People wanted more white meat in their Thanksgiving turkeys. (Wikimedia Commons)

Turkey science: What’s on your plate?

November 25, 2015

The 45 million turkeys that end up on the Thanksgiving table are nothing like their wild ancestors. In fact, they are very different from the typical Thanksgiving turkeys of even half a century ago, according to...

Ocean temperature patterns shift atmospheric circulation during El Niño events. (Credit:

What’s so monstrous about “Godzilla El Niño”?

November 6, 2015

This week, an early season storm hit the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, burying them under feet of snow. The blizzard allowed one ski area, Mammoth Mountain, to open for business yesterday, ahead of schedule. And...

Footfalls of large mammals, propagating along the surface of the earth as Rayleigh waves, are measurable in the ground at varying distances depending on the energy of the signal.  ©O’Connell-Rodwell, C.E. (2007). Keeping an "ear" to the ground: Seismic communication in elephants. Physiology, 22(4), 287-294.

Shake and quiver: Vibrational communication in animals

November 4, 2015

Living underground, moles experience a world very different from our own. The dark, subterranean environment lacks the usual cues for direction, distance, or time, forcing moles to use other methods to perceive their habitat. Using senses...

Artist's rendition of a primitive ocean on Mars.

Water, Water, Everywhere

October 19, 2015

We’ve long known that water was present in the atmosphere of Venus and that frozen water is trapped in the polar ice caps visible on Mars. However, it seems that there have been a slew of...

©Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum, UK

Discovery of Homo naledi demonstrates need to revise the Homo genus

October 8, 2015

Cross-posted with the permission of Dr. Nathan Lents, originally posted at The Human Evolution Blog. 2015 has been a very exciting year for Paleoanthropology. No doubt the pinnacle was the discovery of a brand-new hominin species: Homo naledi, a bombastic...


Happy Birthday Niels Bohr

October 7, 2015

Today, October 7th, marks the 130th anniversary of Niels Bohr’s birth.  A pioneering physicist in the field of quantum theory, Bohr developed a theory of the atom where electrons traveled in specific orbits around the nucleus.  He...

The greater sage grouse. (Credit: BLM via Flickr)

The science behind sage grouse conservation

September 25, 2015

The greater sage grouse. (Credit: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr) On Sept. 22, the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the greater sage grouse — a chicken-sized bird that inhabits the open ranges of...

The Yeung family cat (or rather, an image of the family cat) is seen at about 70,000 feet above Earth's surface.  ©Winston Yeung

Image of the Week: Cat at the Edge of Space

September 15, 2015

The Yeung family cat (or rather, an image of the family cat) is seen at about 70,000 feet above Earth’s surface. ©Winston Yeung Two bright and determined young scientists, Kimberly and Rebecca Yeung, built a helium...