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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 www.jesslynshields.com

Recent Contributions

It Takes a DJ: Healthy Reef Sounds May Lure Fish to Damaged Reefs

If it looks like a party is on, maybe they'll come back. Playing the sounds of a noisy, healthy coral reef can attract important fish species to devastated reef habitats.

9 Big Hairy Facts About Gorillas

Gorillas can live to be about 35 to 40 years old and are much gentler (and much sleepier) than you might think.

How the Ancient Land Blob Gondwana Became Today's Continents

Gondwana was a humongous landmass that persisted for 300 million years before it began to break up, forming all the continents in the modern Southern Hemisphere.

Pangolins: The Gentle, Ant-eating Oddballs of Africa and Asia

They're weird-looking and mild-mannered, but Asian and African markets can't get enough illegal pangolin scales.

Sea Otters Are the Party Animals of the Sea

Sea otters are adorable, back from the brink of extinction and will totally bite you.

Chloroplasts Are the Plant Cells That Manufacture Energy

Chloroplasts are where some of the most miraculous chemistry on Earth goes down.

The Harpy Eagle: Terrifying Apex Predator or Creepy Halloween Costume?

The largest eagle in the world has a claw the size of a grizzly bear's, a leg the size of a human's and a very disapproving gaze.

3-D Printed Space Meat: It's What's for Dinner, Astronauts

A Russian cosmonaut printed some steak in space, and now we're one step closer to sending humans to Mars.

The Super-cute Axolotl Is Also a Ruthless Carnivore

The axolotl can regenerate virtually any of its limbs or organs and has a face that's totally irresistible.

How Photosynthesis Captures Light and Powers Life on Earth

No life, except possibly very small bacteria, would exist on Earth without photosynthesis.

Every Single Living Thing Is Part of an Ecosystem. Here's How They Work

How do we consider a Thing with no edge? Ecosystem ecologists are always trying.

Tarantula Hawks Are Neither Tarantulas nor Hawks

The sting of a tarantula hawk is so painful you are advised to lie on the ground as soon as you're stung to avoid falling.

Why Are We So Fascinated With Owls?

From ancient times until today, people have been captivated by these iconic, mysterious birds. What is it about owls that makes them the enduring subject of myth and superstition?

Bobcats Are Back From the Brink (and Possibly in Your Backyard)

It turns out that bobcats do just fine if not actively hunted by humans.

This Chicken Is So Goth It Makes Darth Vader Jealous

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

How Humans Have Made a Mess of Mink

The wars between mink species and humans quietly rage worldwide.

The Fungi Amongi Are the Great Decomposers

Yep, fungi are all around us — in the grocery store, in the woods or living on your discolored toenail. And fungi can break down almost anything.

Are Plastic-eating Enzymes Our Planet's Only Hope?

Scientists are hoping two enzymes are the key to breaking down huge amounts of plastic.

Wolverines Are Superhero Survivor Weasels

Wolverines, also known as "stink bears" because of the powerful smell they emit, are the ultimate cold weather survivors — cagey, smart and omnivorous.

Groundhogs Are More Than Just Meteorologists

Groundhogs don't actually make great weathermen, but they are pretty cool in every other respect.

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