// archives

Natural History

This category contains 45 posts

Butterflies by Post

Spanish firm Mariposeando supplies live Monarch butterflies for celebrations and events. (They are sustainably raised by mentally and physically handicapped workers.) All you have to do is open the special shipment box and the butterflies will flutter free, up into the sky. It costs from 20 Euros for two butterflies to 935 Euros for a […]

Golden Retriever Takes Over From Tiger Mom

When a safari park tiger refused to nurse her cubs a Golden Retriever stepped in to suckle and clean them. See her in action:   Golden Retriever takes on white tiger cubs from Travis Heying on Vimeo.

Fantastic Factology for the London 2012 Olympics

Fantastic Factology has been gathering facts from the public about “surprising things in life” – the best will be engraved onto plaques sited on benches around the 2012 London Olympic site, which will (hopefully) be visited by “generations of future visitors”.  You can see some of the facts on the Fantastic Factology website. It seems […]

GPS Rhinos

A number of South African rhinos have had GPS devices inserted into their horns, to try to stop them being poached – the GPS alerts game wardens if the rhino is detected to be in an unexpected location, behaving in an odd manner (sleeping too long) or running. The hope is to stop the illegal […]

The Animal Review

The Animal Review: The Genius, Mediocrity, and Breathtaking Stupidity That Is Nature, by Jacob Lentz and Steve Nash is an objective  (and humorous) review of animal species. The king cobra gets A+ and the garden snail D- (although garden snails regularly outwit TV Mole despite regular mass murder attempts in order to preserve the vegetable […]

Ocean Photography

National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry takes photographs of ocean life, in his own words: “both the horror and the magic of the ocean”. In this TED talk he explains why humans must be good custodians of the oceans. Watch the video:

Tree Museum

Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea has opened the world’s first tree museum featuring 22 species, some 130 years old. 120 trees at a time will be on display in themed exhibitions. Visit it here. Hat tip: PSFK

Secret Scientific Live of Trees…and Prisons

Nalini Nadkarni is the founder of the Big Canopy Database that documents her research in the canopies of jungles in Costa Rica, the Amazon and Papua New Guinea. She also works with violent men in high security prisons, giving them science lessons and giving them images of nature to help inmates become calmer and less […]

Plankton Pictures

As part of The Royal Society‘s 350th anniversary, Dr Richard Kirby of the University of Plymouth, has collected a series of stunning plankton pictures. The photographs are on show at London Zoo until the end of 2010 or you can see some of them on the BBC News website.

Elephant Talk

Scientists at San Diego Zoo have discovered the secret language of elephants. As well as ‘trumpeting’, elephants growl at a low frequency, which is how the elephants normally communicate – particularly when a new calf is about to be born. Read more on BBC News.

Five Hundred Ship Wrecks

Mauritania’s Nouadhibou Bay is home to some of the world’s last Monk Seals. It’s also the resting place of around 500 derelict ships; most of which have been abandoned and reported as sunk to insurance companies. The ships are gradually rusting away, polluting the surrounding ocean with diesel and oil, and creating a hazard for […]

Lion Burgers and Camel Cutlets Anyone?

A restaurant in Arizona got more publicity than it bargained for when it promoted lion burgers in its newsletter as a tie-in to the football world cup in South Africa: bomb threats. But reporters found a more intriguing story when they tried to find the source of the lion meat – via a butcher called […]

The Perfection of Pollen

Jonathan Drori, the first Head of Commissioning for BBC Online, has taken to waxing lyrical about the wonders of pollen. Watch the video or read the transcript to find out “why it’s not just something that gets up your nose”:

Weird Weather

In Orissa, India, there used to be six distinct seasons, each lasting two months; today there are just two.  John Parker reports that people around the world are noticing that their seasons are shifting or shrinking and explores the effect this is having on people and wildlife, and discovers that whole food chains are being […]

Gorrillas Doomed?

