The Best Science Writing Online 2012

Have you encountered the internet slang TLDR yet? It stands for "Too Long; Didn't Read" and typifies the preference of web surfers for concise chunks of information. And yet, somehow, great longform articles continue to appear online. Editors Bora Zivkovic and Jennifer Ouellette herewith round up fifty-one of the finest pieces on subjects ranging from anthropology to cognition, ecology to physics.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…