60-Second Science

Science news and technology updates from Scientific American. Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of science.

Undersea Recordings Reveal a Whale's Tale (2/2018)

By eavesdropping on the calls of blue whales, researchers hope to get a more accurate picture of the massive mammals' distribution and abundance. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Seabird Feathers Reveal Less-Resilient Ocean (2/2018)

By analyzing 130 years of seabird feathers, researchers determined that food webs are losing complexity in the Pacific—meaning less-resilient ecosystems. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Beetle Liberation Due to Regurgitation (2/2018)

The bombardier beetle can spray its hot brew of toxic chemicals even after bring swallowed, to force a predator into vomiting it back out.

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Old Trees Are Ecosystem Gold (2/2018)

David Lindenmayer of the Australian National University College of Science in Canberra says that older trees play outsize roles in maintaining landscapes and ecosystems.

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Boat Noise Means Fish Can't Learn Their Lessons (2/2018)

Damselfish had trouble learning to avoid predators, when that lesson was accompanied by a soundtrack of buzzing boat engines. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Woodpeckers Drum to Their Own Tunes (2/2018)

The length and spacing of woodpecker drum rolls varies enough to tell woodpeckers apart—which could be useful to conservation biologists. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Homebodies Economize on Energy Use (2/2018)

Today’s work-from-home, on-demand culture means more days at home—and translates into greater energy savings, too. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Killer Whale Culture Revealed by Mimicking Us (2/2018)

Orcas can imitate calls from other whales and even human speech—suggesting they can transmit cultural practices, such as unique dialects. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Holiday Cheer Leads to Birth-Rate Spike (2/2018)

During feel-good holiday periods like Christmas and Eid-al-Fitr, romance strikes—leading to a boom in births nine months later. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Ticks on Uptick Where Big Game Declines (2/2018)

Areas of Kenya without large wildlife saw tick populations rise as much as 370 percent—meaning more danger to humans. Jason G. Goldman reports.

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