Research News

Mar. 27th, 2017
Study finds central image of Aztec sun stone shows dying sun god killed by eclipse A new study on one of the most important remaining artifacts from the Aztec Empire, a 24-ton basalt calendar stone, interprets the stone’s central image as the d…
Mar. 22nd, 2017
Once common throughout coastal southern Florida, the Miami blue butterfly now ranks among North America’s rarest insects. While the main driver of the butterfly’s swift decline is unknown, tropical storms, habitat loss and coastal development …
Feb. 28th, 2017
A Florida Museum of Natural History study shows that mollusk fossils provide a reliable measure of human-driven changes in marine ecosystems and shifts in ocean biodiversity. Collecting data from the shells of dead mollusks is a low-impact way of gli…
Feb. 17th, 2017
Take a look at this box of butterflies. How many species do you see? You might be tempted to divide them into those with “tails” on the lower wings and those without. Or you might lean toward grouping them by color, parsing out the yellow from…
Feb. 8th, 2017
Frogs date back more than 150 million years in the fossil record, and for centuries, the amphibians have been idolized and used in various ways by different cultures. Frog toxins are remarkably potent in the human body and may be used to treat heart ailme…
Feb. 8th, 2017
An extinct tortoise species that accidentally tumbled into a water-filled limestone sinkhole in the Bahamas about 1,000 years ago has finally made its way out, with much of its DNA intact. As the first sample of ancient DNA retrieved from an extinct tropi…
Feb. 7th, 2017
Florida Museum of Natural History scientists have reclassified three types of kingsnakes found in the state, elevating them to species status. Fossil records and DNA analyses show the Florida kingsnake, eastern kingsnake and Eastern Apalachicola Lowlands …
Jan. 24th, 2017
After 2015’s record-busting 98 shark attacks, calmer waters prevailed in 2016. The University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File reported 81 unprovoked attacks worldwide, in line with the five-year average of about 82 incidents annua…
Jan. 12th, 2017
A new book co-authored by a Florida Museum researcher examines the rich and distinct histories of the Caribbean islands before the arrival of Europeans and presents findings from the first excavation of a Carib culture site. In “The Caribbean before…
Dec. 21st, 2016
Scientist Bio: Chris A. Johns Eventually, Chris Johns hopes to slow down and spend his retirement surfing and hanging out, but in the meantime, he’s got huge plans. One of his first big, glossy projects has been studying a very tiny insect that live…