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Sea of fossils

August 09, 2013

A Smithsonian emeritus scientist takes a field trip to some of Panama’s most important known marine fossil deposits for a quick lesson the age of the Ithsmus of Panama.


Calibrating evolution

May 24, 2013

Veteran Smithsonian evolutionary biologist Haris Lessios has made major contributions to the understanding of how new marine species arose following separation by the Isthmus of Panama.


Mary Jane West-Eberhard retires

March 15, 2013

After a half century of pioneering research on evolutionary developmental biology and induction into the National Academy of Sciences, a long-time Smithsonian scientist retires.


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.


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.


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.


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.


What is merdigery?

September 28, 2012

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


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.


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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