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May 2006 Archive

The little-understood deep-sea corals face threats from fishing trawlers and increasingly acidic seas caused by fossil fuel use, new studies warn.

Blood stained popular Zanzibar beaches this weekend as hundreds of dead bottlenose dolphins washed ashore. The cause of their deaths remains a mystery.

An ancient horse ancestor lived in North America at about the same time that early humans arrived on the scene, a new look at the fossil record reveals.

Sensory-substitution technology could allow soldiers of the future to "see" by transmitting electrical signals through the tongue directly to the brain, researchers say.

A new generation of power plants being developed in Europe and the U.S. will burn coal without releasing the harmful gases that contribute to global warming.

The World Conservation Union's latest roster of endangered species now includes polar bears, hippopotamuses, sharks, and gazelles.

See related photos >>

Warming and acid rain caused by extensive volcanic activity might be the prime suspects in a quarter-billion-year-old whodunit, according to a new book.

Half of the 18- to 24-year-olds interviewed could not find New York State on a map, and 63 percent couldn't find Iraq—among other "alarming" results.

From polar bears to pigeons, a diverse array of animals and plants are currently threatened with extinction, a nonprofit group reports.

Recent territorial disputes among Chesapeake Bay eagles could be nature's way of controlling the birds' population—but nationwide they still have plenty of room to grow.

Fish and chips, anyone? Despite spending half as much as their U.S. counterparts on health care, Britons are far less likely to suffer from key diseases, a new study says.

Learn how this colorful Indian region became home to one of the world's most unique blends of Eastern and Western cultures.

The king of beasts is suffering from population decline, and the best way to solve the problem is to expand the cats' range into human territory, experts say.

Newly released images from NASA's Cassini probe reveal that large swaths of Titan look remarkably like some of Earth's desert landscapes.

To Mars and back in 90 days? The technology that propelled the starship Enterprise may be on its way, according to a controversial claim.

Can you hear me now? Your phone's signal strength may monitor rainfall better than the meteorologists' radar and could help improve forecasts.

Find out what we still don't know about how and why lightning bolts form, and learn what you can do to avoid being hit.

The newly uncovered tomb might be the resting place of the first ruler of Waka', an ancient Maya city on what was once a major trade route.

Explore the dramatic Mexican battle the day commemorates, and learn why it's one of the fastest-growing holidays in the U.S.

What sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie is grim reality for South American honeybees: Aggressive aliens are taking over their rain forest home.

Carved from volcanic rock, the rare 1,500-year-old box has vanished from a rain forest cave.

What did Flipper call herself? Fans of the TV series may never know, but new research suggests that dolphins develop unique whistles that act as names.

The South African government last week moved to ban the practice of "canned hunting"—in which trophy hunters pay to shoot tame or drugged predators released in small enclosures.

Homosexual women respond differently than straight women when exposed to suspected sexual chemicals, according to a new study.

A major oil spill at a Siberian island could drive western gray whales to extinction, say groups that urge a stop to the Shell project.

Authorities plan to wipe out South Africa's entire population of invasive Indian house crows, with the blessings of local conservation groups.

People engaged in illicit poultry trade may be more responsible than migratory birds for the global spread of avian influenza.

See what a rebuilt New Orleans might look like with these bold new visions for turning the hurricane-wracked town into a city of the future.

The fin-shaped slab of hot rock is currently 300 feet (90 meters) tall and is growing at a rate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) a day, USGS scientists report.

Join tourists as they travel on the luxurious American Orient Express, the modern-day train that's a destination in itself.

Analysis of ancient human skulls from the Neolithic period shows that Britain was once a brutal place to live.

Dubbed America's environmental air force, Lighthawk pilots donate their planes and time to help experts study conservation situations from above.

Watch related video >>

Fly alongside a Lighthawk pilot and his passenger as they survey environmental issues in California's largest state park.

Zookeepers in Anchorage, Alaska, have built a giant, custom-made treadmill for their resident elephant, but the reluctant pachyderm is resisting the workout.

Forecasters are warning that a hurricane making landfall at or near New York City could cause major problems well beyond the nation's largest city.

Wthin two years ritual hunts and retaliatory killings by livestock herders may destroy the last lions in the shadow of Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro, experts say.

