A chrysanthemum overlaid with the chemical formula for pyrethrins

What Do Pesticides and Chrysanthemums Have in Common?

They both contain insecticides called pyrethrins, used in ancient Persia. Today we use them in lice-killing shampoos.
A developing Gall on a Quercus pubescens caused by the insect Cynips quercusfolii.

Are Galls Miracle Cures or Just Weird Growths on Plants?

For millennia, humans have exploited galls for medicine, fuel, food, tanning, and dyeing. Some people have considered them miraculous.
1881: Champion racehorse Iroquis, winner of the 1881 Derby under Fred Archer and property of P Lorillard.

The Myth of the Noble Racehorse

Despite all the whips and spurs involved, nineteenth-century Americans believed racehorses loved a little manly competition.
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.
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.
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 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.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Bulldozers Versus Biodiversity, Then and Now

Trump's border wall threatens habitats in Arizona's Sonoran Desert. What happened when the area was bulldozed in the 1950s?
Thick Billed Parrots

The Thick-Billed Parrot Is Not Extinct–Not Yet

But one hasn't been seen in the U.S. since 1995, not long after the end of the last reintroduction program.