In a stunning fossil discovery in Madagascar, scientists unearthed the skull and nearly complete skeleton of a young dinosaur that lived about 70 million years ago, when the giant dinosaurs were at their peak. The finding is helping to close gaps in the sketchy knowledge about a sub-group of sauropods called titanosaurs.
National Geographic Today co-host Susan Roesgen interviews National Geographic Traveler editor-in-chief Keith Bellows about French Polynesia. Underwater photographer David Doubilet joins the discussion and shares his insights on making images in the coral-lagoon paradise.
Global warming has caused an unexpected collapse in the numbers of the world's most hunted whale, scientists believe. They think that a sharp contraction in sea ice in the Antarctic is the likeliest explanation behind new findings, which suggest that the number of minke whales in the surrounding seas has fallen by half in less than a decade.
Dinosaurs have traditionally been depicted with their fleshy nostrils positioned toward the back of their bony noses. But a study suggests the nostrils were actually perched much closer to the front of the face, which would have benefited dinosaurs in a number of ways by maximizing the flow of air through the nasal passages.
New research supports the theory that Neandertals and ancient humans were distinct species that didn't mix or interbreed. The evidence comes from a novel analysis showing that the two groups exhibited different head and facial growth patterns from a very young age.
There's a high chance that the world's population will stop growing by the end of the 21st century, according to a new study. It predicts that the total number of people may peak in 70 years or so at about 9 billion people, compared with 6.1 billion today. The authors of the report attribute the rosier-than-usual outlook to successful efforts in the last few decades to curb fertility rates.
A mysterious disease is attacking America's avian icon, the bald eagle. Afflicted birds become awkward and disoriented, flying into objects and falling off their roosts. As the death toll rises, scientists are bewildered about the causes of the brain-scarring disease.
Down by the coastal shelf in Alexandria, Egypt, a legend of classical antiquity is rising from the ashes as miraculously as a phoenix. The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a spectacular piece of architecture, is billed as the revival of its ancient namesake.
National Geographic Today and National Geographic magazine sent a team to Istanbul to find out what makes the Turkish city so resilient. Straddling two continents and a major fault line that could bring centuries of construction and tradition crashing down, Istanbul has a long tradition of reinventing itself.
The collapse of many of the world's coastal marine ecosystems is usually blamed on modern human impacts such as pollution, increased nutrient runoff, and global warming. Now, a team of international researchers says the problem also has roots in overfishing hundreds if not thousands of years ago.
Once a flower grown only by hobbyists, more than 300,000 hybrids that provide an almost unlimited range of colors and forms has propelled the orchid into a $100 million industry in the United States, and into the No. 2 position in flowering plant sales after the poinsettia. Photo gallery.
American Indian tribes soon may be paid to protect a varmint they have inadvertently saved from extinction during the last 70 years. Reduced to one percent of their historic range, the near annihilation of the rodent caused the collapse of other species that depended upon them for food and shelter.
Once regarded as either dinner or a research novelty, creatures of the sea are getting increased respect among scientists looking for the medicines and therapies of the future. Marine life is starting to take its place alongside more established lab animals in medical and basic biological research.
The U2, a high-altitude spy plane made famous when one was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, will conduct reconnaissance over Alaska this summer. But instead of prowling for Communist missile sites, the mission is to track a far more insidious foe: spruce bark beetles.
National Geographic Today co-host Susan Roesgen talks to National Geographic Traveler magazine editor-in-chief Keith Bellows on his publication's annual photography contest and a special upcoming issue on "50 Places of a Lifetime."
In an expedition to the remote Raja Ampat Islands off Indonesia's province of Irian Jaya, scientists have found what appears to be an unparalleled array of marine speciescorals, fishes, and mollusksincluding some never seen before.
For 20 years the U.S. Northwest has prided itself on a unique culture of craft brewing. With over 70 brewpubs and microbreweries in its metro area, believed to be more than any other city in the world after Cologne in Germany, Portland, Oregon, defines itself as America's craft beer capital.
