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The Story of the Dinosaurs

Sunday, 20 September 2020


Most people know that the age of the diniosaurs ended with the impact of a huge meteor that ravaged the earth and was responsible for the extinction of 90% of the species around then.  What fewer know is that the age of the dinosaurs also stared with a mass extinction.  This wonderful animation, designed and directed by The Brothers McLeod.for the BBC tells is the whole story, spanning many millions of years and covering the three period of the Mesozoic, the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.

What is Symbiosis?


Did you know that symbiosis is one of the most important words in the English language?  Why? Because without symbiosis it is possible that most life on earth (ourselves included) would not live. This is the first in a series of short films exploring the amazing science of symbiosis, a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more species. In this episode - Symbiotic Super Powers – we get to learn what symbiosis is, discover why it’s so important for life on Earth, and meet some of the scientists who are working hard to understand it.  This very cool short was created by Day’s Edge Productions.

Dolphins in the Wild - Photo Special

Dolphins – those special marine mammals – are the subject of this photo special.  All the pictures here are of wild dolphins, some of the almost forty species that are found worldwide.  They are a recent evolutionary adaptation, having first appeared on this ark in space around ten million years ago.  Intelligent, curious and fearless, they embody many of the qualities that we admire and to which we aspire. Welcome to the world of the dolphin - free, physical and wild.

The Frogs that Carry Their Tadpoles on Their Backs

Monday, 31 August 2020

You are probably well aware of the life cycle of most frogs. They lay their eggs in water and when the tadpoles hatch they are on their own with no parental intervention. The lucky few will develop through this larval stage in to frogs. Yet there are a few South American species, such as the Mimic poison frog (above) which do things a little differently. They carry their tadpoles about on their backs.

The Portuguese Water Dog: From the Russian Steppes to The White House

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Until the announcement on the 11 April 2009 about the breed of dog that President Obama and his family were to welcome in to the White House, little was known about the Portuguese Water Dog.  Yet the fact that Bo (as he became known) was soon ensconced in the White House is, for his breed, something just short of a miracle. Behind the shaggy good looks there lies a remarkable story of species survival. By the 1930s the dog was on the verge of extinction.

Arguments abound about the origins of the Portuguese Water Dog with many maintaining that the first early examples of the species appeared on the Russian Steppes around 700 BC.  If this is the case, one can only wonder whether the irony is lost on President Obama: the dog that became part of his family has its origins in what was for many years called the USSR?

How Does a Hermit Crab Change Shells? In the Most Remarkable Way!


Hermit crabs use sea shells as their homes but as the crab grows they need to move on and move up the property ladder.  You might think that they simply find a bigger shell and slip in to that but the process can be rather more extraordinary.

As humans we often form chains in order for many people to move at once.  It is the same for the hermit crab with a number of crabs lining up to exchange – in strict order of size.  Of course the odd bit of gazumping goes on, as you can see in this fascinating footage narrated by David Attenborough.

How Pest Infestations Can Affect Your Home

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

We all take pride in keeping our homes comfortable, attractive, and safe, but there are some things that can have a damaging impact on our homes. This includes pest infestations, which can cause huge problems at your property. We all know that some animals cause damage to foundation and homes, but when you have a pest infestation it can become a serious issue that is very difficult to tackle and eliminate.

As the infographic shows, animals of all sizes can create problems at your home. However, small pests can invade the inside and outside of your home with ease, and once they do this, they can cause everything from an unhygienic environment to potential health hazards. This is why you need to do all you can to help prevent pest problems and all you can do to eliminate them if they arise. In this article, we will look at some of the ways in which pest infestations can affect your home.




Some Effects of Infestations

Once pests breed in your crawl space or around your home, they can invade the area immediately outside your property, and they can also infest the inside of your home. This can cause serious issues, and some of these are:

Causing Extensive Damage and Hazards

Depending on the type of pest infestation you have, your home could sustain serious damage, and this could lead to hazards. For instance, some pests can chew through walls and wiring in your home, and this can pose a serious risk to health and safety. They can also cause damage to other areas of your home as well as your belongings.

