Evolution

Jack Mayer Wood / Courtesy of N.C. State University

It takes a lot to evolve a tail worthy of combat. Researchers at N.C. State University have found that only huge, slow vegetarians with body armor developed weaponized tails.

Courtesy of James Costa

There is no doubt that Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s changed his life’s work. It  put him on the path to develop his game-changing theory of evolution. But Darwin’s observations were not isolated to one exploration. For years after his pivotal excursion, Darwin conducted unorthodox and innovative experiments to test his speculations, and he often did so in his own backyard. 

"The Physics of Life" by Adrian Bejan
Adrian Bejan

What is life and its meaning?

That question has perplexed philosophers and other theoretical scientists for centuries.

They have sought both spiritual and intellectual guidance to come up with intricate conclusions for what it means to be alive.

But mechanical engineer Adrian Bejan says there is a much simpler conclusion: physics.

The Ant Man

Jun 14, 2016
photo of Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith

The trail of ants across the kitchen counter may be a nuisance to some, but to biologist Adrian Smith, it is a fascinating phenomenon full of mystery. Smith studies the evolution of different ants and their social patterns. He also films the insects to document their intriguing characteristics.

David J. Tuss

From horns to claws, teeth and talons, the animal kingdom features many natural weapons.

What Does A Peahen See In A Peacock?

Oct 10, 2013
Peacocks at Noah's Landing in Coats, NC
Daniel Lane

When a guy goes out to the club, he might throw on his best clothes or a flashy chain or spike up his hair to impress the ladies. People call this “peacocking” after the birds who fan their colorful tails to attract mates.

But scientists are still researching what benefits peacocks get from their fashionable feathers.  

Peacocks are notoriously noisy birds. So when I visited Noah’s Landing, a small zoo in Coats, North Carolina to record some peacocks and peahens - the girl birds - I figured something would happen quickly

The falling forward motion the baseball pitcher affects the amount of force applied to the ball.
Adrian Bejan

Scientists have known for years that the athletes topping the podium in speed sports, like swimming and running, have grown taller over the past century. Now, new research from Duke University shows that athletes in a range of other sports, including certain team sports, are following a similar trend.