JoAnna Wendel is a freelance science writer and cartoonist in Portland, Ore., specializing in Earth and planetary science, with a growing interest in animals (especially invertebrates). She’s written and made comics for publications including SmithsonianEosGizmodo, Inverse and Science News Explores. JoAnna has a bachelor’s degree in general science from the University of Oregon and loves trees, snakes and her cat, Pancake. 

All Stories by JoAnna Wendel

  1. Animals

    How boa constrictors squeeze their prey without strangling themselves

    Tracking boas’ ribs in X-ray videos revealed the snakes’ squeezing secrets. It’s the latest Wild Things cartoon from Science News Explores.

  2. Space

    My 10 years on Mars: NASA’s Curiosity rover describes its adventure

    Did life evolve on Mars? NASA’s Curiosity rover spent the last 10 years trying to answer that question. Here’s the story from the rover’s point of view.

  3. Animals

    Goldfish driving ‘cars’ offer new insight into navigation

    Fishes’ internal sense of direction is not limited to their natural environment. The latest Wild Things cartoon from Science News for Students.

  4. Animals

    A panda stands out at the zoo but blends in the wild

    A panda may stand out among bamboo at the zoo, but in the wild, its black-and-white coloring camouflages it from predators. Learn more with this web comic.

  5. Earth

    What can ‘silent earthquakes’ teach us about the next Big One?

    Earthquakes usually last seconds. But sometimes, they can last days, or even years. Here’s what scientists are learning about these “slow-slip events.”

  6. Brain

    Ask the experts: How to create a top-notch science fair project

    Five finalists in the Broadcom MASTERS middle-school competition reveal how they created nationally competitive projects.

  7. Animals

    Cockatoos learn from each other how to open garbage bins

    The bin-opening behavior is an example of social learning. It’s also the basis of a foraging culture. Learn more in this web comic.

  8. Animals

    How bees play telephone to form a swarm

    Honeybees use pheromones and flapping wings to tell each other where to find the queen — so they can all be together. Learn more with this web comic.