Creating an Unhygienic Environment

Another way in which pests can affect your home environment is by creating an unhygienic setting. Naturally, you want your home to be clean, safe, and comfortable, but pests can put an end to all this. You might find them crawling over surfaces in your home, trying to get to food, and invading other areas of your home.

Causing Stress and Frustration for Your Household

When you have a pest infestation, it can cause a lot of stress and frustration both for you and for your loved ones who live in the same property. The last thing you want when you are trying to relax at home is to be faced with pests around every corner. However, this is what can happen, and the difficulties in getting rid of the pests simply add to the stress.

Increasing the Risk of Health Problems

One other thing to remember is that pests can increase the risk of health problems for everyone in your household, and this can lead to serious issues as well. Many pests are known to carry disease, and they can create and very unhealthy environment in your home. This can lead to all sorts of health problems for those in your home.

These are some of the ways in which pests can affect your home and everyone who lives there.

7 Questions Kids Always Ask About Animals

Friday, 22 May 2020

Kids and animals – they go together so well!  However, kids are curious about all sorts of concepts and animals are no exception! Children will never stop bothering us with their thought-provoking and annoying questions up to and including "write a paper for me." Here are eight of them about animals, and how to answer them - starting with two of the more frequently asked and then some of the lesser (but still amusing) answers. Oh and don't worry about the little girl above - she does not have cruel and irresponsible parents. It's a statue.

The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See

Friday, 24 April 2020




Look up at the sky and what do you see? Well, blue, yes. And maybe a plane or a bird, but otherwise ... nothing. Or so you think. It turns out that right above you, totally invisible, is an enormous herd of animal life -- tiny bugs riding the wind currents.

According to research done by British scientists in a six mile square space about our heads there can be as many as three billion insects.

That is quite some figure.  This amazing animation takes you through the reasons why.  Some of the heights that these insects reach is pretty spectacular to say the very least.  It certainly answers the question how high can insects fly?

The Bizarre Nest of the Central American Paper Wasp

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Take a look at the photograph above.  Is it some strange kind of blooming plant?  Is it a fungal growth attached to a tree?  It is something else entirely.  This is the bizarre nest of the Central American Paper Wasp (Apoica pallens).  It is notable for one thing – an apparent lack of nest altogether.  Those pale yellow cigar-shaped objects? They are the wasps, huddled together in neat order, waiting for the evening to come.

Image Credit
The species is native to the lowlands of central and northern South America, so unless you live there you are not going to stumble across something like this in the forest – although whether that is a shame or a relief entirely depends on you.  However, these wasps have developed a kind of night vision which means that they swarm and forage only after the sun goes down.  Until then, they adopt this position under the comb face of their nest – and it is entirely defensive.

The Assassin Bug – Malaysia’s Macabre Miniscule Murderer

Saturday, 1 February 2020

It is less than a centimeter in length and that is something for which, quite possibly, we can be truly grateful! This assassin bug, found in Malaysia, has a trick up its sleeve once it has finished its dinner. It attaches the empty carcases of its victims on its back – a ploy thought to be an attempt to avoid becoming a victim itself.


A Sea Slug Symphony

Saturday, 4 January 2020

The nudibranch is a soft bodied marine gastropod mollusk – but many people simply refer to them, perhaps somewhat unfairly, as sea slugs.  You can see why they gained this nick name (even though it is often taxonomically inaccurate too!) but compared to the land bound version they are an explosion of color and grace.  Here are just a few of the 3,000 species. (Image Credit Flickr User CW Ye)


This beautiful creature is found in the Western Pacific. A rich pinkinsh purple color, they have a white border on their mantle. They would be startling enough without, but their rhinophore clubs are an orange-yellow color that is a startling juxtaposition with the rest of their bodies. This exquisite creature is formally known as Hypselodoris apolegma.

The Water Vole - Back from the Brink

Saturday, 26 October 2019

It was not so long ago that naturalists were predicting that the Water Vole would be extinct in the United Kingdom within a few years. Predation by the North American Mink, loss of habitat and pollution seemed to be the main culprits.

The much loved small mammal, immortalized in fiction as Ratty (left) in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows, seemed destined for the history books.  It was given protected status as late as 2008 - a legislative moved considered by many to be too little too late.

