Nature News

10 new birds discovered in ‘lost world’

Brilliantly colored, noisy, and active during the day, many birds are easy to spot—and identify. In the past two decades, an average of fewer than six new bird species have been described every year in the entire world. But 2020 will be different, as scientists have just announced 10 previously undescribed species and subspecies from…

These sleek predatory dinosaurs really are teenage T. rex

Sixty-six million years ago, the ground of western North America trembled with the footfalls of a tyrant: Tyrannosaurus rex. But despite a wealth of T. rex remains pulled from the region’s Cretaceous-period rocks, scientists have had few clues about how the celebrity dinosaur grew from a hatchling to a gargantuan predator—until now. In a study…

Best of the decade

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Heartbreak, triumph, wonder: The decade’s 5 most popular photos

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Rotting-fruit art points up plants in peril

A number of the world’s most nutritionally and economically important crops are currently under siege by fungi, bacteria, and pests. Various species of Puccinia are attacking wheat; Fusarium oxysporum has it out for bananas; coffee is succumbing to Hemileia vastatrix and potatoes to Phytophthora infestans, and there are many others. Plant diseases limit food supplies,…

This is the future of safaris in Africa

From emerging wildlife havens to women-led expeditions, safaris in Africa are no longer about hunting big game or having a camera-toting adventure led by male guides. The future of African safaris has arrived. “Community conservancies like Naboisho in Kenya were an important turning point,” says Judy Kepher-Gona, one of Africa’s top ecotourism experts. “Local villagers…

Was Norway’s Oseberg Ship a Tomb for a Viking Queen?

During the late 19th century, a young Norwegian farmer, Johannes Hansen, arrived in the United States where—like many Scandinavians of the period—he had high hopes of starting a new life. However, an encounter with a fortune teller there made him change his plans. He learned that he need not suffer hardships in America to get…

See surprisingly stunning views from an airplane window seat

Twinkling skylines, endless deserts, vast oceans: The coveted window seat sometimes provides mesmerizing in-flight entertainment. Photographer Julieanne Kost discovered this when she challenged herself to overcome her fear of flying via window-seat photography. Instead of looking out at 30,000 feet of empty air, she focused on the immense scrolling landscape below her. “As long as…

Why some people celebrate Christmas in January

Christmas is over, so why are 12 percent of the world’s Christians waiting until January to celebrate? The answer lies in many Orthodox churches’ decision to adhere to a nearly 2,000-year-old calendar that differs from the one used by most of the world today. The origins of the split over when to officially recognize the…