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Does beauty beget weakness?

March 08, 2013

Male fiddler crabs’ large claws may look unwieldly, but a new study demonstrates that these large weapons are not only for show.

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Why no poop in garden?

February 15, 2013

A visit to a shaman’s garden prompts an unexpected warning about the tobacco plant spirit’s ability to do away with disrespectful visitors.

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Do objects have an occult life?

February 08, 2013

In the Peruvian Amazon, a Smithsonian anthropologist learns that Yanesha people believe that certain personal objects become part of a person’s being.

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Fire fuels invasive grass

October 19, 2012

Panama’s infamous canal grass rises from the ashes of fire much faster than trees, complicating reforestation efforts.

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STRI’s intellectual history

October 05, 2012

With almost 50 years at the Smithsonian in Panama, evolutionary biologist Egbert Leigh has had a privileged front-row view of the institution’s scientific advances in the tropics.

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What is merdigery?

September 28, 2012

Some beetles have a rather inventive, if unsavory, way of fending off predators.

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Do pests keep rare tree species from becoming common?

July 15, 2012

A five-year, $2-million grant will help test the hypothesis that rare trees are more susceptible to pathogens than common trees on Barro Colorado Island.

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Is there an evolutionary point of no return?

April 27, 2012

A Chilean sea snail appears to have tried two forms of development and decided to turn back before it was too late.

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Presenting hidden biodiversity

February 10, 2012

An activity book for kids looks at the world of the smallest plants.

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Distant relatives become new species

January 13, 2012

A five-million-year-old urchin ancestor gave rise to two common lineages of sea urchins found today on either side of the Isthmus of Panama, according to new research by a Smithsonian scientist.

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