Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are used in most popular electronics these days, including computers and smartphones. Currently China produces 85 percent of REEs on Earth. A new study says it may soon be possible to extract them cleanly and inexpensively from U.S. coal, lowering dependence on REEs from outside the country.
The activist group Sea Shepherd recently captured video of a blue whale mother and calf swimming, blowing air and cresting in the Southern Ocean. The whales are the largest creatures to ever live on Earth.
Sporting names like "Cryptomaster" and "Leviathan," certain Daddy Longlegs have large bodies, short legs. A new Harvestman in that genus was recently discovered living deep in forested mountains in Oregon.
Diptheria was a serious bacterial threat in 1925, clogging throats and causing permanent heart and nerve damage. Nome, Alaska's children were infected -- and one dog, Balto, led a historic run on this day in that year to reach Nome and bring medicine. The Iditarod hails that run, every year.
Canada just announced preservation of about 7 million acres of the Great Bear Rainforest, an area stretching from near Vancouver to Southeast Alaska. It includes old-growth forest, salmon, and sometimes-white bears called Kermode "spirit" bears.
Social mammals, including humans and mongooses, may compete in groups to produce larger offspring. A new study found that this, in addition to males' vying to pass along their genes by winning antler-fighting contests and the like, may be part of the evolutionary effort to increase the survival rate of one's own offspring.
Joining several sea turtles found on Atlantic Coast beaches cold-stunned by suddenly chilly water, a green sea turtle on the West Coast is being cared for by the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada. This is not unusual in an El Niño year, but it is dangerous for the turtles.
Commercial fishing vessels in the North Atlantic are sharing shark hotspots, says a new study. In order for sharks not to be overfished, researchers say it is important to instate catch limits for sharks.
Octupuses are interacting in far more social ways than science previously thought, according to a new study. In it, the eight-limbed cephalopods shifted color and body attitude in ways sometimes similar to humans and other animals.
Anoki, a female polar bear at the Maryland Zoo, plays vigorously in snow from last week's blizzard in a recent video, becoming an Internet star. In the wild, female polar bears tend to build snow dens if they are pregnant, and hunker down in them all winter.
Football recently stopped short when large, lunky ancient bones were found on the field. Just kidding--the find occurred during construction to expand the stadium. But yes, mammoth bones and other ancient mammal bones were found under the field.
Without training or human companion, a bloodhound spontaneously joined in a half-marathon in Alabama recently, finishing with a quite-decent time.
Tian Tian the Giant Panda at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. recently starred in a trending video, rolling and slathering himself with snow from the recent East Coast blizzard.
A "raccoon-dog" in Japan has seized the Internet. The animal in question is a pet, leaning in close to a heater during a snowstorm, ready for walks on its leash, or mugging over food. It is one of the canid basal species, like a fox is too -- near to the ancestors of present-day dogs. In Japan, it's also associated with a trickster in mythology.
Scientists looking at the interactions of oil in sea water have found that in the Gulf of Mexico, phytoplankton that make the base of the marine chain are thriving above natural seeps where oil and gas bubbles flow to the surface.