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From a charging buffalo to an erupting volcanoa€”see the winning pictures of the 2010 National Geographic Photo Contest.
A canceled trek turned into the opportunity of a lifetime for photographer Aaron Lim Boon Teck, who captured an active Indonesian volcano in his image "Eruption of Gunung Rinjani.""Trekkers [who] were able to make it up to the crater rim on time [were] able to camp overnight to witness the eruption [the] whole night long," Boon Teck, of Singapore, wrote with his submission to the 2010 National Geographic Photography Contest. A two-million-dollar rodent eradication program flopped in the South Pacific, and now scientists think they know why. From insults to terms of endearment, Shakespeare turned to the animal kingdom to get his point across. On the 25th anniversary of the space shuttle disaster, find out what really happened to Challenger. A cloud of vapor engulfs the space shuttle Challenger in a picture taken on the morning of January 28, 1986.
In the hours and days following the disaster, footage of the Challenger accident was "replayed incessantly" on the major television networks, Neal said. Startled birds seem to surround the space shuttle Challenger as it rises on a column of exhaust vapor from Kennedy Space Center in Floridaa€”moments before the shuttle's destruction 25 years ago. Another Challenger myth Neal has heard repeatedly is that NASA ordered ejection seats built into the other shuttles following the disaster. Ejection seats "are heavy and cumbersome, and they are themselves a safety hazard, because they have pyrotechnics in them," Neal said. Following the Challenger accident, NASA did require that the other remaining shuttles be outfitted with a bail-out system, which consists of a ten-foot-long (three-meter-long) "escape pole" that can be deployed during emergencies. Astronauts can "hook on to the pole, slide out to the end, drop off under the shuttle wing, and then parachute to safety," Neal explained. Harmless snakes can strike their prey just as quickly as venomous vipersa€”putting a legendary Wild West tale to rest. Peek at Jupiter through binoculars and you should also see its icy moon Europa, thought to host a global ocean that may support life.
Before Chicxulub, people had some odd theories about what caused the demise of the dinos, including low libido and caterpillars run amok. A Florida restaurant receives threats and employees reportedly attacked over controversial taco filling. While most ecologists trundle through the field, Greg Asner can usually be found soaring overheard in a plane, getting a lion’s eye view.
The human brain is a 3-pound (1.4-kilogram) mass of jelly-like fats and tissues—yet it's the most complex of all known living structures.
A rear view of the skull reveals the brain and the cervical spinal cord, which function together as the central nervous system. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques provide an extremely detailed, 3-D view of a living brain. Thanks to precision cutting techniques, researchers are able to examine a paper-thin slice of human brain.
Skillful surgeons at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, remove a tumor from a woman's brain. A Baltimore, Maryland, epileptic patient performs tests designed to identify the source of his seizures. National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series. Get up close with some of the world's most fascinating underground communities, from gangs to cults to organized crime families. As the global population soars toward nine billion by 2045, this corner of Africa shows what's at stake in the decades ahead.
About the Project The Human Origins Project, a joint initiative of the National Geographic Society and the Turkana Basin Institute, will utilize cutting-edge technology to become the largest and most informative multilingual resource available on the subject of human evolution.Over the past 35 years, the Koobi Fora region in northern Kenya’s Turkana Basin has yielded a wealth of fossil material that has revealed a great deal of information about human history and origins.
Adding understanding to human origins,  Leakey continues uncovering fossils of ancient ancestors in East Africa. National Geographic grantee and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger has been searching for the fossils of human ancestors, but it was his 9-year-old son who stumbled upon the find of a lifetime: a partial skeleton that may very well change our understanding of the genus Homo. Some go swimming with dolphins or stingrays, Brad Norman, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and marine conservationist, talks about swimming with the largest fish in the world: the whale shark.


National Geographic Emerging Explorer Losang Rabgey has found her life's work in strengthening rural communities on the Tibetan plateau, which includes building schools to educate local students. National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert capture astounding images of African wildlife in their beautiful films. National Geographic Emerging Explorer and virus hunter Nathan Wolfe says there is a disease pandemic lurking just around the corner. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Joshua Ponte was a successful young English entrepreneur when, over breakfast one morning, his eye fell on a newspaper ad that said "Gorilla Reintroduction Program, Gabon." His life has never been the same since. How did the death and destruction of World War One lead young British climbers to attempt an epic conquest of Mount Everest? National Geographic Explorer in Residence Sylvia Earle has been deeper undersea than any other woman. Many people picture archaeology as the swashbuckling adventure portrayed in the Indiana Jones trilogy.
Turkey is famed for its honey, which is music to Boyd's ears—he has a notorious sweet tooth. Most of human history existed before the advent of GPS technologies that can pinpoint where we are at any time. White-tailed deer, the smallest members of the North American deer family, are found from southern Canada to South America.
The loss of animal species is irreversible and potentially catastrophic, not to mention heartrendingly sad. Find out what National Geographic Society is doing to save animals all over the world, and learn what you can do to help. The disaster claimed the lives of all seven astronauts on board, including high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, and brought NASA's human spaceflight program to an abrupt but temporary halt.Now, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, the story of what exactly happened to Challenger remains clouded by faulty memories and misinformation. But blaming the o ring failure on the cold is an oversimplification, Neal said."Temperature alone wasn't the problem," she said. But ejection seats wouldn't have saved all of the Challenger astronauts, and their presence may even have been dangerous to the crew. A major limitation of the bail-out system, however, is that it is designed to work only in very specific emergency situations. The bail-out system "would not have been of any value in the Challenger situation, because the shuttle was pointed straight up and accelerating" when the accident happened. When they spot prey, they can accelerate faster than most cars: from 0 to 60 miles (96 kilometers) an hour in only three seconds. Up to one trillion nerve cells work together and coordinate the physical actions and mental processes that set humans apart from other species. The remarkable apparatus uses motor neurons to control the body's many muscles and enables humans to perform myriad physical activities. These nerve cells are interconnected, as shown in this microscopic image, so that they can transmit electrical impulses—and information—to other cells.
The technique is critical for identifying abnormalities such as tumors, spotting the warning signs of some brain diseases, and revealing the extent of trauma from strokes. Surgeons can also cut living brains without fear of hurting their patients—the organ is incapable of feeling pain.
Malignant tumors indicate often lethal brain conditions, but even nonmalignant growths can preempt normal brain activity. Surgeons placed electrodes in his brain that will record which parts of the organ become active when he performs a variety of physical and mental tasks.
Currently in Turkey, Ballard tells Boyd about the many shipwrecks he is finding in the Mediterranean. Norman speaks with Boyd about his research concerning whale shark habitats, tracking and conservation. Rabgey joins Boyd with updates on the successful work of Machik, the non-profit she founded and now directs. The Jouberts live in the African bush alongside the lions and other animals they profile. Pursuing his passion for conservation, Ponte moved to a central African forest where 13 orphaned gorillas were being studied.


Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, field scientist, and an inspiration to women around the world. But in reality, it can be much more tedious than discovering the Holy Grail and fighting Nazis. He visited National Geographic grantee Cat Jaffee, a beekeeper who left her job in Washington, D.C. National Geographic Fellow and ethnonavigation expert, Elizabeth Lindsey has taken it upon herself to understand what it was like for Polynesian explorers to colonize tiny, remote islands across the south Pacific Ocean. In the heat of summer they typically inhabit fields and meadows using clumps of broad-leaved and coniferous forests for shade. But their tenure in paradise is perilously close to its end; only about 1,100 seals remain in the wild. Any tumor may compress regions of the brain and increase internal pressure, upsetting the organ's delicate functional balance. This means using a tripod to hold your camera perfectly still while the shutter is open, though you can sometimes find a solid surface to rest your camera on and trip the shutter with the camera’s self-timer.
The findings help scientists understand hominid behavior like tool use, piece together basic hominid lineages, and understand hominid diversity.Based on past successes in the Turkana Basin, researchers are hopeful that the next five to ten years of fieldwork will yield important new finds. They explain to Boyd that, because big cats are in such danger, their work is now focused on conservation projects such as the Cause an Uproar program.
National Geographic grantee Bruce Bachand has been meticulously sewing a 3,000 bead necklace back together in Mexico after discovering a pre-Olmec burial site that housed a tribal chief and his wife, undisturbed for several centuries.
To better appreciate the skills it takes to study the clouds and winds in search of land, Lindsey plans to join a team of Polynesian women who are island-hopping using traditional methods: no GPS, no cellphones and no compass. During the winter they generally keep to forests, preferring coniferous stands that provide shelter from the harsh elements.BreedingAdult white-tails have reddish-brown coats in summer which fade to a duller grayish-brown in winter. Paleontologists are frequently discovering new sites, and greater numbers of students and professionals are now devoted to this project.
Wolfe joins Boyd to talk about his new book, The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age, which is changing the way we think about viruses.
She says that bees harvest pollen from their surroundings: the best honey comes from bees with natural surroundings, large meadows, rather than urban environments.
Male deer, called bucks, are easily recognizable in the summer and fall by their prominent set of antlers, which are grown annually and fall off in the winter. Additionally, advances in technology are making paleontological and archaeological research more efficient and accurate. Most people, Jaffee says, eat honey that is basically a synthetic mix of sugars from all over the world. As the chemicals mixed, they ignited to create a giant fireball thousands of feet in the air. Using new methods of analyzing oxygen and carbon isotopes in fossils, scientists are now able to study the diet of extinct herbivores and the environments in which they lived.
During the mating season, also called the rut, bucks fight over territory by using their antlers in sparring matches.Female deer, called does, give birth to one to three young at a time, usually in May or June and after a gestation period of seven months.
Satellite technology has also improved collection techniques and advanced computers can analyze and store more complex sets of data.Project GoalsThe Human Origins Project is the most ambitious and comprehensive undertaking of its kind, and researchers have high hopes for its outcomes. Young deer, called fawns, wear a reddish-brown coat with white spots that helps them blend in with the forest.Diet and BehaviorWhite-tailed deer are herbivores, leisurely grazing on most available plant foods. Their stomachs allow them to digest a varied diet, including leaves, twigs, fruits and nuts, grass, corn, alfalfa, and even lichens and other fungi.
Scientists in the field and in the lab are working hard to ensure the vast potential of the Human Origins Project is realized. Occasionally venturing out in the daylight hours, white-tailed deer are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular, browsing mainly at dawn and dusk.In the wild, white-tails, particularly the young, are preyed upon by bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes.
They use speed and agility to outrun predators, sprinting up to 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour and leaping as high as 10 feet (3 meters) and as far as 30 feet (9 meters) in a single bound.Although previously depleted by unrestricted hunting in the United States, strict game-management measures have helped restore the white-tailed deer population.



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