Mark Mancini

Contributing Writer

Mark Mancini is a freelance writer currently based in New Jersey. Over the years, he’s covered every subject from classic horror movies to Abe Lincoln's favorite jokes. He is particularly fond of paleontology and has been reporting on new developments in this field since 2013. When Mark's not at his writing desk, you can usually find him on stage somewhere because he loves to get involved with community theater. And if you ever feel like trading puns for a few hours, he's your guy.

Recent Contributions

How Solenoids Work

You use solenoids every day without ever knowing it. So what exactly are they and how do they work?

The Mastodon Graveyard That Stole Thomas Jefferson's Heart

During the last ice age, northern Kentucky was a swampy wetland teeming with mega-mammals.

The Cute Crested Gecko, Once Thought Extinct, Is Now Bred by the Thousands

These lizards love to climb and can thrive on a diet that doesn't include live insects.

8 Pretty Awesome Facts About the Pacific Ocean

It covers more than 30 percent of the planet, and is home to all kinds of sea creatures. What other facts make the Pacific Ocean so amazing?

Nigersaurus: The 'Mesozoic Cow' With More Than 500 Teeth

Known by the nickname "Mesozoic Cow," the African dinosaur Nigersaurus taqueti has also had its face compared to a vacuum cleaner.

Who Named Planet Earth?

All of the planets in the solar system are named for Greek gods, except Earth. So where did the name come from?

Meet Archaeopteryx, a Feathered Dino With Wings and Teeth

Fossils of just 12 individual Archaeopteryx, a winged dinosaur that live during the Jurassic, have ever been found. Aside from the rarity, what else makes this unique dinosaur so special?

PEMDAS: The Easy Way to Remember Math's Order of Operations

A simple math problem may seem to some of us like an inscrutable pile of numbers and symbols, just waiting to trip us up. PEMDAS to the rescue!

How Baseball Great Willie Mays Became the Catalyst for "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Generations have grown up watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas." But what does baseball legend Willie Mays have to do with this beloved animated special?

Pit Vipers Can 'See' You, Even in the Dark

Pit vipers also carry venom in twin glands behind their eyes, delivered through movable fangs that can be folded up against the roof of their mouth.

What's the Difference Between a Newt and Salamander?

These two amphibians look similar and are often confused for each other. So how many traits do they share?

The Serval Stands Tall and Jumps Like A Champion

Servals have long legs and necks, which allow them to spot prey over the tall grasses of the savanna, but their huge ears give them their best weapon — an acute sense of hearing.

Hognose Snakes Play Dead Like Opossums

These snakes are some of the best reptilian actors you'll ever meet, but don't let the act fool you.

Perpendicular Lines Create All the Right Angles in the World

Two lines that are perpendicular to the same line are parallel to each other and will never intersect.

Super Cute Leopard Geckos Make Great Pets

If you're thinking about entering the wonderful world of gecko ownership, check out the advice from our leopard gecko expert and see if this is the right lizard for you.

What's the Difference Between a Brown Bear and a Black Bear?

Yes, the obvious fur color seems like a dead giveaway, but you can't always judge a bear by the color of its fur.

Before Halloween, There Was Samhain

This centuries-old Pagan holiday isn't necessarily scary. But those who celebrate are honoring the dead, believing their spirits have easy access to the world of the living during Samhain.

The Misrepresentation of 'Nosferatu' in Vampire Lore    

Popularized in the 1897 novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, and the film "Nosferatu" in 1922, the word "nosferatu" is largely considered to be an archaic Romanian word, synonymous with "vampire," though the true origin story is long and complicated.

'Flying' Snakes Are Actually Legless Gliders

To some, the thought of snakes flying through the air is the scariest thought imaginable, but, as we'll explain, flying snakes don't actually fly, they "fall with style."

The Nebra Sky Disc: Early Calendar, Ancient Astronomical Art or Simply a Fake?

Since its discovery, the Nebra Sky Disc has been known as the oldest artifact in the world depicting cosmic phenomena. But is the 3,600-year-old disc actually 1,000 years younger than previously thought or is it a fake altogether?