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Hot Heads: Why Mammals Need R.E.M. Sleep

Hot Heads: Why Mammals Need R.E.M. Sleep

Fur seals can switch off and on R.E.M. sleep when they're in the sea and on land, a pattern never seen before. Scientists believe it might mean R.E.M. sleep helps generate heat in our skulls, like shivering for the brain.

When a Pregnant Pipefish Dad Spots an Alluring Female, Things Get Weird

When a Pregnant Pipefish Dad Spots an Alluring Female, Things Get Weird

A robust ghost pipefish in waters off Indonesia. With some species of pipefish, fathers are susceptible to what scientists call the Bruce effect.

Emperor Penguins: Good Dads, but Less Dedicated Than You May Have Thought

Emperor Penguins: Good Dads, but Less Dedicated Than You May Have Thought

Adult emperor penguins and their chicks near a research station in Terre Adélie, Antarctica. Researchers found that male penguins from one colony often slipped out to hunt during breeding season.

Starfish See Pretty Well in the Deep Ocean. By the Way, Starfish Have Eyes.

Starfish See Pretty Well in the Deep Ocean. By the Way, Starfish Have Eyes.

The Tremaster mirabilis starfish, one of several species of sea star living in deep waters off Greenland’s coast that have surprisingly complex eyes.

The Baby’s Hand Was Mummified. Why Wasn’t the Rest of Its Body?

The Baby’s Hand Was Mummified. Why Wasn’t the Rest of Its Body?

The skeleton of a child found in Hungary was partially mummified by copper from a coin placed in its hand.

Latest Attraction at French Theme Park: Crows That Pick Up Trash

Latest Attraction at French Theme Park: Crows That Pick Up Trash

A crow picking up a discarded cigarette at Puy du Fou, a theme park in France that has enlisted six birds as tiny, winged maintenance workers.

In Footprints on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Signs of a Dinosaur Playground

In Footprints on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Signs of a Dinosaur Playground

A sauropod footprint found in Scotland was among several that included tracks left by smaller, two-legged meat-eaters. Their presence together upends a theory that the larger plant-eaters waded into shallow, muddy waters to evade predators.

Scientists Fear for Colombia’s ‘Melted Rainbow’

Scientists Fear for Colombia’s ‘Melted Rainbow’

The Caño Cristales in Colombia, home to Macarenia clavigera, which turns the river bright colors in the rainy season. It has become a tourist attraction, but oil reserves nearby have pitted the government against a petroleum company.

U.F.O.s: Is This All There Is?

U.F.O.s: Is This All There Is?

A U.F.O. in New Mexico in 1957. For astronomers, the biggest problem with alien visitation is not the occasional claim of mysterious light in the sky, but the fact that we’re not constantly overwhelmed with them.

It’s Cold Outside, but Earth Is at Its Closest Approach to the Sun

It’s Cold Outside, but Earth Is at Its Closest Approach to the Sun

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, viewed from the International Space Station in 2014.

Ancient Burial Pits Reveal Sophisticated Rituals

Ancient Burial Pits Reveal Sophisticated Rituals

Stone pendants and earrings recovered from the Lothagam North Pillar Site in Kenya, which is about 5,300 years old. It was used as a burial site for about 700 years. Then, abruptly and mysteriously, the burials stopped.

Frog-Killing Fungus Found to Have Origins on Korean Peninsula

Frog-Killing Fungus Found to Have Origins on Korean Peninsula

An Oriental fire-bellied toad, which was imported into Europe from South Korea.

Climate Change Is Altering Lakes and Streams, Study Suggests

Climate Change Is Altering Lakes and Streams, Study Suggests

The Sorpe reservoir in northwest Germany, one of four freshwater reservoirs observed in a recent study that found that carbon dioxide absorbed in lakes, rivers and streams can affect entire ecosystems.

Last March of the ‘Wooden Elephants’: Africa’s Ancient Baobabs Are Dying

Last March of the ‘Wooden Elephants’: Africa’s Ancient Baobabs Are Dying

A baobab tree at Epupa Falls in Namibia. Researchers suspect that Africa's "wooden elephants" are succumbing to prolonged droughts and increasing temperatures, which are parching the trees, leaving them unable to support the weight of their massive trunks.

New Insights From Old DNA, Flowing Ants, Insecticides in Question

New Insights From Old DNA, Flowing Ants, Insecticides in Question

A computer-generated image of a single Neanderthal toe bone found in a Siberian cave in 2010.

Yes, They’ve Cloned Monkeys in China. That Doesn’t Mean You’re Next.

Yes, They’ve Cloned Monkeys in China. That Doesn’t Mean You’re Next.

Zhong Zhong, one of two cloned monkeys at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. They are the first primates cloned by transferring DNA into fetal cells.


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