While West Africa is home to some of the world's largest populations of sea turtles and several important feeding and nesting sites, the animals are under threat from the turtle-shell craft industry and systematic slaughter for their meat and eggs beyond what is sustainable, a conservation group says.
Last year conservationist J. Michael Fay completed a 2,000-mile, fifteen-month walk through pristine forests of central Africa, described in National Geographic magazine. His latest challenge: a personal campaign to preserve a swath of forest in Gabon as a national park.
Red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey in Wyoming's Jackson Valley have declined in both number and species diversity since the first wildlife survey was conducted in 1947. Biologists are struggling to find out why it's happening even in one of the most protected areas in the United States.
Plants colonized Earth much earlier than previously believed, giving a jump start to the huge proliferation of animal species that occurred hundreds of million years ago, say scientists at Pennsylvania State University. Plants conceivably also boosted oxygen levels in the atmosphere high enough for animals to develop skeletons, grow larger, and diversify.
Cloud-covered evergreen mountain forests are nature's "water towers," providing essential water to wildlife and ecosystems, and harboring a vast range of species. But scientists are concerned that the world's shrinking cloud forests may all but disappear in the next decade.
Megawati Sukarnoputri comes to power as Indonesia's president just as the world's fourth most populous country arrives at its final opportunity to protect its magnificent natural resources. Indonesia's once vast tropical rain forests and its spectacular coral reefs make it the richest country on Earth in biological diversity. But the country's forests are under assault like never before, say two leading conservationists.
In a remote village in a country far, far away, where almost no one has seen any of the Star Wars movies, many are reluctant to credit a film created by an American, for a predominantly Western audience, for their economic success. But as tourism has increased, some in Matmata, Tunisia blame the trade for an erosion of traditional culture and values.
In ancient times, people from all over Europe traveled to Greece to have their questions about the future answered by the oracle of Delphi. Legend has it that she got her powers from vapors. Now, a four-year scientific study supports that notion.
For the first 21 inhabitants of the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care in Florida, the experiments are far different from the ones for which they or their ancestors were conscripted into the U.S. Air Force space program. In essence, they're learning to be chimps all over againor for the first time.
Scientists have found that females of a lizard species that live in the mountains of southeastern Australia control the sex of offspring by controlling their own adult body temperature. It's the first time that temperature-dependent sex determination has been reported in a species that gives birth to live young.
A white-water adventure operator in Colorado uses pigeons to airlift exposed film from photographer to photo lab so that photographs of raft riders in action will be processed and ready for pick-up at the end of the journey. Business has boomed and customers are delighted, thanks to the "Pigeon Express."
Genes thought to allow plants to accumulate large amounts of metal in their tissues have been identified and cloned by a Purdue University scientist. The finding may lead to new crop plants that can clean up industrial contamination, new foods that fight disease, and reduced work for some farmers.
Imagine a giant boombox dangled underwater, thumping out a kind of oceanic rap music louder than a jackhammer and able to be heard hundreds of miles away. That's a rough description of what the US Navy would like to do to maintain global superiority in the world of submarine stealth.
Ten years ago, Amanda Lollar almost stepped on a distressed bat on a sidewalk in Mineral Wells, Texasbeginning what has turned into a magnificent obsession of caring for the winged mammals. Today she runs a rehabilitation center for injured bats and is the landlady for 30,000 bat tenants.
Researchers have found that when a weed cross-breeds with a related agricultural plant, the hybrid weed that results can pass along genetic traits from the crop to future generations of weeds. The results raise concerns that altering crops to withstand pests and other threats can pose new
risksfrom none other than the weeds themselves.
Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts are developing unmanned subs for exploring the oceans. The vehicles are expected to probe everything from underwater volcanoes to buried mines, and even the levels of pollutants in seawaterleaving scientists high and dry to analyze the reams of data they collect.
