Tag: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

New Electric Eel Is Most Shocking Yet

The average shock from an electric eel lasts about two-thousandths of a second. The pain isn’t searing — unlike, say, sticking your finger in a wall socket — but isn’t pleasant: a brief muscle contraction, then numbness. For scientists who study the animal, the pain comes with the professional territory. “I remember the first time […]

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To Map a Coral Reef, Peel Back the Seawater

Coral reefs comprise just 1 percent of the ocean floor yet they are home to 25 percent of the world’s marine fish, a growing source of protein for people. But reefs are imperiled by a range of threats including warming waters, acidifying seas, destructive fishing methods, and agricultural and other runoff. Moreover, scientists have only […]

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