The silent decline of the platypus, Australia’s beloved oddity
Nature News

The silent decline of the platypus, Australia’s beloved oddity

The platypus is one of Australia’s most beloved species—and, seemingly, one of its most resilient. Even as many of the continent’s native fauna declined or disappeared throughout the 20th century, the quirky duck-billed mammal with webbed feet was seen regularly enough that there was little urgency to monitor the animal’s populations. That is, until biologists…

Plague, explained
Nature News

Plague, explained

Plague is one of the deadliest diseases in human history, second only to smallpox. A bacterial infection found mainly in rodents and associated fleas, plague readily leaps to humans in close contact. Plague outbreaks are the most notorious epidemics in history, inciting fears of plague’s use as a biological weapon today. Stages of plague For…

Visit Italy’s mesmerizing city of mosaics
Nature News

Visit Italy’s mesmerizing city of mosaics

Much of Ravenna seems perpetually soaked in the colors of autumn. Amid alleys crammed with gelato shops, cafés, and souvenir stores, fifth- and sixth-century churches, mausoleums, and baptisteries stand out with their ochre and fawn facades. But the real surprise lies inside their walls and domes, where millions of sparkling mosaic tiles reveal stories of…

Woolly mammoths are extinct. Here’s why they may be considered ‘endangered.’
Nature News

Woolly mammoths are extinct. Here’s why they may be considered ‘endangered.’

One of the most surprising proposals under discussion at the giant global wildlife trade treaty meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, is about woolly mammoths—creatures that once wandered huge tracts of North America, Europe, and northern Asia—and went extinct more than 4,000 years ago. The move to consider adding an extinct species to the list of living,…