Octopuses Find New Hunting Buddies
Animals are teaming up to adapt to a changing world.
The Pandemic Can’t Lock Down Nature
The nonhuman world is free of charge; sunlight is a disinfectant, physical distance easily maintained, and no pandemic can suspend it. Nature offers not just escape but reassurance.Photograph by Tim Zurowski / Shutterstock Needing to clear my head, I went down to the Penobscot River. There they were, swimming with the mergansers, following an early […]
Where to See the Real Living Dead
Everyone knows forests are alive, but Suzanne Simard, who studies complex, symbiotic networks, helps us see that life anew. Even dying, for a tree, is not what it seems.Photograph by Tomasz Wrzesien / Shutterstock Talk of “Mother Trees,” from a scientist studying plant life, can sound fanciful, like something out of a fairy tale. Suzanne […]
Never Underestimate the Intelligence of Trees
Plants communicate, nurture their seedlings, and get stressed.
How “Useless” Science Unraveled an Amphibian Apocalypse
One spring day in 1984, Joyce Longcore got a phone call from Joan Brooks, a biologist at the University of Maine. Brooks had received a National Science Foundation grant to study the interactions of fungi and bacteria in peat bogs. She needed a hand, and she heard through the grapevine that Longcore knew a bit […]
This Piece of Ocean Trash Criticizes Ocean Trash
Nearly three years ago, George Boorujy took a trip to Wolfe’s Pond Park, on the southeastern edge of Staten Island in New York City, and threw a bottle into the ocean.On a cold, sunny day this February, artist Brigitte Barthelemy, her husband, and their schnauzer, Elton, went for a walk on a beach in Royan, […]
Why Are So Many Animals Homosexual?
Few creatures can boast of devotions so deep as greylag geese. Most are monogamous; many spend their decade-long adult lives with the same goose, side-by-side in constant communication, taking another partner only if the first should die. It’s a remarkable degree of fidelity, and it includes relationships of a sort that some humans consider unnatural.Quite […]
What Pigeons Teach Us About Love
The sweet, avian romance of Harold and Maude.
We Are About to Start Mining Hydrothermal Vents on the Ocean Floor
Forty years ago, scientists found alien life. Not on another planet, but on Earth, in the deep sea, in places where plumes of steam and nutrients heated by volcanic activity fed entire ecologies of creatures adapted to harness chemical energy rather than energy from the sun. The discovery redefined life’s biophysical possibilities, and scientists and […]
A Butterfly’s Beauty Comes From Organized Chaos
This classic Facts So Romantic post was originally published in June, 2013.Take a look at a butterfly’s wing, and you can learn a lesson about life. Not that it’s beautiful, or fragile, or too easily appreciated only when it’s fading—though all that is true, and evident in a wing. Nautilus Members enjoy an ad-free experience. […]