Most commented posts

  1. Animal Record Holders: Longest Migration — 8 comments
  2. Why are moths attracted to flames? (and other mini questions) — 4 comments
  3. Mythological Monsters: The Animals Behind the Legends — 4 comments
  4. Big Question: How Does Metamorphosis Work? — 4 comments
  5. Bizarre Animal of the Week: Deep-Sea Anglerfish — 3 comments

Author's posts

Aug 24

Big Question: How Does Metamorphosis Work?

As children, we all learn stories about certain very hungry caterpillars that eat and eat and eat until, one day, they spin a cocoon and eventually emerge as a beautiful butterfly. Indeed, the transformation of a small, wriggling caterpillar into a graceful butterfly is a perfect metaphor for change. But the process has become such …

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Aug 24

The Panda Predicament

It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Tian Tian, the female giant panda currently housed at Edinburgh Zoo, might be pregnant. She was artificially inseminated in April of this year after failed mating attempts with the zoo’s resident male, Yang Guang, and is now apparently showing hormonal and behavioural indications of pregnancy. None …

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Aug 22

The African Unicorn: Mystery of the Okapi

Sir Harry Johnston was the very model of a late nineteenth-century African explorer. During the Scramble for Africa – the invasion, colonisation and annexation of African territory by European powers – Sir Harry became well-known as a linguist, botanist, mountain climber, animal collector and colonial administrator. During his time in Africa, Sir Harry came across …

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Aug 20

Animal Relationships: The Goby and the Shrimp

It has all the hallmarks of a successful sitcom: a busy, near-sighted, workaholic landlord and a lazy tenant who is forced to help out, often begrudgingly, to earn his keep. Except this sitcom takes place beneath the sea and involves animals instead of people – namely a type of small fish called a goby and …

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Aug 20

Animal Record Holders: Smartest Invertebrate

In 2008, staff at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, were faced with a puzzling enigma. A lamp in the aquarium kept mysteriously going off, shorting the electricity supply in the entire building and threatening the lives of the other animals when water pumps stopped working. It took the staff three nights, sleeping on …

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Aug 18

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Hagfish

There are many foul and unpleasant animals in the ocean: starfish that voluntarily sick up their stomachs; sea cucumbers that release some of their internal organs through their anus to confuse predators; and parasitic barnacles that effectively castrate the crabs that they infest. But the creature that has been dubbed the ‘most disgusting of all …

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Aug 18

Four Common Animal Misconceptions

Somewhere in the world right now, someone is quoting an animal ‘fact’. And by ‘fact’, I mean something that is commonly believed to be true but is completely and utterly false. These shreds of nonsense are perhaps gleamed from persistent stories and wives-tales, old cartoons or unreliable websites and then passed around by word of …

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Aug 18

Plight of the Penguins

Imagine, if you will, that you are standing in the centre of the Antarctic continent. It is the middle of winter. It is almost pitch black because the sun hasn’t risen for several weeks, and it won’t make an appearance for another few months yet. The only light comes from the southern lights – the …

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Aug 18

Introduction

Hi, my name is Jason and I created this blog to tell people all about the weird and wonderful animals that we share our world with. You can read about penguin prostitutes, gender-swapping fish, perverted pandas and exploding toads – and that’s just to name a few. In addition to amazing adaptations and beastly behaviours, …

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