The common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, in flight. Credit: Sherri and Brock Fenton
Emperor tamarin. Photo: Roshan Patel/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Children participating in art-making projects on the Hirshhorn’s Plaza. Photo by Kate Warren. Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Credit: “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez” by Hugo Crosthwaite, stop-motion drawing animation (3:12 min.), 2018. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Lesser kudu female Rogue with her newborn male calf behind the scenes at the Zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Station.
Credit: Gil Myers, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The sclerite composition of this white and fan-shaped coral is characteristic for this species and differentiates it from others in the same genus. Credit: Héctor Guzmán/STRI
A new study published in PNAS by researchers at the Smithsonian, Academia Sinica and The George Washington University analyzed more than 47 million animal DNA sequences from GenBank, the most commonly used tool used to identify environmental DNA, and found that animal DNA identification errors are rare, but sometimes funny. The researchers want to be able to identify DNA of marine animals in ocean water samples to better monitor the ocean health.
Credit: Ian Cooke Tapia (cartoonist), Matthieu Leray (author)
Bei Bei at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Photo: Skip Brown/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
A photo of the Spectacled Flowerpecker taken in the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Segerak research station. While scientists and birdwatchers have previously glimpsed the small, gray bird in lowland forests around the island, a Smithsonian team of scientists surveying the birdlife of Borneo is the first to capture and study it, resulting in its formal scientific description as a new species. The team’s study, reported Oct. 17 in the journal Zootaxa, confirms that the bird belongs to a colorful family of fruit-eating birds known as flowerpeckers, which are found throughout tropical southern Asia, Australia and nearby islands.
Credit: Chris Milensky
The Paper Trail cover
Although initially mistaken for Petrolisthes tonsorius in the 1970s, the uncommon colors and atypical habitat of Petrolisthes virgilius led the scientists to corroborate through genetic analyses that it was a new species.
Credit: Alexandra Hiller and Bernd Werding
Two new juvenile Aldabra tortoises held by animal keeper, Matt Neff. The 5-year-old tortoises weigh about 11 pounds, but will grow to be several hundred pounds and live for decades.
Credit: Amy Enchelmeyer/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Treaty of Fort Stanwix, Oct. 22, 1794
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
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