A beach covered with plastic trash

Plastic pollution has entered fossil record, says study

A new study has found that plastic pollution is being deposited into the fossil record, with deposits increasing exponentially since 1945.

T. rex had an air conditioner in its head

How did the huge dinosaurs stay cool?  According to a new study, they did it much as today’s alligators do, with a built-in ‘air conditioner’ on the top of their skulls.

Water eruption from an active geyser.

Yellowstone’s Steamboat geyser breaks record

With 33 eruptions as of August 27, Steamboat geyser in Yellowstone National Park is having an exceptionally active year.

Model of a big white penguin next to photo of a woman.

Monster penguin was as tall as a person

An extinct species of giant penguin – over 5 feet (1.6 meters) tall – has been identified from fossils found in New Zealand.

Hurricane Dorian: Why it’s so destructive

Dorian, the 2nd most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record, has devastated the Bahamas, with the death toll expected to rapidly rise as rescue work gets under way.

Wow! Night skies and petroglyphs

Gorgeous night skies over North America’s best petroglyphs and ruins – and don’t miss 2018’s Super Blue Moon lunar eclipse (at 1:03) – in Skyglow’s newest video.

Evolution doesn’t proceed in a straight line

If you go by cartoons and T-shirts, you might think evolution proceeds as an orderly march toward a preordained finish line. But evolution has no endpoint in mind.

Hurricane Dorian viewed from space

NASA astronaut Christian Koch snapped this image of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station on Monday, September 2, 2019. The station orbits more than 200 miles (300 km) above Earth.

Why the Amazon is burning: 4 reasons

Nearly 40,000 fires are burning in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, the latest outbreak in an overactive fire season. Don’t blame dry weather, say environmentalists. These Amazonian wildfires are a human-made disaster.

In 1966, 1st photo of Earth from the moon

NASA released this 1st moon photo of Earth on August 23, 1966, via its spacecraft Lunar Orbiter 1. Years later, it used digital technology to restore the photo and reveal more detail.

Snow algae thrives in extreme conditions

On tall ice structures high in the Chilean Andes, researchers found algae growing on snow. They don’t entirely understand how the algae are able to bloom.

Photo showing the extent of the summer dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico according to sampling data

Large 2019 dead zone in Gulf of Mexico

This year’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone of oxygen-depleted waters is the 8th largest ever recorded.

Rain over mountains.

It’s raining plastic in the Rocky Mountains

A USGS study identified plastic in more than 90% of rainwater samples taken from across Colorado.

Blue water, blue sky.

Microplastics found in Lake Tahoe

Research at one of the world’s clearest, cleanest lakes suggests the problem of microplastics is widespread in freshwater systems and not just in oceans.

Man with a monarch butterfly on the tip of his finger.

How do monarch butterflies know when it’s time to migrate?

Overwintering monarch butterflies rely on a temperature-sensitive internal timer to wake them up to make the trip back north, researchers report.

Field with yellow flowers, and in the distance, a snow-capped mountain.

A big earthquake in the US Pacific Northwest?

Most people don’t associate the US Pacific Northwest with earthquakes, but maybe they should. It’s home to the 600-mile (1,000-km) Cascadia megathrust fault, stretching from northern California to Canada’s Vancouver Island.

Close-up of insect against a black background.

How mosquitoes find us

For mosquitoes, finding the next blood meal is all about smelling and seeing. It’s our breath that gives us away.

Duck-billed dinosaur.

A new species of duck-billed dinosaur

Duck-billed dinosaurs – hadrosaurids – were common 80 million years ago. Now scientists have discovered a complete skull of a previously unknown species of hadrosaurid, which sported unusual skull and face features.

A firefly lighting up on a leaf.

How fireflies glow and what signals they’re sending

Are the gentle blinks of fireflies flashing a favorite part of your summer evenings? An entomologist explains some lightning bug basics.

Yellow bird with open beak, on a branch, against a green background.

Why do birds sing?

Birds spend a lot of time and energy singing, but they don’t do it the same way in every season of the year. And some can’t sing at all. What’s the purpose of birdsong?