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Is the End in Sight for Female Genital Mutilation?

Young women in Africa now are less likely to undergo the traditional practice.<p><b>In Egypt, 91 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone female genital mutilation, the partial or total removal of their external genitalia. In Somalia, the figure is 98 percent. More than 125 million</b> …

Inca Child Sacrifice Victims Were Drugged

Mummy hair reveals that young victims were heavy users of coca and alcohol.<p><b>Three Inca mummies found near the lofty summit of Volcán Llullaillaco in Argentina were so well preserved that they put a human face on the ancient ritual of capacocha—which ended with their sacrifice.</b><p><b>Now the bodies of</b> …

The Plagues We’re Least Prepared For

If I asked you to name an infectious disease that has the potential to really screw us over, what would you pick? Maybe you’d choose flu, HIV or Ebola. Perhaps you’d name an upstart like MERS, or a more established threat like malaria or tuberculosis.<p>But how many of you named potato blight, rice …

Behind the Cover: August 2013

Photographer Robert Clark shot cupcakes and other sweets to illustrate the cultural history of sugar for our August 2013 issue.<p><b>What better icon than a cupcake to illustrate a story about our obsession with sugar?</b><p>The simple treat has beguiled America's sweet tooth for centuries, recently inspiring a …

Costa Rica Closes Zoos—Where Will the Animals Go?

Influx of captive animals has wildlife-rescue centers strapped.<p><b>At the Monkey Park wildlife-rehab center near Tamarindo, Costa Rica, volunteers clean animal cages, wash dirty dishes, and even prepare the animals' meals.</b><p>"It's a labor of love," said Cinde Jeheber, a California native and frequent …

NOAA Reaffirms Forecast For Active Hurricane Season

With the peak of the 2013 hurricane season approaching in the Atlantic Basin, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reaffirmed its June forecast for a stormy summer.<p>Four named tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic Basin — which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, …

St. Louis Zoo to the Harlequin Toad Rescue

Changing Planet<p>The <b>St. Louis Zoo’s</b> WildCare Institute is drawing attention to an endangered group of frogs.<p>Also known as stubfoot toads, harlequin toads represent a beautiful, but vanishing frog taxon from Central and South America.<p>The Zoo has partnered with Ecuador’s Jambatu Center for Research and …

Franz Josef Land Expediton: Ice and Giant Sea Spiders

Wildlife<p>The giant sea spider Anomorhynchus smithii, a species described for the first time in Franz Josef Land in 1881. (Photo by Enric Sala)<p><i>National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala is setting off to explore Franz Josef Land, one of the most remote archipelagos in the world, only 900 km</i> …

Ducks Learn to Surf for Food

<b>There’s a new type of surfer on California‘s beaches: Mallard ducks are catching waves to get crabs, a new study says.</b><p>Rather than avoiding water that washes up the beach like other foraging shorebirds, the mallards allow themselves to be lifted by the water and deposited down the beach. (Also see …

One Way China is Getting Serious About Climate Change

Changing Planet<p>One catch-22 of climate change has always been that it’s a global problem that must be addressed locally. Global governments won’t agree on action until individual nations have a plan. And individual nations are reluctant to make a plan until the rest of world takes the plunge too. …

DIY Bedbug Trap: Cheap, Easy, Effective

Homemade device can alert people to the earliest stage of an infestation.<p><b>Fill an old coffee cup with ten tablespoons (150 grams) of sugar, two tablespoons (30 grams) of yeast, and one and a half quarts (one and a half liters) of water, and put it in the middle of an upturned dog bowl.</b><p><b>Voila! You</b> …

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