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Jason G. Goldman

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    How Sea Turtles Find Their Way

    Whether you’re a sea turtle or a ship’s captain, you’ll need two tools—a map and a compass.

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    How a Kids’ Cartoon Created a Real-Life Invasive Army

    Once upon a time, raccoons were strangers to the island of Japan, save for the occasional critter kept in a zoo. That all changed when Araiguma Rasukaru aired and turned a nation onto raccoons’ inherent charm. Tales of monsters invading Japan are a longstanding tradition, usually involving menacing kaiju—literally “strange creatures”—rising from the sea to […]

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    Dear Natural History Museum, What Is That Infernal Squawk Out My Window?

    The subject line of the email was simply, “Bird?” It’s not unusual for researchers at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to receive requests like this. Local residents aren’t shy about asking for help to identify critters they encounter on hikes or even in their backyards. But what was unusual about this email, sent […]

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    A Riot of Color Lurking in the Amazon

    Imagine a tropical rainforest and the picture that appears in your mind’s eye is probably filled with green and brown. It’s true that those colors dominate the landscape, but a closer look at some of the jungle’s inhabitants reveals tremendous variation. I just returned from a trip to the Amazon, and here are some of […]

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    Mirror Neurons Are Essential, but Not in the Way You Think

    A “brainbow”: neurons labels with fluorescent tags, in this case, from a mouse.Stephen J. Smith via Wikipedia In his 2011 book, The Tell-Tale Brain, neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran says that some of the cells in your brain are of a special variety. He calls them the “neurons that built civilization,” but you might know them […]

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    Clash of the Tiny—One Pushy Squirrel & the Turf War for LA

    A resourceful eastern fox squirrel eating pizzaCourtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County In West Los Angeles, just across the 405 freeway from UCLA, sits a hospital that’s been serving veterans for more than 100 years.  Back in 1904, it housed veterans from the Civil and Spanish-American Wars and was called the “Sawtelle Veterans […]

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    Love Your Dog? You Should Thank Garbage

    scion via Shutterstock Just south of the equator, thirty miles off the coast of Tanzania, sits a small island called Pemba. The small patch of dry land jutting out from the Indian Ocean is just 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. The quarter million or so people who inhabit Pemba live more or less […]

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    1-Trick Chameleon: Predators Learn to See Through Camouflage

    Probably the worst thing to happen to you, if you’re an animal playing the game of life, is to be eaten by some bigger beast. If you’ve already managed to successfully reproduce by then, as far as evolution is concerned, maybe it’s OK for you to shuffle off that mortal coil. Still, I imagine it’s […]

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    How a Kids’ Cartoon Created a Real-Life Invasive Army

    Tales of monsters invading Japan are a longstanding tradition, usually involving menacing kaiju—literally “strange creatures”—rising from the sea to wreak havoc on a Japanese city. At this very moment, the country is engaged in just such a war, with an entire army of invasive creatures, but they’re both less fearsome and more adorable than Godzilla […]

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    You Didn’t Build That: The Best Animal Engineers

    If an intelligent alien species landed on the small bit of galactic rock that we call home, they might get out of their spaceships, have a look around, and decide that we—that is, our species—are the master builders on our planet. There would be plenty of reasons to think so. We build bridges spanning enormous […]