Bad news for gorillas, according to CNN, which reports that logging, mining, poachers and the Ebola virus mean that gorillas may be extinct in central Africa by 2025. Read a United Nations report on the situation: The Last Stand of the Gorilla – Environmental Crime and Conflict in the Congo Basin

The Cove Team Takes on LA

Whilst waiting to collect their Oscar, it seems that Louie Psihoyos,  director of feature-length dolphin slasher documentary The Cove couldn’t help but indulge in a little more activisim, this time in a Santa Monica sushi bar call the Hump, which  was suspected of serving illegal whale meat. Louie and his team turned up for dinner […]

Brooklyn Brainery

Brooklyn Brainery is a new kind of night school. It hosts peer-to-peer classes on everything from Applied Meteorology to Paper Arts via Beauty School Dropout (the history and politics of make up), which are described as “book clubs on steroids”. Whilst class tutors know about the subject, their role is more one of guidance than […]

Streetlight Storm

Artist Katie Paterson was commissioned by Vauxhall Motors to create an art work on the theme of re-inventing British classics. Paterson took a British seaside town as her inspiration and created an evocative work for Deal Pier. Along the length of the pier, out to sea, the lights flicker in time with lightning storms as […]


iSpot is a Lottery funded Open University project that allows people to upload their photos of wildlife sightings and discuss them or ask for help in identification.  One of the latest observations is an albino squirrel in Hastings and grey seals near Falmouth. The site is UK focused but does accept worldwide sightings (although it […]

Chimps in Mourning

National Geographic Magazine published a photo of  a group of chimps at a sanctuary in Cameroon apparently mourning the death of one of their own, a female chimp in her late 40s called Dorothy, who died of congestive heart failure. Read the story behind the photo here.


As winter draws in and the birds return to your bird table you might want to make your own bird videos with the Wingscapes BirdCam, which is a weatherproof, motion-triggered camera you can attach to your bird feeder to get up close and personal photographs and moving images of the birds pecking at your nuts. […]

Crappy Taxidermy

Crappy Taxidermy is a site dedicated to ill-executed, ill-advised or just plain wrong taxidermy specimens, from a rat covered in blood to a cat that appears to have turned into a vase. Let’s hope Benson – the 64lb 25-yr-old British carp that recently died, and is deeply mourned by the fishing community – doesn’t suffer […]

The Endangered Species Project

More art with purpose: The Endangered Species Print Project produces prints of species that are at risk of extinction. Prints are $50 each and come in editions of how many animals of that species are left. So, for example, there are believed to be no more than 100 Panamanian Golden Frogs left in the wild, […]

Do Lectures

Do Lectures – If you feel like you need some inspiration to get off your arras and do something head down to Cardigan Bay in West Wales on 3rd September for five days of inspirational talks in a woodland setting. Well, actually you can’t because you have to apply in advance and go into a […]

Truck Farm

Truck Farm is a roving farm and film project set in Brooklyn. It’s run by filmmakers Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney who have fitted out an old dodge truck with green roof technology and timelapse cameras to grow a flat bed of crops and record their progress. For a subscription of $20 you get updates […]

Wanted: What the Specialist Factual Commissioners Want in the UK

At the Intelligent Factual conference a couple of weeks ago, specialist factual channel execs talked about which programmes have recently worked well for them and what they are looking for in the future. Click through to see what BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, Ch4, BIO, History UK and Crime & Investigation want in their science, history, art, religion and natural history slots. (Photo by plagel under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Elephant Car Wash

Elephants at a wildlife park in Oregon are working for their peanuts by washing cars with their trunks. It costs visitors $20 to get their cars cleaned. See them in action in the video.


The fabulous Museum of the City of New York has a new exhibition, in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Society, which features the work of landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson. He’s spent ten years recreating the landscape and ecology of Manhattan in 1609, the year when Henry Hudson, an English explorer, arrived. His research reveals the […]

Online Elephant

People have been flocking to watch the first live online elephant birth and follow the calf’s progress. 555,584 people saw the birth of Baby K as it streamed live from Antwerp Zoo in Belgium. At its peak, the site attracted more people than did the live feeds for the 2008 Olympic Games.  There was a […]

The High Line Opens in NYC

The long awaited High Line park has opened in – or rather above –  NYC. Built in the 1930s to carry freight above the streets of an industrial area of New York (reinvented as the the trendy Meatpacking District and an area of warehouses that now house art galleries) it has been rescued from disrepair, […]

