Picture of the Week: Blue Morpho Butterflies

This is no ordinary butterfly collection. It’s a showcase of blue morphos (Morpho didius), a species native to the forests of South America whose wings—especially the males’—are famed for their brilliant aquamarine sheen. While the first two specimens are a typical male and female, the others are “gynandromorphs”—that is, animals that contain both male and […]

Picture of the Week: Saharan Silver Ant

Dissect a Silkworm Cocoon

Picture of the Week: Bombardier Beetle

Picture of the Week: Scuttle Flies

Get Ready to Hike

Ready to start exploring the outdoors with your family? Make your hikes even more fun with these tips from National Wildlife Federation. Ages: 7+ Cost: Under $10 Duration: 10 minutes to over an hour What You Need Binoculars (optional) Bug repellant Camera (optional) Cell phone (optional) Emergency Kit First Aid Kit Hat (optional) Magnifying glass (optional) […]

Picture of the Week: Livingstone’s Beetles

David Livingstone collected beetles, I presume? That’s the question curator Max Barclay pondered recently when he stumbled upon a box containing beetles, some of which bore tags with the famous Scottish explorer’s name, at London’s Natural History Museum. The specimens are evidence that Livingstone concertedly collected beetles during his six-year journey along the Zambezi River […]

#ObserveEverything Reflection

Here is a sampling of some of our favorite submissions from the #ObserveEverything Science Club project. As you listen along to our final #ObserveEverything discussion on October 24th, scroll through the submissions below to get the full experience.  Same species. Similar leaf change: top down, sort of… #ObserveEverything — Serena Sanborn (@maineserena) October 4, […]

#ObserveEverything: Staff Picks, Week #1

We observe: you're amazing!     Last Friday we invited you to join in our latest Science Club project, #ObserveEverything, and your response has been outstanding. In the past week, you've sent us dozens of observations, from family spider tracking around the home to some laser-based photosynthesis research at a major lab. Below are some […]

Jumping Spider Shake Down

The courtship displays of male jumping spiders in the family Salticidae combine a number of flashy signals to woo females. Displaying males might shake their mouthparts, bob their abdomens, wave their legs, dance from side to side, and flash bright colors. In addition to their crazy dance moves, males will simultaneously generate vibrational signals that […]