The last vestiges of the former Yugoslavia vanished today, as people in Montenegro voted narrowly to split from neighboring Serbia, according to early poll results.

A Chilean inventor has built a machine that he claims has extraordinary capabilities for finding buried objects, from bodies to treasure. But he won't say how it works.

Join rangers and whitewater-river guides on a tour of Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of the U.S.'s newest national parks.

The drama surrounding the first wild bear to roam Germany in over 170 years has renewed questions about how well humans and bears can coexist.

Sunlight reflected from Earth onto the moon may hold clues to global warming and help locate Earth-like planets, scientists say.

Tour a distillery in the Mexican town of Tequila, and discover how distillers use centuries-old traditions to make the town's famous namesake drink.

Hunting the hunters, Tibetan men have risked their lives to guard rare antelopes whose wool is worth more than cashmere. Their story is the dramatic basis of a new film.

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek put the 2006 National Geographic Bee finalists through the ringer. See if you can answer his final questions, and watch an Illinois eighth grader triumph.

Magnetic propulsion, slingshot-like launchers, and other technologies are taking roller coasters to the edge of what the human body can handle.

What mountains cross much of Wales from the Irish Sea to the Bristol Channel? The answer made 12-year-old Bonny Jain this year's champ.

Video: Watch the Championship Round

How accurate are the claims made in the new documentary about global warming? We ask the experts.

Twelve thousand non-native lizards are treating the town of Boca Grande like their personal paradise. Fed-up residents may pay an "iguana tax" to banish the reptiles.

Magnetic propulsion, slingshot-like launchers, and other technologies are taking roller coasters to the edge of what the human body can handle.

Lava, poison gas, and intriguing animals are among the attractions at the only underwater arc volcano to be photographed in action.

For the first time, the chimp version of HIV has been found in the wild, scientists say. The find may link the origin of AIDS to a specific ape population.

Armed with the latest satellite data, scientists are on the verge of giving space-based warnings for two of humanity's deadliest disasters.

Harry Potter fans may soon disappear. That is, if they ever get their hands on the invisibility cloaks for which scientists have drawn up blueprints.

Animal cruelty or natural wonder? A quirk in chick biology allows the birds to be mailed alive, but some critics cry fowl.

Animal-rescue workers in California were surprised at what they saw when they x-rayed an ailing mallard: an "alien" hiding in the bird's gut.

Nearly a quarter of the species unique to the Himalaya could vanish by 2100 because of massive losses to the mountains' forests, a new study warns.

The magnitude 6.3 temblor that struck the Indonesian island this weekend is the latest in a string of geologic disasters to occur in the region over the past 18 months.

Scooby-Doo, is that you? Watch as a Salt Lake City, Utah-based firm preps two pooches for their journey to the afterlife.

We're not in "I'm sorry, Dave" territory yet, but NASA is giving unmanned spacecraft decision-making software that may take them one step closer to HAL 9000.

The toxic weed will grow (and grow and grow) even more poisonous as greenhouse gas levels rise, according to a new report.

People have reported seeing small, glowing spheres of electricity for centuries. But scientists still can't explain what causes ball lightning, or even what it is.

Some experts call them a boon for public safety. But many wilderness advocates argue there's no place for wireless technology in U.S. national parks.

Long before modern humans, complex tools were being made on the island of the "hobbits," scientists say—fueling debate over whether they were a separate species.

The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins today, may bring nine hurricanes, experts say, with Florida and the East Coast the most likely places for landfall.

Explore Roosevelt National Park, and see how time has shaped the majestic landscapes the former U.S. president first roamed in 1883.

See how a mother alligator protects her newborn hatchlings in her otherwise deadly jaws, and learn what dangers the babies face in the wild.

Looking eerily like a real Korean woman, the robot EveR-1 meets and greets a group of schoolchildren at an educational center in Seoul.

Mother's Day is coming—and what better way to celebrate than by sharing with Mom the many ways in which the maternal spirit runs wild?

Orangutans and bonobos were put to the test in a recent study, which showed that apes are capable of choosing the right tool for an upcoming task.

DNA analysis has confirmed that a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic last month is a half-polar bear, half-grizzly hybrid, the first ever found in the wild.