Yet just a few years after their dire predictions it seems that the water vole is back from the brink, testimony to the help it has received from conservationists.

Thriving colonies of over two thousand now exist in several places in the UK. Less than ten years ago, surveys of the same places revealed only a scattering of water voles, less than twenty in each location.  If those numbers have made you raise an eyebrow you may not know just how fecund a water vole can be. Left to her own devices a female can produce up to thirty young in a season with up to eight baby voles per litter. So, what did the environmentalists do to aid such a dramatic come back for this semi-aquatic rodent?

The African Fish Eagle – Kleptoparasite Extraordinaire

Sunday, 6 October 2019


The National Bird of two countries - Zimbabwe and Zambia – the African Fish Eagle is a bird that, with its gorgeous snow white head, once seen is never forgotten.

The Eagle is found in most parts of the continent – as long as you are south of the edge of the Sahara Desert.  Also known as the African Sea Eagle it is found anywhere near where there is water containing fish.  It has a distinctive call which immediately identifies it, but what really stands out is its magnificent plumage.

The Banana Slug – Nature’s Giant Recycler

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Perhaps it is the mucus, perhaps the snake-like appearance or the habit of many species of slug to regard your garden and the carefully cultivated plants within as dinner – but the slug generally has a pretty bad press.

So, if you just groaned in horror at the picture above, you are in good company. A lot of people don’t like slugs. The sight of them in a garden has been known to turn even the most mild mannered in to mad mollusk murderers. Yet the giant Banana Slug, the second largest in the world (after the European Limax), has more than just its size and resemblance to a certain yellow fruit as a claim to fame. This is one of the unsung champions of the forest, for the banana slug only eats dead organic material which they then turn in to soil.

The Pink Robin: The Gloriously Pink-breasted Bird

Sunday, 18 August 2019

The robin, both European and American is famous for its red breast.  The subject of nursery rhymes and Christmas cards the male of the species is resplendent in red. Australia, too, has a robin.  One might, of course, expect this particular country to produce something a little different: it has form, after all.  So, step forward the pink robin, Australia’s passerine of pulchritudinous pinkness.


Just in case you think this is some kind of practical joke, here's a rare and short video of the pink robin.

The Hyrax – The Elephant’s Cousin

Saturday, 17 August 2019

The Hyrax may look like a guinea pig to the casual observer but looks can be very deceptive.  It has even been called the rock rabbit but its family tree is much stranger than you might expect. Its nearest living relatives are the elephant and, bizarrely, the sea cow.

Caught In The Web: How Spiders Eat their Prey

Friday, 16 August 2019


Imagine you are an insect caught in a spider web. What exactly will happen to you once the spider comes and, as it were, sits down beside you? It’s not a pretty process, that’s for sure but some amazing macrophotography can make even death a thing of beauty...

The fate of a creature caught in a spider web often holds a morbid fascination to the casual viewer. The urge to release them may be strong but many hold back, perhaps afraid that if they assist the struggling animal then a similar fate may well be in store for them.

The Remarkable Giraffe Weevil of Madagascar

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Three guesses how the giraffe weevil gets its name. Unsurprisingly, this extraordinary looking Madagascan creature gets the name from its stupendously long neck.  It is three times longer in the male than the female of the species (Trachelophorus giraffa). As such it is sexually dimorphic – the male’s neck is used for aggressive combat.

When it comes to mating, it is certainly the male of the species which is more deadly.  The giraffe weevil has evolved its extended neck to fight for the right to a nearby female (which will patiently await the outcome of the fight and even occasionally act as a kind of referee before procreating with the winner). They show no aggression towards other species, neither hunting nor eating other animals. It is rare for males to kill each other in this struggle.

The Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama - The Spider-Man Lookalike Lizard

The lizard that looks an awful lot like a certain superhero is in huge demand in pet shops. Take a look and find out why.

Fans of Peter Parker’s erstwhile alter ego Spider-Man who also happen to be animal lovers have discovered their ideal pet.

Looking strangely like the comic and movie hero, step forward the Mwanza flat-headed rock agama. Yet if you suddenly want to run out and buy one, you need to consider the facts first of all.

Amung Feedjit