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Meet the world’s weirdest whale


Narwhals breaching for air in an open space in the Arctic sea ice. (Photo by Glenn Williams) Swimming in the frigid waters of the Arctic and surfacing in narrow gaps in the sea ice to breath, the narwhal is one of the world’s most elusive and bizarre marine mammals.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day: cupids and jewelry


Bracelet (France), ca. 1860; Attributed to Honoré-Séverin Bourdoncle (French, 1823–1893); aluminum, gold, brass; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Barack and Michelle Obama unveil official portraits at National Portrait Gallery


From left, artist Kehinde Wiley, artist Amy Sherald, National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet, Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Barack Obama at the National Portrait Gallery Feb.

At intersection of innovation, technology and passion, a new age of inclusive design emerges


“Access + Ability,” at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum “It’s a wide-open field, there for the taking,” says Cara McCarty about the innovative designs featured in “Access + Accessibility,” the newest exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

Hummingbirds dodge and weave

Tweaks in muscle and wing form give different hummingbird species varying levels of agility. The deft turns of hummingbirds in flight, as shown in a competitive encounter (first clip), make great material for studying agility.

From labor movements to TV: Museum collections tell stories of Latinos


Braceros returning home ride a bus departing from Stockton, Calif. in 1956. This image by Leonard Nadel is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

MarineGEO survey conducted in Hong Kong


This MarineGEO settlement structure was submerged in Tung Ping Chau for two years. Many of these eight-level structures deployed in and around Hong Kong were found to have more than 300 visible organisms living in and on them.

Bessie Coleman, First Black Aviator


  Bessie Coleman, the first African American licensed pilot shown here on the wheel of a Curtiss JN-4 “Jennie” in her custom-designed flying suit (circa 1924).

Astronomers detect comets transiting distant stars


An image of Halley’s comet. Astronomers have detected around other stars exocomets with masses comparable to Halley’s comet.

Meet the newest New World canopy beetle species. ‘Gazillions’ await discovery.


A “Hyboptera angulicollis,” female, found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, and Suriname; B “Hyboptera biolat,” female, found in Peru.

Endangered Guam rail chick hatches

A Guam rail chick hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Jan. 16, 2018. The chick hatched in an incubator and will be hand-raised by keepers before being repatriated to Guam and serving as an ambassador animal for the Guam Department of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources.

1968 Poor People’s protest in Washington, D.C., inspires once again in vibrant new exhibition


Men lean out the window of a school bus from Newark, N.J. as it arrives at Resurrection City, Washington, D.C.

When You Wish Upon a Shooting Star


                                          Pleiades, Smithsonian Libraries Sidereus Nuncius, sometimes called Starry Messenger, is a short work written by Galileo Galilei in 1610.

“Off the Beaten Track”: A road trip through the Archives of American Art


Photograph of Jackson, Sande, and LeRoy Pollock at the Grand Canyon in 1927. From Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1905-1984, Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

The genuine article: Native Knowledge 360° introduces schoolchildren to authentic Native Americans


Students access Native Knowledge 360° on-line learning materials during a classroom lesson. Edwin Schupman’s been chipping away at misconceptions of Native Americans since he started working as an educator some 30 years ago.

Remember what you learned about Native Americans in school? Native Knowledge 360° wants to change all that.


Students access Native Knowledge 360° on-line learning materials during a classroom lesson. Edwin Schupman’s been chipping away at misconceptions of Native Americans since he started working as an educator some 30 years ago.

DNA untangles Gabon’s complex web of frog species


Though these frogs may appear to be different species, DNA barcoding revealed that they all belong to the same species: the Eared River Frog, “Phrynobatrachus auritus” When Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute conservation biologist Jessica Deichmann joined a project to determine how the construction of a road in Gabon’s Moukalaba-Doudou National Park would affect amphibians in the area, she quickly realized something surprising: the frogs living there are masters of disguise.

DNA Barcoding Untangles Gabon’s Complex Web of Frog Species


Though these frogs may appear to be different species, DNA barcoding revealed that they all belong to the same species: the Eared River Frog, “Phrynobatrachus auritus” When Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute conservation biologist Jessica Deichmann joined a project to determine how the construction of a road in Gabon’s Moukalaba-Doudou National Park would affect amphibians in the area, she quickly realized something surprising: the frogs living there are masters of disguise.

This Squirrel Appreciation Day we have a few surprising squirrely facts for you


Flying through the air? Check. Surviving snake bites? Check. One of the most adorable creatures on earth?

This Squirrel Appreciation Day (Sunday, Jan. 21) we have a few surprising squirrely facts for you


Flying through the air? Check. Surviving snake bites? Check. One of the most adorable creatures on earth?


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