Is human memory unique?

Many academics believe that only humans can ‘mentally time travel’ to relive their experiences and imagine future ones. But Iona Twaddell reveals new research which indicates humans may not be so unique as scrub jays may share some of the same memory abilities.

Bird Brainiacs

Fact of the Day #2 Pigeons are smarter than most mathematicians. Well, they are if you look at one specific mathematical conundrum called the Monty Hall Problem. The name  comes from the host of an American quiz show, who, at the end of each show, offered a contestant the chance to win a prize. The prize […]

The Dance of the Starlings

This amazing video by Mark Rigler demonstrates the beautiful complexity that exists throughout the natural world. Like a Bach fugue, patterns emerge and fade, interweave, and are exquisitely modified to form an endless variety of beautiful structures. The end result seems too complicated, too ordered, too apparently designed to have appeared by chance. But, like […]

Science Behind the Photo #23

White Stork  (Ciconia ciconia) You may be aware of species, such as kangaroos for instance, which use saliva to cool their bodies in the same way that humans and other primates use sweat. However, did you also know that some animals use their excrement for this purpose? This process is known as urohidrosis and is […]

What’s green, feathery and can’t fly…

Meet the Kakapo. It is flightless, nocturnal, has whiskers, yes I am still talking about a bird. Also known as the owl parrot, the species is endemic to New Zealand. It is such an odd contradiction of an animal. The Kakapo has large wings but cannot fly and yet it can be found feeding 20m […]

Plight of the Penguins

I realise that our blogs have been somewhat penguin-heavy this week and I can assure you that this was in no way planned (at least not on my behalf). I had originally intended this blog to be about the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. However, faced with the prospect of being branded […]

Giant Penguin Discovered in Peru

The dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman and the journey of the Emperor penguins warmed the hearts of millions following the release of March of the Penguins. However, the evolutionary trail of the species is equally as interesting. A new study, published in the journal Science, tells of the discovery of a ‘Giant Penguin’ fossil discovery with implications […]

Pick up a Penguin

Buin Zoo is a marine rescue centre. This happened completely by accident thanks to a single penguin which was found washed up on a beach at Punta Arenas. It was a King Penguin, dying from a bite on the chest by a leopard seal. The locals who found it did the only thing they could […]

Penguin bands

You wake up.  There’s a glorious moment of tranquillity as the world slowly begins to reshape and you realise, aaah, it’s Sunday.  Then, like a burly-but-affable, check-shirted, sledgehammer-wielding navvy, last night hits. What did I…?  Who did I…?  How did it…? You sit up and another brief triumph shatters as the brick in your brain […]

Animal altruism?

This is Kevin. If you thought that all animal babies were cute then I’m sorry to disappoint, as this is probably the ugliest animal you will ever see. It’s not a mutant, nor is it some sort of small dinosaur: it’s a Black Vulture chick and it shouldn’t be there. I don’t mean it shouldn’t […]