National Geographic Today co-host Susan Roesgen talks to National Geographic Traveler magazine editor-in-chief Keith Bellows on the the opportunities that have opened up for the leisure traveler now that the U.S. business climate has cooled.
Astronomers have found in the Big Dipper constellation the first solar system similar to our own, with two giant gas planets much like Jupiter and Saturn and possibly harboring smaller rocky planets like Earth inside their orbit.
In an attempt to curb overfishing of the prized Atlantic bluefin tuna, officials have imposed different quotas on bluefin catches in waters off of North America and Europe. But bluefin travel freely across the Atlantic, a study found, so global quotas may need another look.
Drilling for natural gas in the shallow coal beds of Wyoming's Powder River Basin is releasing huge amounts of salty water into the normally arid region every day. Residents are concerned that the situation will alter the region's ecology by killing native plants, causing erosion and draining the ancient aquifers of their precious resource.
Many scientists think the moon was formed when another planet collided with Earth, ejecting fragments of rocky material that condensed into the Earth's only satellite. New research suggests that the impact may have come from a foreign body that was much smaller than previously thought.
Elena Day landed the role of the colorful Green Bird in Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba after a decade of improvisational theater and dance. Day says the mix of humor, physicality, and huge audience response "really got me hooked."
Archaeologists believe they have found the burial site and treasure trove of the Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan. The discovery of a walled burial ground containing at least 60 unopened tombs has increased speculation that an expedition that is under way will succeed in tracking down the elusive conqueror, who was buried amid great secrecy and slaughter in 1227.
Scientists looked at what happened decades after farmers in Hawaii imported parasitic wasps to prey on moths and butterflies that were devouring sugarcane. The wasps have altered the ecology of a forest many miles from the farms, which suggests that resource managers need to be careful when using non-native species as biocontrol agents.
Despite a record-breaking number of attacks on people, there is growing evidence that the ocean's top predators are being decimated by fishing for their meat and fins. A bitter legal fight has broken out among fishermen, U.S. federal regulators, and environmentalists over the level of fishing that sharks can sustain.
Researchers have found a species of brittle star whose skeleton is coated with eye-like lenses superior to those manufactured in labs. "Once again," said a scientist, "we find that nature foreshadowed our technical developments."
The population of right whales in the North Atlantic has fallen to an alarming levelonly 350 remain. Scientists are pursuing a wide range of research to help halt the decline, as reported by the TV show National Geographic Today.
Money doesn't grow on trees. But growing trees on farms can enrich the lives of the world's rural poor, says an international research center that aims to help farmers in developing countries plant 5.5 billion trees by the end of this decade.
In the last 15 years, a species of brown seaweed has been growing out of control and choking the coral reefs of Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Scientists are trying to determine the causes and are seeking ways of restoring the reefs, as reported on National Geographic Today.
The dinosaurs are disappearing. Again. On public lands across the West, from the open range to the national parks, fossil hunters with off-road vehicles and satellite navigation aids are poaching priceless, and sometimes pricey, fragments of America's prehistoric heritage.
Beneath the feet of millions of tourists on Florida's most famous beaches lie the shells of hundreds of species of snails and other mollusks still unknown to science. "I've been astonished by how much diversity there is under our noses," says a researcher who has been collecting the "new" species.
Genetic fingerprinting shows that Africa's forest and savanna elephants are as different from one another as lions and tigers, and should be considered as two genetically distinct species, researchers report. If the findings bear out, a reclassification of the largest of all living land animals could have major implications for its endangered status.
Moving closer to the secret of why some people live for almost a century, scientists have identified a segment of human DNA that appears to increase an individual's chances of reaching an unusually old age. The discovery is likely to fuel a race for the development of a pill that could extend life spans.
