Susan Milius

Life Sciences Writer, Science News

Life sciences writer Susan Milius has been writing about botany, zoology and ecology for Science News since the last millennium. She worked at diverse publications before breaking into science writing and editing. After stints on the staffs of The ScientistScienceInternational Wildlife and United Press International, she joined Science News. Three of Susan's articles have been selected to appear in editions of The Best American Science Writing.

All Stories by Susan Milius

  1. Animals

    Wolves beat dogs at problem-solving test

    When treats are at stake, wolves outperformed dogs at opening a closed container. The dog’s relationship with humans may explain why.

  2. Animals

    Hummingbird tongues may be tiny pumps

    Scientists had thought that hummingbird tongues work through capillary action. A new study, though, concludes they work like little pumps.

  3. Animals

    Boa constrictors stop their victims’ hearts

    It’s a myth that boa constrictors kill by suffocation. A new study shows the snakes actually squeeze off blood flow, stopping the hearts of their prey.

  4. Animals

    Top rooster announces the dawn

    Roosters know their places in the chicken world. Lower-ranking birds defer to the guy at the top of the pecking order. And they show it by holding their crows until after he greets the new day.

  5. Animals

    Why seahorses have square tails

    The unique shape of a seahorse tail provides strength, and it may also help the fish to grasp objects.

  6. Animals

    This is no cold fish!

    The opah is the fish closest to the whole-body warm-bloodedness typical of mammals and birds. This trait may give the species an edge in the ocean’s cold depths.

  7. Plants

    Picture This: The world’s biggest seed

    This monster seed develops on a super-slow-growing island palm. Key to that palm’s survival are leaves that funnel fertilized water to nutrient-starved roots.

  8. Animals

    Pesticides offer bees a risky allure

    Honeybees and bumblebees sometimes cannot taste or avoid pesticides called neonicotinoids. And that may expose some of these important pollinators to harm.

  9. Animals

    What’s for dinner? Mom.

    Female spiders of one species make the ultimate sacrifice when raising their young: The mothers feed themselves to their children.

  10. Animals

    News Brief: Rabbit-hunting pythons are altering Everglades

    Rabbits may breed rapidly, but not fast enough to compensate for the huge summer appetites of huge pythons roaming Florida’s Everglades.

  11. Physics

    Eyelashes: The ‘sweet’ length

    New mathematical and aerodynamics studies find what seems to be the optimal length for eyelashes — the length that protects best. And surprise: Longer is not always better.

  12. Animals

    Bat signals jammed

    Mexican free-tailed bats can jam each other’s signals while hunting at night. The interference makes snagging an insect supper even more competitive for the flying mammals.