Jesslyn Shields

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


Female chickens lay eggs whether they've mated with a rooster or not.

The more we research our closest extinct human ancestor, the more we realize how similar we were. But could we have shared a joke?

Groups of animals sure have some funny names. You can thank the Book of St. Albans for that.

Do humpback whales get tired of singing the same old song, or do they simply start over when it gets too complicated?

The Incas were technologically advanced but never invented a system of written language. Turns out, they encoded more in textiles than we could have imagined possible.

They are different, aren't they?

Probiotics have been having a moment — but are they really beneficial to our health?

We discard shameful amounts of produce each year — but a new product could help us curb waste and feed more people.

Thinking about eating one? Think twice.

Dark matter is the most mysterious (and possibly important) material in the universe, and scientists are excited that a storm of the stuff is upon us.

The dark line that runs down a pregnant woman's belly is completely normal, and it even has a fancy Latin name.

Travelers commonly experience unusual bowel symptoms while traveling. Why is this, and what can we do about it?

Last time the American Academy of Pediatrics weighed in on corporal punishment, it was to say we shouldn't spank children in schools. Now it says we shouldn't spank children at home, either.

There is only one tiger species, but new research reports the existence of six subspecies — information that could help us save these dwindling predators.

Frogs are like the canary in the coal mine for the state of the environment. And the bad news is they are not doing well.

Justin O. Schmidt studies insect venom and has a rating system for the relative agony inflicted by the world's most painful stings. Which is the worst?

The Dumbo octopus is just one of the amazing creatures filmed by the most recent voyage of the E/V Nautilus.

Structures in some butterflies' wings are actually part of their ears.

Machines can translate some of the biological functions of plants into synthesizer sounds. But are these synthesized translations the same thing as music?

How does a plant — incapable of waving its arms or screaming — attract attention and spread its seed? By evolving a powerful stink or an attractive color, of course.