"Science in the News" features Natural History issues in the news media and interesting objects from the Museum's collections. We will frequently introduce new issues that come from our research, collections, exhibits, and projects.

Science News

Past Science News Stories

Ivory-billed Woodpeckers Lost or Found!? The Search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Recently, hope took wing across an Arkansas swamp. A presumably extinct bird, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus  principalis, was reportedly rediscovered in 2004. (February 2006)

Taxidermy Head to Toe: Mammal Makeovers by Smithsonian Taxidermists - Two years sculpting foam and clay. Weeks casting heads and hands, toes and tongues. Thousands upon thousands of tiny stitches. These tasks and many more transformed 274 mammal specimens into the inspiring display now on view in the new mammal hall on the first floor of the Museum. (November 2003 - Spring 2004)

Antartica One COOL Field Trip: Braving wind chills as low as –57° C (-70° F), Linda Welzenbach—the Museum’s meteorite collection manager—camped six weeks on the ice in pursuit of meteorites. (October - November 2003)




Channa argus Snakeheads Invade Maryland: The story broke last summer: A land-slithering, carnivorous fish was on the loose in Maryland. Native to Asia, the northern snakehead made its way to a tiny Crofton pond when a local man released fish purchased from a live seafood market. (October - November 2002)


Wild Turkey America the Bountiful: Many holiday foods enjoyed throughout North America started out as wild plants and animals. Archaeologists at this Museum have tracked down the indigenous ancestors of these foods and the routes they followed to our tables. (November - March 2002/2003)



Archaefructus sinensis Earth's First Flower? Probably not. But this 125-million-year-old fossil is from the oldest flowering plant found so far. (April 2003)




Ochlerotatus triseriatus Smithsonian Aids Mosquito Research: Our collection of 1.5 million mosquitoes, the world’s largest, is an indispensable reference for scientists researching mosquito-borne diseases—including the West Nile virus that first appeared in the United States in 1999. (May - September 2003

Current Science News

NMNH Scientist Studies Kennewick Man

Dr. Douglas Owsley The scientific team assembled to study the Kennewick Man skeletal remains has finished the second phase of research. Dr. Douglas Owsley, Smithsonian anthropologist, presented the findings on Feb. 23, 2006, at the annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference in Seattle, WA.

See News Story