Why colourful bird feathers never fade

Imagine a future where colourants were nearly fade-resistant, on top of being far more sustainable and environmentally friendly. In this scenario a coat of paint could last a lifetime and red sweaters would never dye socks and undies pink. Well thanks to University of Sheffield researchers, an X-ray scattering machine at the ESRF facility in … Continued

Jane Goodall on life, legacy and why dirt-lovin’ youngsters are our best chance to save the world

When Dr Jane Goodall arrives for our interview at the Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto, she’s only moments off the phone talking about November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. It’s there that Dr Goodall will join the world’s most prominent environmental activists and experts, scientists and politicians, all of which have one objective … Continued

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We asked a cryptozoologist whether mythical creatures could actually exist

Have you ever glimpsed a strange animal or unknown creature looking like it had jumped straight out of a book on mythology and folklore? Probably not, but some do—many of these people then report their sightings to Cryptozoology News. Michael Bachman is the founder of the website, a journalistic platform for those who have sighted a cryptid, defined by Wikipedia as ‘an … Continued

'Spectacular' baby bird wings from the time of the dinosaurs found preserved in amber

The wings of two birds that lived among the dinosaurs have been discovered in top condition in Myanmar (Burma). Described in the journal Nature Communications, the tiny wings have been perfectly preserved in amber, after their owners—a brace of baby birds exploring their habitat—became fatally stuck in the ultra-sticky sap of a tropical tree some … Continued

Shark researchers race to name new species before they are lost to science

A team of researchers from the Pacific Shark Research Center in California is racing to name newly-discovered species before they are wiped out by overfishing. The Center’s director Dr. David Ebert and graduate students Jessica Jang, Kristin Walovich and Victoria Elena Vásquez have turned to the crowdfunding site experiment.com in search of backing for their … Continued

Forecasting nature’s double-headed monsters: The science behind anticipating earthquakes

Everyone knows what the aftermath of an earthquake looks like—the collapsed buildings, ramshackle homes, split roadways, not to mention the accompanying dead and displaced. Then of course there’s the potential second stage of the disaster—the tsunami. And as the nasty effects of human accelerated climate change become more apparent and developing nations ramp up infrastructure … Continued

Cities: Evolutionary hot-spots for wildlife

When it comes to field visits, animal biologist and professor at Fordham University Jason Munshi-South doesn’t travel too far. In fact, his research sometimes takes him just as far as his backyard. ‘Our field sites are literally right outside our homes and universities,’ he explains, ‘I can squeeze in some trapping or other sampling in a city … Continued

Crash test bunnies: Does animal testing still matter to you?

Few issues are capable of provoking such an impassioned, conflicted and confused response from people than the use of animals in scientific tests. Ask the average person in the street whether they agree with animal experimentation and a significant percentage will typically say no. Query whether they would take a medicine that has not been … Continued

Meet Brian, a newly discovered surfing spider from Australia

A species of spider just discovered in Queensland, Australia, has been observed surfing waves, swimming and diving underwater to catch its prey, which can include animals as big as frogs. The spider, which can grow to the size of an adult human’s palm, has been called Brian after the noted American theoretical physicist Brian Greene, … Continued

New study reveals intriguing information about inquisitive UK fish

The discovery of distinctive face markings on one of the UK’s most charismatic and inquisitive fish has enabled an underwater photographer to reveal intriguing new information about its behaviour. Paul Naylor has been studying tompot blennies for many years, undertaking more than 100 dives at particular spots in Devon. He recently discovered, thanks to his … Continued

Evolution of the senses: Scientists uncover how sound affects chocolate eating

Ever wondered what a panda thinks as it hears the satisfying snap of bamboo between its teeth? Or whether a lion enjoys its meat more once it’s heard the hearty crunch of bones cracking? Whilst we don’t yet know the full role audition—that is, noise—plays in the Animal Kingdom’s traditional tasting experience, we’ve at least got an … Continued

Astronaut returns to Earth younger and taller than twin brother

If Albert Einstein is correct—and let’s face it, recent discoveries have proved that he has been right about pretty much everything so far—Scott Kelly is now slightly younger than his identical twin Mark. Not because he was born six minutes later (because, of course, identical twins are conceived at precisely the same time, regardless of … Continued

The world biggest pharmacy? The rainforest!

Simply put, the Amazon rainforest is one of our world’s greatest ecosystems. Encompassing over a billion acres of precious ancient growth forests in Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, the rainforest is often called the lungs of the planet, generating about a quarter of the world’s fresh oxygen supply. The Amazon Basin holds one-fifth the … Continued

Researchers revive Antarctic moss piglets frozen after a three-decade long nap, and they’re really, really cute

Cryobiology, the study of biological materials that undergo moderate hypothermia to deep-freeze conditions, has long been considered a potential route to human immortality, but some microorganisms are already masters of the trick. In the spring of 2014 scientists with Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research decided to test the limits of frozen-life, resuscitating three microscopic … Continued

Animals seemingly self-regulate population size through portion control

Researchers show animals aren’t necessarily as resource-greedy as previously thought, in part thanks to maternal diets during pregnancy. For quite some time now biologists have known that the environmental conditions a mother is exposed to during pregnancy can have important and long-lasting effects on her offspring. Genetically speaking, these factors are called maternal effects—conditions where … Continued

Cat’s 'picky' culinary preferences likely genetic

Researchers find that carnivores have retained bitter taste receptors—even those that have evolutionarily lost the ability to distinguish sweet flavours. While us humans savor food on many levels, most people forget that a big part of our partialities come down to our individual taste buds. Though it’s long been thought that the ability to distinguish … Continued

Freshwater fish and amphibians have an enzyme that acts like night-vision goggles

Researchers uncover an enzyme that allows various marine species to see a much wider range of light than us humans — from the blue-greens of marine environments to more cloudy, infrared inland streams. For nearly a hundred years researchers have known that fish and amphibians have an unreal ability to fine-tune their visual abilities to … Continued

This animal has an insane tolerance to alcohol (and no it's not us)

Ever want to take that obnoxious fellow boasting at the pub about their epic booze-tolerance down a few pegs? Try daring them to a g/kg drinking contest with a dwarf hamster. For decades it’s been known that hamsters have a particular fondness for alcohol. Some critters that eat fruits, nuts, and seeds come across the … Continued