British Wildlife of the Week: Collared Dove

With almost a million pairs breeding in the British Isles, it is difficult to imagine that the collared dove was ever anything other than a common resident of our suburban gardens and parks. But surprisingly, this species has only existed…
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Animals in Space

On this day – February 20 – in 1947, the United States loaded several fruit flies onto a captured German V-2 rocket and launched it from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The purpose was to explore the effects…
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Freaky Frogs: Surinam Toad

Perhaps I’m being a little unfair calling this series of articles ‘Freaky Frogs’. After all, the species that we’ve already looked at have certainly been bizarre or remarkable in one way or another, but are they freaky? That’s debatable. However,…
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British Wildlife of the Week: Water Spider

Generally speaking, spiders and water do not mix. If you’re an arachnophobe, ponds might therefore seem like a reasonably safe place to go to avoid eight-legged critters. There are, however, a small number of British spiders that are adapted to…
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Electric Eel: The Swimming Battery

The ability for animals to generate, store and release electricity is more common than many people realise. All living animals produce electrical impulses on an infinitesimal scale; they are the medium by which messages are sent along nerves and are…
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British Wildlife of the Week: Willow Tit

It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century, at the tail end of Queen Victoria’s reign, that the willow tit was detected here in the British Isles. Considering it is a native breeding bird that was reasonably common at…
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Freaky Frogs/Lost Forever: Gastric-Brooding Frog

In this special Freaky Frog/Lost Forever crossover, we’ll be looking at a species that, until relatively recently, exhibited one of the most extreme forms of parental care seen in any frog. Known as the gastric-brooding frog (or platypus frog due…
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British Wildlife of the Week: Vendace

Lurking in the depths of a select few lakes in England and Scotland is our rarest freshwater fish. Known as the vendace, this truly is a relic from the past. The few isolated populations that remain are the last vestiges…
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What Animal Is It?

Today’s What Animal Is It? is a creature that few people have heard of, and even fewer have seen. In my opinion, it’s one of the strangest animals in Europe and the last in an evolutionary line that, long ago,…
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