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Sol Man: John Grant is on a road trip across Mars

Two rovers are active right now on the surface of Mars: Opportunity, which landed in January 2004, and Curiosity, which started exploration in August 2012.

Cats Don’t Roam in places Coyotes call Home

A coyote investigates a camera trap set up in a wooded area. A two-year study looking at occurrences of cats and coyotes in protected areas, urban forests and suburban habitats showed that where coyotes are common, cats are not.

Protecting Birds by Better Understanding Migratory connectivity

  Identifying and understanding the migratory connectivity of birds throughout an entire annual cycle (not just the times of year they are in your back yard), are critical to understanding their biology and ecology.

Key Link in Turtle Evolution discovered

Pappochelys could grow up to 8 inches in length, had a long tail and used its tiny, peg-like teeth to feed on small insects and worms in what is now southern Germany.

To Preserve Rare WWII bomber, Conservators Turn to Science

With Flak-Bait front fuselage, conservation team members from left, Jeremy Kinney, Lauren Horelick, Pat Robinson and Chris Moore.

Red Panda Cubs Born at Conservation Biology Institute

Seven red panda cubs were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute! The cubs were born to mothers Nutmeg, Regan and Leo Mei.

Oasis in the city

The Smithsonian Pollinator Garden on the grounds of the National Museum of Natural History. (Smithsonain Gardens photo) Pollinators like butterflies, bees, beetles, flies, and moths help to pollinate almost 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants, one benefit of which is providing food for humans.

Gasping for air: nutrients, warming trigger ocean oxygen deficit

Algae blooms are often referred to as red tides because of their red color in the water. Red tides, like this one in La Jolla, Calif., can form as a result of nutrient pollution.

How Carnivorous Plants avoid eating their pollinating insect friends

Carnivorous plants are a fascinating example of nature at its best. Living in habitats with nutrient-poor soil, carnivorous plants evolved to attract some insects as food, while at the same time attracting different insects to pollinate them.

This simple trick helped fix a wildlife water shortage in Cambodia

A camera trap captured this Eld’s deer, an endangered species, drinking from a modified waterhole in Cambodia.

Tiny, fierce and disappearing: breeding program aims to help the loggerhead shrike

Loggerhead shrikes faces are striking, streaked in black across the eyes. (Photo by Lisa Ware) Residents of the southeastern United States might occasionally come across an oddity along a barbed-wire fence: a series of insects, mice or even small birds and lizards impaled on the barbs.

The Secret Life of Orchids – Part III: Conservation

Orchids account for 10 percent of the world’s plant species, making them the largest plant family. They act as indicators of the health of ecosystems and other species around them.

Miniaturized GPS Tags Allow Tracking of Small Songbirds for first time

For the first time, researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center have accurately tracked small migratory ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) to their tropical wintering grounds, significantly improving the understanding of migratory connectivity.

Analysis: Many tropical tree species have yet to be discovered

A global analysis raises the minimum estimated number of tropical tree species to at least 40,000–53,000 worldwide in a paper appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, whose coauthors include researchers from the Center for Tropical Forest Science–Forest Global Earth Observatory (CTFS–ForestGEO) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).

Sweet survival: Some birds have a sugar edge

Black-throated blue warbler (“Setophaga caerulescens”) feeding on granulated unrefined sugar left out on a table in Kingstown, Jamaica.

To hunt, bats listen for signals in prey mating calls

Male katydids, such as this Steirodon careovirgulatum, attract females with mating calls, which unfortunately also cue predator bats to their whereabouts.

geologic mapping of mars

Geologic mapping is an integral part of exploration and understanding a planetary landscape, because it shows the relationships between geologic units and helps delineate the history of a surface.

Unplugged: 5 batteries that gave the world a jolt

Batteries power virtually every aspect of modern life. So small, so portable, and so easy to forget—but how many times have you simply started your car, or cursed your dying phone because you forgot your charging cable?

5 Reasons the Inka Road is one of the Greatest Achievements in Engineering

The Inka Empire is one of the greatest civilizations in the Western Hemisphere, spanning from the 13th century until the Spanish invasion in 1532.

New study may help free whales from fishing rope

This four-year-old male right whale entangled in heavy fishing rope was spotted in February 2014, 40 miles east of Jacksonville, FL.