In the town of Kalispell, Montana, the local Fish, Wildlife and Parks service received about 2,800 calls last year concerning bears and cougars in the backyards of people's homes. As the town expands, garbage and pets are expected to lure predators in even greater numbers. National Geographic Today reports.
From urban sprawl along Colorado's Front Range to luxury retreats near Yellowstone National Park to surfing along Florida's shores, people are increasingly living, working, and playing in close proximity to wild animals. Close encounters of the predator kind are on a definite upswing and so are injuries and deaths.
The Buddhas and other treasures of Cambodia's temples at Angkor have lain undisturbed below ground for centuries. Now, excavation is exposing them to danger as robbers steal them away amid inadequate security.
Greater long-nosed bats, which migrate between parts of Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico, are endangered, but designing a conservation plan is difficult because their roosting sites are unknown. The TV show National Geographic Today looks at the situation.
Sixty-four years after Amelia Earhart's disappearance over the Pacific Ocean, her fate continues to intrigue many peopleespecially those who yearn to find her plane and solve one of America's legendary aviation mysteries. Now, three teams embracing different theories are investigating locales hundreds of miles apart.
Four-meter alligators and giant bass are among hundreds of species thriving at a former U.S. nuclear weapons facility. These are not nuclear mutants, simply specimens grown large because they are not hunted or fished. An unintended benefit of the Cold War arms race has been the protection of huge sanctuaries for animals largely unaffected by nuclear and chemical pollution.
When the volcano in Yellowstone National Park blew 6,400 centuries ago, it obliterated a mountain range, felled herds of prehistoric camels hundreds of miles away, and left a smoking hole in the ground the size of Los Angeles. Scientists monitoring "the beast" say another eruption could occur any time.
From fossil evidence, researchers have concluded that a group of specialized dinosaurs used their beaks as a sieve in eating, much like today's flamingos and ducks. If so, they were the largest known land-based filter feeders.
Mount Etna's recent outbursts may be a sign the volcano is developing a more explosive personality, according to a controversial new study based on differences in lava flow over the past half-million years.
With its huge appetite and large capacity for reproduction, the western corn rootworm has been the bane of U.S. Midwestern farmers since the 1950s. Now this destructive pest has made its way into the heart of Europeprobably on board a commercial aircraftand has infested at least nine countries in under ten years.
With half of its territory below sea leveland much of the rest threatened by coastal or river floodingthe Netherlands is taking climate change very seriously. Global warming is expected to cause the seas to rise by as much as three feet (one meter) in this century, while heavier rainfall may increase the flood risk for low-lying towns.
Drawn in England in about 1290, the Mappa Mundi is the only complete wall map of Earth to have survived from the Middle Ages. More than a reference for geography, the map is a work of history, zoology, anthropology, and especially theology.
Sitting atop a hill in the heart of Lhasa, the building that since 1645 has been the home of Tibet's spiritual leaders, the dalai lamas, is collapsing and infested with mice, according to its caretakers. Housing a collection of more than 70,000 Buddhist relics, the Potala Palace is one of the world's treasure houses.
In less than ten years, non-native zebra mussels from Europe have infested parts of the Mississippi River, cutting humans and animals that come into contact with them, clogging channels and intakesand pushing native species of mollusks to the brink of extinction. Biologists are looking for ways to address the invasion.
In northern India's remote and rocky Ladakh region, rainfall is scarce and villagers face a perpetual shortage of water, especially to irrigate crops. A retired civil engineer has designed a novel and simple technology to harness glacial melt that otherwise would be wasted.
A researcher has discovered that certain microscopic organisms known as extremophiles breathe in dissolved gold and expel it in a more valuable, insoluble metallic form. The finding may explain how some gold ore deposits formed.
Last month, researchers in Colorado celebrated the birth of the first two foals born from harvested eggs. The novel egg-harvesting procedure, featured on National Geographic Today, could revolutionize the horse-breeding industry, and may even prove effective in helping to preserve endangered species.