February 23, 2016
New research suggests that the dodo, an extinct bird whose name has entered popular culture as a symbol of stupidity, was actually fairly smart.
February 22, 2016
New research reveals that the evolutionary history of glyptodonts—huge, armored mammals that went extinct in the Americas at the end of the last ice age—is unexpectedly brief. The work confirms that glyptodonts likely originated less than 35 million years ago from ancestors within lineages leading directly to one of the modern armadillo families.
February 11, 2016
Fighting ants, giant solider termites, and foraging worker ants recently discovered in 100-million-year-old amber provide direct evidence for advanced social behavior in ancient ants and termites—two groups that are immensely successful because of their ability to organize in hierarchies.
February 2, 2016
Scientists have assembled the first complete genome of one of humanity’s oldest, and least-loved, companions: the bedbug. The new work, led by researchers at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine, could help combat pesticide resistance in the unwelcome parasite. The data also provide a rich genetic resource for mapping bedbug activity in human hosts and in cities, including subways.
January 21, 2016
Museum researchers have named a new leech after best-selling author Amy Tan based on an innovative method for peering inside soft-bodied animals.
January 20, 2016
Dinosaurs Among Us will examine how one group of dinosaurs evolved into the fascinating living creatures we call birds. The exhibition will highlight the continuities between living dinosaurs—birds—and their extinct ancestors, showcasing remarkable new evidence for what scientists now call one of the best-documented evolutionary transitions in the history of life.
January 14, 2016
Generations of visitors have flocked to see the renowned blue whale and iconic Tyrannosaurus rex at the American Museum of Natural History. On January 15, the Museum will add another must-see exhibit on its fourth floor: a cast of a 122-foot-long dinosaur so new that it has not even been formally named by the scientists who discovered it.
November 9, 2015
The La Brea Tar Pits, the world’s richest Ice Age fossil site, is famous for saber-toothed cats, mammoths, and giant sloths, but it also has numerous insect and plant fossils. New research on fossil galls—abnormal plant growths caused, in this case, by tiny wasps—helps reconstruct the local habitats of Southern California at the end of the last Ice Age. The work, led by Anna R. Holden of the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History and the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, was recently published in the journal Quaternary Research.