Read time: 20 minutes What you will learn in this article: How do scientists view animal emotions? What are Cognitive Bias Tests, and what can the brain tell us? Are animal emotions sentient experiences? As the dominant species on our planet, we are quick to anthropomorphise. We readily assign human emotions to much of the … Continue reading The Complexity of Animal Emotions: What Are They, and How Can We Measure Them?
For anyone who is not an avid birder, easily distinguishing between the chatter of different birdsongs in your garden or on a nature trail can be difficult - and identifying individual bird songs, impossible. It's hard to know where to begin, but familiarising yourself with 10 easily recognisable songs here in the UK is a … Continue reading Learn 10 Memorable Bird Songs
Read time: 5 min The short answer: yes! Vampire bats do indeed consume blood, hence the name - but these are not the evil winged creatures that popular culture would have us believe. Vampire bats are actually very interesting animals, and although they have become synonymous with Hallowe’en, nightmares, and all things that go bump … Continue reading Vampire Bats: Do They Really Drink Blood?
Read time: 10 mins Have you ever seen a spider web so geometrically precise that it made your mind boggle? Spiders are skilful architects, and many construct webs that are among the most beautiful works of structural perfection in the natural world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNtSAQHNONo Unless you're an araneologist, you probably won't have paid much attention to … Continue reading Types of Spider Web
Read time: 10 mins Recently, there has been a new surge of attention towards business ventures aimed at cleaning up our beaches. I first came across the machines on twitter, where a marine conservation biologist retweeted one onto my timeline, captioning it: "What fresh hell is this? Lots of things live in sand". After some … Continue reading Mechanical Beach Cleaning: Friend or Foe?
Read time: 10 mins Australia is facing a crisis. It has the worst mammal extinction rate out of any other country on Earth: in the last decade, 3 of its native species have become extinct and hundreds more are currently on the verge of disappearing forever, too. Although a longstanding issue, in recent years this … Continue reading To Cull, or Not to Cull? Feral Cats and Australia’s Extinction Crisis
Read Time: 2 mins To stay in contact during isolation my friends and I have been doing a weekly quiz night via video call, which is great fun and a much needed slice of normality. There is almost always a nature round, and recently a question about declining bee populations came up. This has claimed … Continue reading What’s Up With The Bees?
This post is a little different than the usual. This is a strange time we're living in, and through all the uncertainty we can find refuge in nature. I was musing over an interaction I had a few years ago and wanted to put thoughts down on paper (or rather, my laptop). And the people … Continue reading Stillness Through Covid19
Read Time: 2 mins Did you know that vision is different between predator and prey animals? Most predators have front-facing eyes, which give them a large binocular visual field and superior depth perception for accurate spatial localisation when zooming in on their prey. Herbivores, on the other hand, often have lateral orbits and an almost … Continue reading Predators, Prey and Pupil Shape
Read time: 2 mins Forget the ethereal glowing world of James Cameron's Avatar, here on Earth we have plenty of our own bioluminescent creatures and the effects can look magical. Organisms have evolved this ability for various reasons like attracting mates, escaping predation, scanning for prey and even to communicate. Creatures with this ability can … Continue reading Nature’s Invisibility Cloak: Astonishing Symbiosis Between Bobtail Squid and Vibrio Fischeri
Read time: 10 mins Bird migration is an astounding feat of endurance and a wondrous phenomena to behold. 55,923 miles from pole to pole - this is the greatest migration distance ever known to the animal kingdom, and is routinely flown by the Arctic Tern every year. These birds live for up to 30 years: … Continue reading How Is Climate Change Affecting Bird Migration?