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The lost rusty-patched bumble bee made its first reappearance in the eastern U.S. since disappearing five years ago. A team of biologists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute discovered the bee in Delaplane, Va. Once commonplace, the bee has vanished from 87 percent of its range in the Eastern Seaboard and Upper Midwest, and ecologists fear it is on the road to extinction. 

As Smithsonian biologist Bill McShea put it, “This is the stuff conservationists live for.” 

Photos by Sam Droege 


Every summer, jellyfish and comb jellies launch a three-month war in the Chesapeake as each tries to invade the other’s territory. Most smaller species don’t have a stake in the battle—fish eggs and zooplankton get eaten by both sides. But for young oyster larvae, the victor could make the difference between being protected civilians or collateral damage.

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(Top Photo: Jellyfish, Mary Hollinger/NOAA. Bottom photo: Comb jelly, Steven G. Johnson)

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