What Self-Cloning Salamanders Say About Climate Change

An Evolutionary Outlier Could Inherit the Earth (or at Least Rural Maine)

Birds do it, bees do it, and so the song goes, even educated fleas do it. But unisexual salamanders don’t.

These all-female amphibians clone themselves to make eggs—all girls—and they’ve survived this way for five million years. A real-life lineage of Amazonian amphibians, they achieve the seemingly impossible, generation after generation. Whatever your deepest beliefs about what is natural, normal, or even conceivable with sex and reproduction, these seven-inch salamanders blow them out of the water.

What’s more, grasping exactly what they’re up to could help us understand how climate …

When Frogs Sing Their Evening Song, Listen for Nature’s Greatest Lesson

Spring Peepers Hijack My Brain With an Arrhythmic Chorus About Chance and Survival

For some people, spring begins with the sound of birds. For me, it’s frogs.

All winter, frogs crouch hidden in the leaves, their outsides frozen so hard they’d make a …

E. Coli Is Your Oldest Friend

The Evolutionary Genius of This Shifty Bacteria Is Giving Scientists New Healing Superpowers

It’s hard to find a fan of E. coli—especially since last October, when 55 people in 11 states got sick after eating at Chipotle—but we can see a reflection of …

Human Life Was Partly Inevitable

What Fossils On Earth and the Rest of Universe Have To Say About One Another

“My goal in life is to provide evidence for the great transitions in evolution,” announced University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin, author of The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History …

Rocking Our World

The Universe Within

For every missing link scientists find, they joke that two more pop up to takes its place. Yet thanks to fossils found at the far ends of the Earth—as well …

You Are A Hypocrite


Here’s the exciting thing about brains: “The same idea in your head can be represented along with its contradiction.” At least that’s what fascinates Robert Kurzban, author of Why Everyone …