The cockroach

The cockroach

An extermination trick that married insecticide with sugar worked for a while — but then suddenly lost its power against roaches. Now science tells us why, as it highlights once again how human actions affect natural selection. More »

Wolf mystery solved at last!

Wolf mystery solved at last!

And how did it traverse 460 kilometers of ocean? Apparently by crossing a narrow band of ice during the last Ice Age. A new study echoes evolutionary giants Darwin and Wallace and highlights the role of sea level in animal migration. More »

Come hither, says plant

Come hither, says plant

Study finds that bees “read” the electric field of a flower. First-ever detection of electric-field detection by animal not in water makes evolutionary sense, but how come nobody ever saw this before? More »

Warming: A bad climate for endangered species?

newborn sea turtle on sand

How will rising temperatures affect endangered species? Are there ways to abate the consequences, and are they being tested? Can we even be certain that climate change is the cause of specific declines? More »

Mapping evolution

Mapping evolution

Research in salty ponds shows how one species of pupfish becomes three — in a few cases. More important, it shows why this did not happen in thousands of other locations. Does an impenetrable “death valley” isolate viable species? More »

Counting bugs in Panama

Counting bugs in Panama

Life is biology is species: But how many species live on Earth? About six million arthropods (insects, spiders and crustaceans), says a new study. More »

West Nile virus running wild

West Nile virus running wild

Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile? More »

Nature reserves: Part of the local environment

Nature reserves: Part of the local environment

Deforestation, fires, mining and agriculture outside a nature reserve can have as much impact as the same activities inside the reserve, says a new study. If a line on a map cannot protect nature, what can? More »

Love life of the firefly

Love life of the firefly

An alluring flash pattern is only the first step in firefly reproduction. Females actually pay more attention to the “nuptial gift” that carries sperm. A new look at these popular creatures shows that the battle of the sexes is more subtle and complex than we thought. More »

Final score: Mustard-bomb plant 1, mouse 0

close-up photo of mouse face eating seeds

Plants and animals are in a constant struggle for survival and reproduction. Plant toxins prevent most animals from eating their seeds and destroying them. No kidding: A desert mouse is smart enough to eat edible fruit flesh without triggering the “mustard-oil bomb”! More »

Bird migration: Key explanation skewered!

Bird migration: Key explanation skewered!

How do homing pigeons find their way on their amazing migrations? Scientists thought iron-bearing nerve cells in the beak can detect Earth’s magnetic field. But those iron granules are in immune cells. How do they do it? More »

Honeybees getting lost?

Honeybees getting lost?

As colony collapse disorder continues to attack honeybee hives, a new study shows that a common insecticide interferes with their return flights. Although the disorder probably has many causes, agricultural chemicals have long been key suspects, and this study adds to the suspicion! More »

Putting the brakes on fish invasions

Putting the brakes on fish invasions

Ecologists are desperate to forestall a devastating invasion of the Lakes. Should canal be closed to cut off the damaging fish, or is it already too late? More »

First forest: New details emerge

First forest: New details emerge

Returning to the site of a classic “first forest” site, New York scientists have found extra complexity: three fossilized trees-like species aged almost 400 million years. One find, a vine-like monster, may be a direct descendant of all seed-bearing trees! More »

Ocean fish in hot water

Ocean fish in hot water

The ocean’s most valuable fish are caught in a vise. Areas known as dead zones are encroaching on their living zones and pinning them closer to the surface, where they are more vulnerable to becoming the day’s catch. The predicament is yet another side effect of climate change. More »