A tiny cave creature, eyeless and deadly

Joey Pakes was swimming in a cave in Mexico on July 4, 2008 when she spotted her first remipede. Pakes, a graduate student in biology at UC Berkeley, had seen pictures of these aquatic centipede-like creatures before. But when she encountered one in the wild, the experience was completely different. “They’re such graceful animals,” she recalls. “It […]

Peak Conservation

So the election’s over, the days are getting shorter, and it’s about time for a nice long nap. May I suggest an 80-foot-long concrete chamber, tucked neatly into a hillside in Tennessee? Clean, cool, and cozy, it’s the perfect winter hideaway … if you’re a bat, that is. Yes, The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee has […]

Hogwarts for Archaeologists

When I first saw the magical, Harry-Potter-like images taken by the folks at the Nottingham Caves Survey in England, my jaw clunked on my desk. Archaeologists have enthused for some time now over the potential of laser scanning for recording ancient sites, but until now the results looked merely brisk and workmanlike. But these new […]

Calling 911 in the Maya World

In the early 8th century A.D., the great Maya city state of Tikal reached the zenith of its sophistication and power. Its kings sipped frothy chocolate and smoked elegant cigars in their chambers, listening to the music of trumpeters and drummers. Its painters rendered brilliant court scenes on vases. Its architects designed pyramidal masterpieces that […]