"Woolly Booger," "Wild Woman"—no matter what you call it, the legendary Lone Star Sasquatch is getting serious attention at an exhibition and lecture series.

Protestors say the bears will make a habit of killing livestock, but conservationists argue that the threatened animals need a larger breeding population to survive.

See how Angkor, the world's largest religious complex, has faced the ravages of time and why it has been designated a United Nations World Heritage site.

It's Mom to the rescue for this young antelope of the African plains—and a lucky break for the pair of adolescent cheetah attackers.

As light pollution worsens across the United States, astronomers are urging citizens adopt dark-skies policies that would limit the amount of light shining upward.

Tiny radio tags reveal that the insects rank alongside songbirds when it comes to long-distance travel, a new study shows.

Think your mom is demanding? See a nestful of newly hatched wood ducks being told to take a 15-foot (4.5-meter) jump to join their mother in the lake below.

Fears of attacks on ancient sculptures such as the Sphinx are on the rise now that the country's top Islamic authority has condemned statues.

A Canadian company has developed a new, more efficient process to make the alternative fuel ethanol from farm waste.

No one knows if a bird flu pandemic will occur, but the consequences could be enormous. Here's what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Who should get the limited vaccine in the event of a bird flu pandemic? A new study of bioethics flips the existing model on its head.

Nebraska's Ashfall Fossil Beds contain hundreds of skeletons of extinct rhinos, camels, three-toed horses, and other animals that were killed by a huge volcanic eruption 12 million years ago.

Menacing the Queen's flamingoes, chewing on pet rabbits, and generally making a stink, the sly beasts have become common in the capital.

Is the Grand Canyon becoming a victim of its own popularity? Take a tour of this natural wonder, and learn about the risks posed by its growing crowds of visitors.

The diminutive humans from Indonesia were not a unique species but a population of modern humans stricken with a disease that causes small brains, scientists argue.

The two species' ancestors may have interbred and produced hybrid offspring, complicating and prolonging the evolutionary split, a new study says.

When forests attack! No, it's not The Lord of the Rings. Just the latest twist in the debate over what killed off mammoths and other big Ice Age mammals.

Seafaring records from centuries past show the field stayed steady between 1590 and 1840, a finding that could have implications for how the planet's polarity reverses.

Many Indonesian villagers are refusing to evacuate the volcano's flanks despite warnings of imminent danger by government and scientific authorities.

Putty-nosed monkeys appear to link two alarm calls together to form a new message, scientists say, offering evidence that the primates use syntax.

Thirty-three monkeys that were once on sale in an African meat market are now safe in their new homes at zoos around the U.S.

Scientists say they may have solved the mystery of one of the solar system's most peculiar objects, the giant moon Triton in orbit around Neptune

A remarkably preserved and elaborately tattooed mummy of a young woman has been found deep inside a mud-brick pyramid, a find experts are comparing to the discovery of King Tut's tomb. Includes video.

A 4,200-year-old astronomical observatory found in the Andes was built by a civilization that predated the Inca by thousands of years, experts say.

The Census of Marine Life, conducted last month in the North Atlantic, captured images of tantalizing deep-sea creatures, including a dozen newly identified species.

Hundreds of dead birds and many more in need of rescue are showing up on beaches near and in a Patagonia nature reserve, according to news reports.

The animal is certainly weird, scientists say, but he's not necessarily a symbol of global warming or anything else.

Could an ancient civilization have built massive pyramids in the heart of Bosnia? A Texas businessman says he has proof, but skeptics are crying foul.

"I pushed the animal, and it immediately took off my hand," says an Indian villager, recounting her shark encounter in this video.

Astronomers say they have found a distant solar system containing three rocky, medium-size planets—one of which could have water on its surface.

After weeks of warning signs, the Merapi volcano has begun spewing molten lava and thick white smoke, but most residents nearby are staying put.

Humans might call it "tender loving care." Watch a female walrus shower her newborn calf with what look like the animal equivalent to kisses and hugs.

The worst coral die-off on record has all but destroyed reefs in the Indian Ocean, new research shows, causing local fish extinctions and raising concerns about the fate of reefs around the world. logo