Bio-

By Melissa Sterry | Exploring the wonders of the natural world.

Homes for people - Homes for wildlife.

People are increasingly concerned about the pressures on wildlife. Especially in cities like London, many beloved species, such as hedgehogs, …

Wildlife

Study finds Congo's miners often resort to hunting wildlife for food

A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has revealed how mining for valuable minerals in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a …

For the Love of Fish Lips

bioGraphic<p>In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale, a fish’s lips have become both its most prized asset and its greatest …

Fish

Time is running out for Madagascar – evolution’s last, and greatest, laboratory

Kew scientists warn that unique plants on Madagascar are at risk of extinction<p>It is a unique evolutionary hotspot home to thousands of plants found nowhere else on Earth. However, Madagascar’s special trees, palms and orchids – which provide habitats and food for dozens of species of rare lemur and …

Ecology

Manifesto for Nature

Nature Needs You to help put the planet at the heart of our politics this UK General Election.<p>One way you can do this is by building your very own …

Wildlife

Petite parrots provide insight into early flight

When it comes to hopping between branches, tiny parrots try only as hard as they need to. The finding comes from high-speed video taken to measure …

Ancestral alliances: Plant mutualistic symbioses with fungi and bacteria

Ever since plants colonized land, they have evolved a range of mutualistic associations with bacteria and fungi. Indeed, such associations were …

Biology

Tell Yale University to Stop Tormenting Birds!

First at Tufts University and now at Yale University, unsuspecting birds who have been lured to feeders and trapped or netted are being …

Yale

Nature.com

Evolution<p>Why baleen whales grew so big<p>Shifting winds and food supplies favoured the evolution of huge whales three million years ago.<p>Blue whales</i> …

Whales

The Self-Medicating Animal

<b>C</b>hausiku was clearly sick. The chimpanzee was in her 30s, a chimp’s prime. She was usually a gentle, doting mother. But one day she built a nest in a tree, climbed in and lay down, letting her infant, a male named Chopin, roam unsupervised. Another female chimp began looking after Chopin while …

Animals

Cock-of-the-rock rules the roost in Peru's Manu cloud forest

We had come to see one of the greatest bird spectacles in the world: the courtship display of the Andean cock-of-the-rock<p>Our guide unlocked the wooden door. “Here” he announced to his still sleepy audience “are the keys to paradise.” José Antonio has probably used this line before, but none of us …

Birds

Why Close Encounters With Animals Soothe Us

Chapter 3 of Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There” culminates with Alice’s coming to a wood “where things have no names.” Immediately upon entering, she is unable to identify anything around her, knows not what to call herself or the surrounding trees or the …

Journalism

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change<p>It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. …

Climate Change

Wild Foxes Can Be Transformed into Pets in a Few Generations

The animal runs toward me, its curly tail wagging and its loving eyes full of joy. It jumps into my arms and nuzzles my face, like a dog. But it is …

Animals

Climate Change Is Turning Antarctica Green

Plant life on both poles is growing rapidly as the planet warms.<p>A new study has found a steady growth of moss in Antarctica over the last 50 years as …

Climate Change

Tiger breakthrough: Camera trap time stamps provide valuable data for conservationist

Spatial capture-recapture model analysis is often used to estimate tiger abundance. A new study led by Dr. Robert Dorazio of the United States …

Camera Traps

New types of coffee, parsnips and roses among 1,700 plants discovered last year

From a new variety of Turkish parsnip to Madagascar coffee beans, the discoveries offer the prospect of better crops, medicinal uses and new garden displays<p>From new parsnips and herbs to begonias and roses, the world’s plant hunters discovered more than 1,700 new species last year, offering the …

Flowers

California tortoises died trying to reproduce during drought

Scientists examining the deaths of female desert tortoises in Southern California said it appears the animals died while exhausting their water and …

U.S. Geological Survey

Begging blue tit nestlings discriminate between the odour of familiar and unfamiliar peers

Nestling blue tits can discriminate between the smell of other nestlings and adapt their begging behaviour accordingly. This is the outcome of the …

Ecology

Ladybird’s transparent shell reveals how it folds its wings

They certainly know how to fold. A see-through artificial wing case has been used to watch for the first time as ladybirds put away their wings after …

Aerospace

South Carolina bans private possession of dangerous wild animals as pets

Gov. Henry McMaster has signed a measure into law that prohibits the keeping of big cats, bears and great apes as pets. Sponsored by Rep. Heather …

African lions face same threats as extinct Ice Age ancestors

The extinction trends that caused the demise of several Ice Age species, including many of the sabre-toothed family, may be a threat to wildlife …

Wildlife

A Gene Mystery: How Are Rats With No Y Chromosome Born Male?

In most mammals, us included, biological sex is determined by a lottery between two letters: X and Y, the sex chromosomes. Inherit one X each from mom and dad, and develop ovaries, a womb and a vagina. Inherit an X from mom and a Y from dad, and develop testes and a penis.<p>But there are rare, …

We may have the evolution of beauty completely wrong

“THE sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail… makes me sick,” wrote Darwin, worrying about how structures we consider beautiful might come to exist in …

Evolution

Lions face same extinct threats as Ice Age cats - study

<b>Two big cats - the African lion and the Sunda clouded leopard - are most at risk from extinction caused by loss of prey, according to a new analysis.</b><p>Lack of food was a factor in why seven big cats, including sabre-toothed tigers, went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age, say scientists.<p>The trend …

Wildlife

Five things to ask your candidates this election

The environment we all depend on needs to be a priority in this UK General Election. As candidates hit the streets in search of your votes, here are …

Elections

Three new sub-species of snow leopard discovered

A recent research paper in the <i>Journal of Heredity</i> reveals that there are three sub-species of snow leopard. Until now, researchers had assumed this …

Wildlife

3.5-billion-year-old fossils hint life evolved in pond, not sea

Fossils discovered in rocks in a hot, arid region of Australia raise hopes that we could find evidence of past life on Mars - if it ever existed

Planets

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain

<b>A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves.</b><p>The footage shows one way that waste plastic could be entering the marine and global food chain.<p>An estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic "disappears" …

Oceans