Filed under animals

Nemo’s Dad was… his Mum

Nemo’s Dad was… his Mum

This is a fascinating piece from the i: Male clownfish – the orange fish … seen in the film Finding Nemo – chnge their sex if their female mate dies, according to new research. A paper presented at the University of Exeter shows that the fish become female in order to better protect their territory. … Continue reading

Origin of Vampires

Origin of Vampires

Here’s a story that justifies reading outside a person’s normal area of interest. Tschiffley’s Ride is one of the great travel adventures, the sort of journey only Werner Herzog would contemplate filming. Please. Aime Tsciffley, a Swiss former teacher, footballer and boxer moved to Buenos Aires in 1920. In 1925 he set of in the … Continue reading

Keith the Snake’s Road Trip

This is from the i from way back in November: A pet snake that went missing 5 months ago has been reunited with his schoolboy owner in Sheffield after slithering out of a couple’s new car. Keith, a 5ft corn snake, escaped from his travel box in June, leaving 8 year old owner Jack Wellington … Continue reading

Killer Whales Kill Rare Whales

Killer Whales Kill Rare Whales

This is from the i paper, showing Orcas deserve their reputation as killers and the threats to endangered species are not entirely from humans: For the first time, killer whales have been spotted killing and eating a rare species of whale. A team of researchers led by Rebecca Wellard, of Curtin University, has been joining … Continue reading

Misunderstood Sloths and Slothery

Misunderstood Sloths and Slothery

My favourite animal has long been the 2 toed sloth, with a top speed when chased by a predator of 0.5mph. You don’t get more laid back than that, but if they are so inefficient, how have they managed to survive? This article from the i a few weeks back, by Becky Cliffe provides some … Continue reading

Albatrosses Running in Circles

Albatrosses Running in Circles

Since albatrosses are in the same family as seagulls who stamp on the ground to imitate rain, which draws their favourite food, worms, to the surface, this article fits with their family behaviour. This is by Tom Bawden in the i paper: Albatrosses secure much of their food using an extraordinary technique which involves furiously … Continue reading

Barnacle Geese

This is from Thomas Platter’s Travels in England 1599. I’ve heard this story before, but he’s the first I know of to send samples home.  Claikgeese [barnacles] of which I sent a jug full of shells to Basel from Langue d’Oc, are to be found in England, more especially in Scotland. And these shells grow … Continue reading

Cormorants

Cormorants

These are my favourite birds – maybe along with starlings, but they always seem to be alone, which is why this group of 6 seem so startling – all lined up on their concrete – what are they? podiums? Like dudes in tuxedoes, they don’t care who’s watching them posing. I love the different poses … Continue reading

Natural Deterrent for Mosquitoes

This small article from yesterday’s i paper records a huge breakthrough ii the fight against malaria, one of the world’s great killers and compromisers of human health but as it affects people in tropical countries, they often lack the means to pay for pharmaceuticals which are in any case becoming ineffective. Sleeping next to a … Continue reading

Stubbs and the Wild

The current exhibition at Bath’s Holborne museum is another brilliant exhibition on an artist who has been much underrated as he specialised in animal paintings, often in dramatic though not too realistic landscapes. He is probably known now – if at all – for his horse pictures. The great thing about the Holborne is they … Continue reading