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Animals

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

In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, new marine ecosystems are flourishing

Sea life, stuck to plastic bottles and other human trash, has journeyed far from coastal habitats — and may threaten local species

How wind turbines could coexist peacefully with bats and birds

As wind power grows around the world, so does the threat the turbines pose to wildlife. From simple fixes to high-tech solutions, new approaches can help.

As the climate changes, plants must shift their ranges. But can they?

Lots of them depend on fruit-eating birds and mammals to spread their seeds. But it’s debatable whether the animals — many in trouble themselves — can disperse seeds far and fast enough to keep pace with a warming world.

Everyone should start counting spiders

Our collective arachnid aversion could be causing us to overlook something even scarier: Spiders may be disappearing.

Division of labor in ants, wasps, bees — and us

Social insects and humans share the trait of divvying up tasks, as do some fish. Researchers find that it emerges naturally, and it often doesn’t take a boss to keep things in order.

Evolution of the nervous system

COMIC: When, why and how did neurons first evolve? Scientists are piecing together the ancient story.

Do spiders dream? What about cuttlefish? Bearded dragons?

Researchers are finding signs of multiple phases of sleep all over the animal kingdom. The ‘active’ sleep phases look very much like REM.

The underappreciated benefits of wild bees

Native pollinators are key to both ecology and agriculture, but have yet to get their due

Conservation paleobiology: Eyeing the past to restore today’s ecosystems

Researchers use historic remnants like antlers, shells, teeth and pollen to learn how natural communities once worked. The clues serve as guides for restoration.

Charles Henry Turner’s insights into animal behavior were a century ahead of their time

Researchers are rediscovering the forgotten legacy of a pioneering Black scientist who conducted trailblazing research on the cognitive traits of bees, spiders and more

The extraordinary case of the ferocious female moles

Their genital anatomy, musculature and aggressiveness have made them a model for studying the phenomenon of female masculinization — and demonstrate that sometimes, it’s not easy to tell the difference between male and female

The fossil that launched a dinosaur revolution

PODCAST: Archaeopteryx forever changed our understanding of dinosaurs and the origin of birds, but it took a century after its discovery and a one-page paper to shift scientific consensus (Season 3, Episode 2)

Dealing with rats, and their health, in America’s ‘rattiest’ city

OPINION: A study in Chicago found that rodents surviving poisoning are more likely to carry disease. Good pest control needs to take such things into account.

Nature, nurture and randomness

OPINION: More than genes and upbringing determine animal personalities: There’s a good dose of chance in the mix, too.

A shocking number of birds are in trouble

Rich data on the global state of our feathered friends presents plenty of bad news — but also some bright spots. Researchers know better than ever how to help endangered birds, and there are notable bird conservation successes.

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