meat’s place at the table

Sustainable and safe consumption of wildlife is possible, and important for those who depend on it, says a conservation researcher

The wasps that tamed viruses

To protect and rear their young, some insects have transformed wild viruses into tiny biological weapons

The tender art of tadpole parenting

From poison frogs to worm-like caecilians, some amphibians are hardworking and surprisingly creative caregivers

They swim and they spin: Meet the aquatic spiders

Some make nests inside seashells, others tote bubbles of air on their backs. The spiders that went back to water evolved lots of slick survival strategies.

Why are there so many beetle species?

Diet played a key role in the evolution of the vast beetle family tree

How to control chronic wasting disease

A prion sickness similar to mad cow is spreading rapidly through North America’s deer and elk populations. A veterinary microbiologist discusses the options for keeping it in check.

Hunting sky islands for genetic clues to climate resilience

OPINION: Isolated mountaintops are hotbeds of evolutionary adaptation and great places to study how climate change affects ecosystems

Losing the connection between the Andes and the Amazon: A price of peace in Colombia

The South American country, where the biodiversity of the Andes meets that of the Amazon, is losing the great natural wealth of some 1,500 square kilometers of forest each year, mainly in areas formerly under guerrilla control

Getting rid of bed bugs: Trickier than ever

The blood-sucking insects now show up in two varieties and are resistant to many pesticides. New eradication strategies include fungal spores and nasty human odors.

Indigenous languages are founts of environmental knowledge

Peoples who live close to nature have a rich lore of plants, animals and landscapes embedded in their mother tongues — which may hold vital clues to protecting biodiversity

How shade coffee lends conservation a hand

When managed in the right way, the farms that provide our morning brew can be a refuge for plant and animal biodiversity

New Zealand’s quest to save its rotund, flightless parrots

DNA sequencing, GPS tracking and tailored diets are slowly restoring the endangered kākāpō

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