These Frogs are Part Snake (Quanta Magazine)
By Veronique Greenwood
In Madagascar, many species of frogs carry a gene that originated in snakes. This inter-species jump, and others like it, are upending the way scientists think about genetic relationships.
Why Save this Grass? (Vox)
by Benji Jones
A prairie threatened by an airport expansion in Illinois is just fifteen acres of grassland. But when it comes to the survival of native ecosystems, small, isolated bits of nature can matter a lot.
Talking to the Others (Yale Environment 360)
by Nicola Jones
Playing the sounds made by specific insects can get plants to release defensive chemicals, and robotic honeybees can tell their counterparts where to find the good stuff. Human communication with other species is taking some wild turns.
Paddington Bear: Immigrant Icon (Black Perspectives)
by Adam Thomas
One of the most iconic British images this year was Queen Elizabeth II taking tea with Paddington. The famous bear is also famously an immigrant, and his story consciously parallels the experiences of Black Caribbean people in England.
Toys of the Twentieth Century (History)
by Greg Daugherty
After World War II, the way kids played changed dramatically, thanks to TV ads, the enormous market of Baby Boomers, and—especially—plastic.
Got a hot tip about a well-researched story that belongs on this list? Email us here.