Posts by Alex Taylor

The definitive directory of dominant females

Males are typically thought of as the stronger sex, the provider and the protector, yet this is a view that is changing. For humans, the lack of female world leaders and inequality in certain aspects of life leads many to believe it very much remains a man’s world, at least for now. But for a … Continued

The truly wonderful life and flight of the Japanese crane

The Japanese crane must surely be one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Its tall stature, striking colouration and tender courtship dance have made it an iconic species in the Far East where it lives. This species is widely regarded as a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity, so is truly worth celebrating … Continued

Natural navigators: The many strange and different ways animals get home

With maps, compasses and new technology, humans find their way around the world with ease. But how non-human animals navigate has been one of nature’s great mysteries. Some species travel short distances around their home environment and some travel over vast distances, migrating to and from breeding grounds. The variety of ways in which different … Continued

Strange facts about tongues

In humans, the tongue is used to manipulate food for chewing and swallowing. It also allows us to taste, the upper surface being covered with between 3,000 and 10,000 taste buds. We also use our tongue for speech, enabling us to make changes in sound. Our tongues are impressive but throughout the animal kingdom tongues are … Continued

5 animals that are almost immortal (and one that actually is)

The typical lifecycle of animals is familiar to us all. We’re born, we reach sexual maturity, we grow old and—eventually—we die. Old age, or ‘senescence’, is the gradual accumulation of cellular degradation and happens to all humans. The older we get, the more likely we are to die. Yet there are some animals for whom … Continued

When evolution goes haywire: 5 examples of maladaptation in the animal kingdom

Many people perceive evolution as a process that continually creates improvement, making animals ever bigger, faster and stronger. However this is not always the case. During sexual reproduction random genetic mutations can occur—some of these mutations cause changes that adapt the animal for optimal survival in its environment. Some changes may be neutral, but some … Continued

Contenders for the cow: Other animals we’ve tried to milk (and why the cow is still tops)

Milk forms part of a healthy diet in humans. It is a great source of calcium—essential for keeping our bones and teeth strong—and protein, which we need for our bodies to grow and repair themselves. Vitamin B-12, vitamin A, vitamin D and potassium are all good for us and are present in milk, and the … Continued

7 little-known facts about Africa’s super seven

Africa is one of the most popular game-viewing destinations on the planet. The continent’s most famous animals were originally sought after by hunters but now it is predominantly tourists who hope to catch a glimpse of these iconic species. This week we’re airing the documentary Africa’s Super Seven on the Love Nature streaming app, so we … Continued

Mighty monsters—Here's 5 utterly petrifying prehistoric sharks

Sharks first appeared on Earth at least 420 million years ago. That’s nearly 200 million years before the first dinosaurs. All these years of evolution have given the many shark species we see today extraordinary abilities, ones that have enabled some to become the ultimate marine predators. Yet the sharks that no longer roam the oceans … Continued

Everything you ever wanted to know about nature's monster of the deep: the giant squid

The giant squid has some impressive stats. Measuring up to 18 metres (59ft) in length and weighing up to 900kg, it is the second largest invertebrate known to exist, second only to the even bigger Colossus Squid. Yet despite its huge size, the giant squid has rarely been sighted, with the first images of a live specimen being taken … Continued

The weird and wonderful world of jellyfish

Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the ocean floor. Despite having no head, heart, brain, bones, cartilage or real eyes, they are still major predators. Their stinging cells are amongst the most complicated cells in the animal kingdom, and many have stings that can cause us serious harm. Yet they are … Continued

Nature’s greatest mysteries

There are natural mysteries all over the world. In the past, our ancestors attributed them to the workings of gods and goddesses. Today, science has provided an explanation for most of them, yet questions remain about many natural phenomenon that we just don’t know the answers to. Here are 10 examples of nature’s greatest mysteries that … Continued

Weird fish

There are almost 28,000 known species of fish in the Earth’s rivers and oceans. They come in various shapes and sizes with different behaviours and life cycles but the one thing many of them do have in common is that, to our mammalian eyes, they are weird. Here is just a small selection of the … Continued

Plants in space, what an oddity!

As we venture further into space, and for longer periods of time, the question of how to feed astronauts is becoming more and more important. Astronauts require 5kg of food and water each day, supplies which are currently sent from Earth. But this would be too expensive and unfeasible on long-term missions to Mars for … Continued

5 amazing wetland animals we'd never heard of before

Wetlands are essential habitats, playing crucial roles in our environment. They protect our shores from waves, reduce the impacts of floods by soaking up water like a sponge, filtering and purifying it so water quality improves, and they absorb pollutants too. Wetlands also provide a habitat for a huge diversity of animals and plants, many of which are … Continued

This is the world's heaviest insect

The Little Barrier Island Giant Weta (Deinacrida heteracantha) has several claims to fame. It is old enough to have seen the dinosaurs come and go. It is the biggest grasshopper in the world, and it is also the world’s heaviest insect. There are over 70 species of weta in New Zealand—the only place on earth … Continued