An early 20th century drawing of different foods

A Brief History of the Calorie

The measure of thermal energy expended by exercise was adapted from the study of explosives and engines.
Tableau d'histoire naturelle Annelides, Crustaces, Arachnides, etc, 1834

Are Insects Capable of Moral Behavior?

Some 19th-century naturalists believed that bugs could think and should therefore definitely know that biting is out of line.
Mimosa pudica

Plant of the Month: The Sensitive Plant

This plant’s animal-like behavior and alleged love-provoking abilities have sparked the imagination of everyone from early modern yogis to today’s scientists.
CamelBak brand water bottles hang on display at an outdoor supply store

How Safe Is BPA-Free Plastic?

With BPA gone from many plastic products, researchers are concerned about other environmental chemicals, which might cause reproductive harm.
A puffin carrying tree branches in it's mouth

Puffins Seen Using Tools, Breaking Dumb-Puffin Stereotypes

Reputed to be a less intelligent bird species, puffins have been observed scratching themselves with sticks.

Why Your Zodiac Sign Is Probably Wrong

The science of astronomy is at odds with the basic organizing principle in astrology: the dates of the zodiac.
World map showing the zoogeographical regions by Alfred Russel Wallace

The 1876 Map of the World’s Ecozones That Still Holds Up

The 19th-century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace created a visualization that tied different species to specific regions of the world.
A woman carries a baby wearing a protective mask as they exit the arrival hall at Hong Kong High Speed Rail Station on January 29, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

The Law and Coronavirus

Can environmental law help contain viruses that spill over from animal to human populations?
A cartoon of a T Rex holding a boom box

Take These Teenage Dinosaurs Seriously!

Paleontologists recently solved the riddle of whether two fossil specimens were young T. rexes or a whole different species.
A stamp printed by Poland, showing Ibn Sina

The Vast Influence of Ibn Sina, Pioneer of Medicine

In the 11th century CE, science was rapidly advancing in the Islamic world. The scholar Ibn Sina (Avicenna) synthesized its medical wisdom.