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Animal World
Why the British fall prey to tales of big cats on a country estate
Wings of desire: why birds captivate us
New to nature no 110: Sandalolitha boucheti
Lundy bird populations soar after rats eradicated
Peter Kendall puts all our eggs in one basket
So monogamy works for some animals. Doesn't mean it's 'natural' for us
Nepal's tiger population on the rise
Drunkenly delirious insect music
Woolly mammoth DNA may lead to a resurrection of the ancient beast
Hedgehog wins UK natural emblem poll
How to clone a mammoth
Swallows hurtle into the outhouse at breakneck speed
Chimps make a break for it at Twycross zoo
Britain's barn owls under threat due to extreme weather
The last emperors
Big wings a-beating over a peaceful pond
As horse deaths mount, campaigners ask: what price a day at the races
New to nature no 111: Typhleotris mararybe
On patrol with the fox ambulance
The world's first cruelty-free hamburger
Britain's grey long-eared bats may die out without help, conservationists warn
Resurrecting woolly mammoths is exciting but it's a fantasy
Dangerous dogs legislation don't mess it up again
Starved polar bear perished due to record sea-ice melt, says expert
  Why the British fall prey to tales of big cats on a country estate
A loping black shape moves through the long grass of an English field. It might be a big cat. The way it lowers its shoulders does resemble a feline stalking posture. It makes me think of Henri Rousseau's painting Surprised!, in which a tiger with similar hunched shoulders hunts in an imaginary jungle. But there's the key word imaginary. Is this big cat real or is it an illusion? The blurred photograph (why so shaky, was it fear or fake fear?) reveals what genre this picture belongs to. It's summer and the monster animal snaps are here.
  Wings of desire: why birds captivate us
Our affections for wild animals are distributed very unevenly. Take insects. Some 750,000 species have already been documented worldwide and the great American naturalist EO Wilson called them "the little things that run the world". Through their recycling of nutrients and the supply of base-level protein to a vast array of higher life forms, insects underpin the existence of life on this planet. Yet when it comes to human concern for creepy-crawlies, forget it.
  New to nature no 110: Sandalolitha boucheti
The family Fungiidae are commonly known as mushroom corals because of a strong resemblance to the underside of the cap of a gilled mushroom. They are distributed in tropical seas of the Indo-Pacific and may be found among a diversity of reefs: shallow flats, deep reefs and reefs both offshore and situated near the mouths of rivers. Most mushroom corals detach in the adult stage and become solitary and free living, although some remain connected to their substrate. Dense swarms of adults are observed consisting of one or more of the 50 species in the family.
  Lundy bird populations soar after rats eradicated
A project to eradicate rats from a rocky island off Devon has resulted in a tenfold increase in the population of an endangered burrowing seabird that nests there, conservationists have revealed. Wildlife charities are delighted that the removal of rats from Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, has apparently led to a dramatic boost to the number of Manx shearwaters and other birds on the island.
  Peter Kendall puts all our eggs in one basket
It was good to see Peter Kendall, the president of the National Farmers' Union, recognising the gravity of climate change, and the threat posed to farming by the extreme weather events that it will bring. Identifying the problem is an important starting point - but it doesn't necessarily mean we at the RSPB agree on the solution. Kendall, perhaps predictably, wants to secure the biggest technological armoury possible, including pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  So monogamy works for some animals. Doesn't mean it's 'natural' for us
There has been a good deal of press coverage surrounding a research study that addressed the question of how human monogamy came about, from an evolutionary perspective. This suggested that males in monogamous mammal species remain with female partners to protect their families from other males, who would otherwise kill the young and mate with the females.
  Nepal's tiger population on the rise
Tigers are more numerous in Nepal than at any time since the 1970s, a new census has revealed, giving conservationists hope that the big cats, whose numbers have been dropping across south Asia for 100 years, can be saved. The number of wild royal bengal tigers in Nepal has increased to 198 a 63.6% rise in five years the government survey showed. "This is very encouraging," said Maheshwar Dhakal, an ecologist with Nepal's national parks and wildlife conservation department.
