Quiz: Is This Panda Pregnant?

Figuring out whether or not a giant panda is pregnant is no easy task. Take Mei Xiang, a giant panda at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., for example. Researchers have thought she was pregnant five times before—between 2007 and 2012—but she never ended up giving birth. She was artificially inseminated on April 26 and […]

Picture of the Week: Axolotl

Science Diction: Dinosaur

The Octopus Whisperer

Picture of the Week: Cock-Eyed Squid

Take a Selfielopod for #CephalopodWeek!

Many cephalopods are master camouflagers. They can change their color to blend into the environment and hide from predators, communicate with each other, and even express happiness. Learn more about how cuttlefish create camouflage in this video: Don’t worry, my chromatophore-less friend. Like the flamboyant cuttlefish or the mimic octopus, you, too, can work on […]

Jet-setting Cephalopods

This activity is part of a Science Friday spotlight about cephalopods. Get involved using the hashtag #CephalopodWeek.       Target Grades: 4th-8th Estimated time: 30 minutes to 1 hour with options to extend Subjects: Marine Biology, Engineering and Technology Topics: Animal Locomotion, Biomimicry, Jet-Propulsion,  Activity Type:  Engineering design challenge. Cephalopods are a diverse and versatile bunch of critters. […]

Dissect a Silkworm Cocoon

Most of us are familiar with silk as a fine fabric that is made into neckties and dresses. As a textile, silk is highly valued because it is shiny and smooth, strong yet lightweight, and it can be easily dyed or treated to take on the color or chemical properties of other substances. These well-known […]

Picture of the Week: Limpet Teeth

A limpet’s life is an arduous one. Clinging to rocks with a muscular foot, these little mollusks brace against crashing waves that deliver the food they need to survive. Using a long, tongue-like appendage studded with tiny teeth, limpets scrape against the hard rock surface, gathering algae and pulling it toward their mouth. Talk about […]

From Feed Lot to Pasture: The State of U.S. Pork

The following is an excerpt from Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat, by Barry Estabrook. Listen to SciFri on May 8, 2015, to hear Estabrook talk more about the state of the pork industry. A pork chop nearly got me thrown in jail. I was in the second row of the spectators’ gallery […]