Fortnum and Mason Bees

Urban bee-keeping has gone upmarket – grocers to the Queen Fortnum & Mason, are keeping bees on the roof of the store in Piccadilly, London, where the bees “fly high above Mayfair, visiting the grounds, gardens and squares of the best addresses in London, gathering rather superior nectar.”  This neatly taps into the grow/buy local […]

Alexander von Humboldt and the Botanical Exploration of the Americas

A new book has been published to mark the 150th anniversary of Baron Alexander von Humboldt’s death. Humboldt was the founder of bio-geography and explained the aurora borealis as well as leading an important botanical expedition to Spain’s American colonies. He recorded all his findings with beautiful illustrations, which are reproduced in the book, Alexander […]

Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project

When Bette Midler moved to NYC, she fitted right in with her big personality and strong opinions. But there was one thing that bothered her – the way people treated their environment. She decided to do something about all the litter on the streets, even if she had to pick it up herself.  In 1995 […]

Exotic Pets

Need a new tiger or a replacement zebra? Texan Cheryl Morgan knows where you can get one. She’s found animals for zoos, movies and commercials. If she doesn’t have what you need roaming about her ranch, she has a global network of contacts she can call.  See what’s she’s got here.

Guerilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardeners go out under the cover of darkness and cultivate neglected public spaces such as grass verges and roundabouts. They have to avoid the attentions of the police, but that adds to the sense of satisfaction when the sun comes up and the border is planted with pretty plants or tasty herbs or veg. […]

Notes from the Road

Erik Gauger has, according to Forbes Magazine “the best looking blog we’ve ever seen”, and they’re not wrong. Notes from the Road is a collection of travel writing, photography and sketches from his travels across the Pacific northwest, the Iberian peninsula, Great Plains and Atlantic Seaboard among other places. Breathtaking photographs are taken with a […]

Mapping Endangered Species

Google continues to take over the world (with the help of Earthwatch this time), as infra-red triggered cameras located in remote locations around the world capture images of rare animals. The cameras are used to identify and audit animals in the wild, but now they’re being added to Google Earth. You should be able to […]

Pretty Shrimp

Go Domestic has a series of photos of weird and wonderful (and vicious) shrimps that you can put in your aquarium. Some look like a cross between creatures from outer space and children’s colourful cartoon characters. See them here.

Earth Hour – Time the Lights to Go Out

Today – 28th March 09 – the lights will go out all around the world as people participate in Earth Hour between 2030 – 2130 local time. Join in by turning off your lights for an hour. The initiative, launched in 2007 by World Wildlife Fund, to raise awareness about climate change. In 2008 400 […]

Koala Kindness

The Australian Herald Sun reported the terrible fires that have swept southern Australia, reporting how more than 10,000 animals have been injured. The RSPCA are working to get food and assistance to animals in distress. But the photograph says it all.

Bear Meets Dog

See a surprising encounter between a polar bear and a husky dog: Visit sixwise.com to see more polar bear/dog interactions.

Dog Saves Dog Story

A stray dog got knocked over on the busy Costanera Norte highway in Santiago, Chile, and another dog ran into the traffic and dragged injured dog to the side of the road. Watch as it uses its paws to drag the dog out of danger. Eventually a rescue service arrives and gets rescues the dog, […]

Now the Animals are Tooling Up

Read Wired’s blog to find out how animals are using tools to outsmart their prey, make life easier or pass a little time: elephants painting, mole rats making face masks (protective rather than spa), Egyptian vultures opening eggs with hammers, birds using rods to fish for bugs, gorillas using walking sticks to cross rivers and […]

Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities is a fascinating blog about the world’s largest rare paper, books and manuscripts collection (covering the natural sciences, history, theology and literature), which is housed in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Visit the blog to see handwritten notebook entries from J.M. Barrie and Ezra Pound, lottery tickets issued to support the Revolutionary War and photographs of 1940s shop window displays, and promotional material for the Sex Pistols.

Get Out More to Spot Potential Factual TV Ideas

Book readings, comedy nights and open days give you access to potential new onscreen talent, and spark new ideas.

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