  Drunkenly delirious insect music
The sound is faint at first, a kind of thickening of the air as the cumulus clouds sail in. Then, like rain, it builds into static as branches close overhead, until being under the lime trees is to be immersed in a soft white noise. Listen closer and the sound is made up of thousands upon thousands of insects: bumblebees, solitary bees, honey bees, wasps, hoverflies, all feeding from the lime flowers. The scent is heady, intoxicating; the insects frenetic, visiting as many flowers as they can.
  Woolly mammoth DNA may lead to a resurrection of the ancient beast
The pioneering scientist who created Dolly the sheep has outlined how cells plucked from frozen woolly mammoth carcasses might one day help resurrect the ancient beasts. The notional procedure bringing with it echoes of the Jurassic Park films was spelled out by Sir Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh-based stem-cell scientist, whose team unveiled Dolly as the world's first cloned mammal in 1996.
  Hedgehog wins UK natural emblem poll
It is a prickly character with a voracious appetite, a passion for gardens and a noisy sex life, and now the hedgehog has been chosen as the best natural emblem for the British nation. The insectivorous mammal, which has rapidly declined in numbers in recent years, surprisingly triumphed over the charismatic badger and the oak in a BBC Wildlife Magazine poll to find a national species for Britain.
  How to clone a mammoth
It is unlikely that a mammoth could be cloned in the way we created Dolly the sheep, as has been proposed following the discovery of mammoth bones in northern Siberia. However, the idea prompts us to consider the feasibility of other avenues. Even if the Dolly method is not possible, there are other ways in which it would be biologically interesting to work with viable mammoth cells if they can be found.
Heed the call of the wild: don't cull the wolf
Costa Rica state zoo closures may face legal battle
Hunter valley mines may force out horse studs
British farmers must face the facts about self-sufficiency in food
Four suffer minor injuries in Yellowstone grizzly bear attacks
Pigs: a very British obsession
New to nature No 112: Lichenagraecia cataphracta
My battle with the urban fox
The great drama in the birds' year that humans invariably fail to notice
Birdwatch: Arctic tern
Cat burglar lands owners with a pile of stolen goods
Moscow investigates 'pigeon apocalypse'
Badger cull start date set
Threatened species
Thailand cracks down on illegal elephant ring
Guinea pigs are the lowest form of pet
Justice Department sues Texas over new voter ID law
Lifeboat rescues dolphin from shallows of river Dee
High court judge delivers order protecting badger cull farmers
Fears for seabirds as global warming affects coastline
Tasmanian devils to be released back on to mainland
Peta urges Uefa to ban animal slaughter in European football
Four Fields by Tim Dee review
Brian May hits out at 'propaganda' war against RSPCA on eve of badger cull
Cat Sense by John Bradshaw review
Giant panda's second cub stillborn in delivery at Washington's national zoo
Black Caviar World's Top-Ranked Horse
Five Unusual Ways Scientists Are Studying Climate Change
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Teenagers arrested over suspected swan theft
Quest to save the snow leopard
Python that killed two brothers 'had escaped from pet shop'
Python that killed boys was house pet
Two-year-old girl bitten by rottweiler
Bristol zoo investigates alleged punching of seal by keeper
The robin that became my friend
Ivory worth $5m seized in Hong Kong
Dog-tired: hounds keep best yawns for human pals not strangers
Badger cull is right thing to do, says David Cameron
Florida officer saves nearly 100 baby sea turtles from hotel parking lot
Hen harrier close to extinction in England, says RSPB
Giant panda Tian Tian may be pregnant, say Edinburgh zoo staff
Edinburgh zoo's (possibly) pregnant panda and the economics of captivity
Toxic Fukushima fallout threatens fishermen's livelihoods
Abandoned terrapins stalk Lake District
Snorkel safari reveals UK's vibrant marine marvels
Kiev's dog hunters go on the attack to rid the city of strays
Condors found 'poisoned' in Chile
Cleethorpes locals donate £1,500 to help find donkey attackers
Badger cull: only small proportion of shootings to be monitored for humaneness
Champion animals parade before a table loaded with trophies
Scientists breed glow-in-the-dark rabbits
A pig's tale: the porker that jumped ship in the first world war