New Caledonian crows are smart, very very smart. Last January the BBC highlighted a study that illustrated their tool making ability. They were shaping hooks out of plant material that they then used to fish for insets. These were not simply random twigs, but consisted of hooks that were far more efficient. These crows are … Read more Vending machines for some very smart crows
Mammal extinction is not simply something from the dim and distant past. In 1680 Sir Ewen Cameron killed the last Scottish Wolf in Killiecrankie (Perthshire). In 1786, the last wolf was killed in Ireland. So what other mammals once existed in the British Isles and when did they go extinct? Here is a brief list (culled from here) … Read more New Study Reveals Ancient Humans Hunted Big Mammals To Extinction
Today is officially International Darwin day. No seriously, it really is, I’m not making that up, the 12th February is officially Darwin day. It was chosen because Charles Darwin was born on 12th February 1809, and so it is celebrated all around the world today. Celebrating the life and works of Charles Darwin goes right … Read more Debunking 5 common Darwin myths – #DarwinDay
It’s an exciting new discovery, evidence that humans wandered out of Africa far earlier than has been previously appreciated. The media is quite rightly all over it, and has been trumpeting the details. For example … Washington Post – Scientists discover the oldest human fossils outside Africa BBC – Modern humans left Africa much earlier NPR – New … Read more Discovery of oldest modern human out of Africa – Some context
The classical image of dinosaurs that we carry within our heads is that they were scaled up lizards. This is not simply a cultural view, but was the initial scientific one. Back in 1842 paleontologist Richard Owen coined the word dinosaur from Greek as a description of the term “fearsome lizard”. We perhaps still carry that … Read more Did Dinosaurs really have feathers?
The term Yeti is a familiar one to most people. It describes the ape-like creature that supposedly dwells in the snow peaked Himalayas. For most this is simply a popular cultural myth, but some true believers do exist. Just to be clear … Quantity of actual scientific evidence that the Yeti is or was real … Read more The Evolution of the Yeti