China is experiencing a giant panda baby boom, given that eight new cubs were born this year at the world's largest giant panda reserve, the Chengdu Panda Base.
"Pambassador finalist Melissa Katz from the U.S. formally announced the new additions today in Chengdu and all the cubs are in good health and were photographed together for the first time," Alejandro Grau, a spokesperson for the reserve, told Discovery News.
[Full Story: China Celebrates Birth of 8 Giant Panda Cubs ]
The characters of a celestial soap opera called "The Perils of Andromeda" are represented high overhead in our current early evening sky, with two independent mythological plots becoming intertwined into one.
Two of the principal characters are Cassiopeia, the Queen, boldly standing out as a zig-zag star pattern, which, at this time of year, resembles a crooked number three or the letter M. Her husband is Cepheus, the King of Ethiopia, who now appears upside-down. Rather than looking like a king, he seems to resemble a church with a steeple or perhaps an Alpine ski lodge with a steep, snow-shedding roof. He's also quite a bit dimmer than his wife.
[Full Story: Celestial Soap Opera Shines in Night Sky This Week ]
Talk about a sea monster. This 1889 illustration of a vampire squid paints these mysterious creatures in a creepy light — fitting, given that the scientific name for vampire squid, Vampyrotheuthis infernalis translates roughly to "vampire squid from hell."
In fact, vampire squid are the only known cephalopods that don't hunt for their prey (so much for their namesake). Instead, they're the sea's garbage disposals, eating marine detritus that floats down to the depths like snow.
When Sandy's punishing winds and waves smacked into New Jersey and New York Oct. 29, they knocked out power to millions.
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, more than 8 million people were thought to be without power. Some 90 percent of Long Island lost power, as well as numerous communities in New Jersey and all of Lower Manhattan ―which created strange views of the island's iconic skyline from neighboring boroughs and New Jersey.
[Full Story: Sandy Power Outages Spotted from Space ]
After wreaking havoc on the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy was spotted by a NASA satellite as it weakened into a remnant low pressure system over Pennsylvania on Halloween.
Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane as it approached the coast of New Jersey on Oct. 29, packing winds of up to 90 mph (145 kph) that spread over a vast distance. Its hurricane-force winds extended 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center, and tropical storm-force winds extended 520 miles (835 km).
[Full Story: Frankenstorm Sandy Spotted Dying Out on Halloween ]
A life spent drifting in the currents, eating whatever food they bump into, was once the presumed fate of most microbes living in the ocean.
But researchers are starting to re-imagine the lives of these tiny microorganisms, which are half the size (or smaller!) of red blood cells. New evidence indicates many ocean microbes are active swimmers, following chemical trails toward food "hotspots."
[Full Story: Ocean's Tiniest Dwellers Dive For Lunch ]
If you were listening to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing Tuesday (Oct. 30) as New York City began to tally the damage from Hurricane Sandy, you may have been surprised by what you heard.
"There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement. That is a factual statement," Cuomo said. " Anyone who says there's not a dramatic change in weather patterns, I think, is denying reality."
Yesterday he added, "I think part of learning from this is realizing that climate change is a reality."
[Full Story: Will Sandy Change the Climate Change Conversation? ]
The most distant star explosions in the universe have now been discovered, suggesting scientists may one day see the deaths of the first stars to arise after the Big Bang, researchers say.
Future research into such remote, powerful explosions could shed light on the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang, investigators added.
[Full Story: Oldest, Farthest Star Explosions Discovered in Distant Universe ]
The damage caused by superstorm Sandy in the United States is still being catalogued. But so far, it seems the storm will enter the pantheon of top disasters the country has ever faced.
"Make no mistake about it, this is a devastating storm, maybe the worst we have ever experienced," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today (Oct. 30).
[Full Story: How Sandy Compares to the Worst US Natural Disasters ]
An elusive thick-furred feline has been caught on camera for the first time in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
A camera trap captured images of the fluffy Pallas's cat, also known as the manul, in the country's sprawling Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP), which is also home to the snow leopard and Himalayan black bear. Pallas's cats had never been documented in the region before, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
[Full Story: Sneaky Cat Caught on Camera in Himalayas ]
If you prefer your creatures of the night to be cute rather than cuddly, have we got the critter for you. This is an aye-aye, a species of nocturnal lemur originally found only in Madagascar. The aye-aye is a harmless omnivore with one long, spindly finger it uses to fish grubs out of rotten logs. Like 91 percent of lemur species, aye-ayes are threatened with extinction, but it's not just habitat loss and deforestation that may do this fuzzy creature in. Madagascar superstition holds that aye-ayes are harbingers of death, so the animals are often killed on sight.
This particular aye-aye is a resident of the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, N.C., a research and conservation facility that houses 250 lemurs and their close relatives. In honor of Halloween and the wrongly maligned aye-aye, the Lemur Center has a special deal for the month of October: Pledge a donation and receive not only a packet of information about a lemur of your choice, but also this cute photo.