April/May 2024

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OPENER - Imagine dragons—or go for a dive in the Pacific Ocean and keep an eye out for this astonishing two-inch sea slug known as Goniobranchus sp. 1.

Slugs in Paradise

Psychedelic hedgehogs, purple pineapples, living strawberries—welcome to the magical world of nudibranchs

The Aria Resort & Casino

Las Vegas Bets on the Future

As the Southwest dries, can a city notorious for excess find a way to survive with less and less water?


Greek Revival

Modern Athens savors its connections to antiquity—while reappraising its past

Sun bears are named for a gold crescent on their chest, resembling a rising or setting sun. Each bear’s patch is unique, like a fingerprint.

Light in the Forest

Sun bears play a crucial role in repairing their tropical habitat in Southeast Asia. But saving them means finding out where they are

an illustration of Abraham Lincoln waving to supporters at a rally

Taking Up the Torch

The untold story of the youth movement that helped elect Lincoln—and spurred the nation to civil war

Researchers hold a male red-cockaded woodpecker

Rescue Mission

The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker has lost nearly all of its habitat in the Southeastern United States. Now it’s finding a surprising new home on a Florida bombing range

Photo Contest Winners

Poise & Power

This year’s winning photographs capture the quiet and chaotic from the American South to East Asia

OPENER -The mountain range is beloved for its challenging rock climbing and unusually varied terrain, from grassland and forest to rugged alpine rises.

Malawi’s Island in the Sky

Mount Mulanje is a climber’s paradise—and a casualty of logging. Can conservationists revive its forests?


An Appreciation of the Volunteers Who Devote Their Time to the Smithsonian

Whether fielding questions from visitors or digging for answers behind the scenes, volunteers help the museums thrive


Your feedback on art fakes, Tiffany lamps and World War II recovery missions

Sweet Dreams

The tangy tale of how America’s children learned to squeeze life for all it’s worth

Noble Beasts

In animals, this German Expressionist painter found a subject worth celebrating

Ballpark Figure

Major League Baseball’s official historian is expanding our understanding of the game’s origins

A Stitch in Time

How do filmmakers get period clothing to look the part? Inside the upstate New York workshop where Rabbit Goody brings the past to life

Booking It

How Benjamin Franklin invented the modern lending library

Behind the Throne

How deep faith created one of the loveliest—and most curious—sacred objects in the world

Black Swans

A new book shows how pioneering Black ballerinas captivated the world in the face of discrimination

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