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Nothing better displays our curiosity-driven research than a trip off the beaten track, whether to the deep reefs of Curaçao in search of new fish species or a trek into remote montane forests to catalogue the flora and fauna of Panama's national parks. Smithsonian scientists wrangle crocodiles on far-flung islands, track jaguars deep in the rainforest and hunt for fossils across the Americas. Exploration fuels our most basic questions about any ecosystem and establishes new baselines for understanding change.

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