Jesslyn Shields is a freelance science writer working out of Athens, Georgia. She writes about brand new research for HowStuffWorks. Since 2010, Jesslyn's written science news and content for educational videos, because she loves to always have something new to yammer on about at parties. You can find her online at www.jesslynshields.com

Recent Contributions

The most iconic agricultural pest of the past 200 years just wants to eat your potato plant.

By Jesslyn Shields

Brushing your dog's teeth might be a bit unpleasant for both of you, but it will keep your furry friend healthier longer.

By Jesslyn Shields

These spiders are big enough to eat a bird, but they don't often have the chance.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Mammatus clouds, which are made from falling air instead of rising air, are one of the most spectacular cloud formations you'll ever see.

By Jesslyn Shields

Hammerhead worms are toxic but not particularly dangerous — unless, of course, you eat too many of them.

By Jesslyn Shields

Cymothoa exigua will make you feel very glad you're not a fish.

By Jesslyn Shields

Although it looks like a tiny showgirl, the female Sabethes mosquito will still bite and could even give you yellow fever.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Though it's true that joeys poop in their mother's pouch, also known as the marsupium, it's still a pretty cozy place to spend the first few months of life.

By Jesslyn Shields

When the Articles of Confederation failed, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 became a contest between large states and small states for equal representation.

By Jesslyn Shields

Cone snails are marine animals that harpoon their prey and incapacitate them with deadly toxins. They may be beautiful, but they are highly venomous.

By Jesslyn Shields

Nobody likes to cough their brains out — not even cats. So, when you find yourself with a coughing kitty on your hands, what's the best thing to do?

By Shanna Freeman & Jesslyn Shields

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Bringing a species back from extinction might not be the stuff of sci-fi any longer.

By Jesslyn Shields

Plastic Whale, an Amsterdam-based company blends tourism, environmental cleanup and manufacturing in the world's first plastic fishing business. The goal: to make the world's waters plastic-free.

By Jesslyn Shields

One bite from a lone star tick might have you eating veggie burgers for life.

By Jesslyn Shields

Leopard seals are the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic after the southern elephant seal. They're fast, powerful and eat basically anything that moves. Their only natural predator? The killer whale.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Snake plants are attractive and virtually ironclad houseplants, almost impossible to kill, though some of the hype about them acting as air purifying filters has been overblown.

By Jesslyn Shields

Sandspurs are one of the most unpleasant weeds out there — if you've tangled with them, you won't soon forget it.

By Jesslyn Shields

Lightning is an incredible force of nature. And like many natural phenomena, lightning is not always what it seems. Go behind the mystery and learn what's really going on when lightning strikes.

By John Zavisa & Jesslyn Shields

There's north and then there's true north. Find out how stabbing a stick in the dirt to make a shadow can help you find the true north.

By Cristen Conger & Jesslyn Shields

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Proceeds from the Yellowstone Inheritance Pass will help fund park education, trail maintenance and wildlife monitoring. And what an amazing gift to pass down to an as-yet-unborn park visitor from the future.

By Jesslyn Shields

The microwave oven is a ubiquitous appliance in kitchens today, but don't we all have that one holdout friend who still refuses to own one?

By Jesslyn Shields

Creating an insect hotel gives local bugs and pollinators a place to live and people of all ages a super cool garden project.

By Jesslyn Shields

A bullet ant's sting will hurt for a long time, but it probably won't kill you.

By Jesslyn Shields

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When that sandpaper tongue gets going on your face, does it mean your cat loves you, or simply likes the way you taste?

By Jesslyn Shields

The magic of a blacker-than-black chicken like the Ayam Cemani is in its genetics.

By Jesslyn Shields