Top Ten Hated (But Misunderstood) Animals – 1 – Wasps

It’s about wasps!

Top Ten Hated (But Misunderstood) Animals – 2 – The Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

The brown rat (rattus norvegicus) is a beautiful, cute and highly successful creature that has not only become a companion of humans across the world but helps us dispose of our rubbish by eating it, helps maintain our sewers by keeping them clean and clear for their own purposes and has sacrificed uncountable members of its species to further our scientific curiosity.

Yet they are universally hated as a disease-spreading pest, a destroyer of crops, a horrid and beastly home invader and – it’s bollocks. It’s mostly lies, unfounded myth.

This is my rat redemption. It’s time we change the way we think about rats and learn to live alongside them. If for nothing else than the noble sacrifices they have become in our medical services industry.

Top Ten Hated (But Misunderstood) Animals – 4 – Vultures

A lengthy essay about the vulture, what it means to us, its historical reputation and the omens and portents it used to bring, it’s modern reputation and what it means to us now. I also look at the conservation and ecological crises of the Indian vulture crisis and the California condor and discuss how the scientific community came together to make a huge difference in terms of discovery and helping numbers.

Top Ten Hated (But Misunderstood) Animals – 7- The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

A defence of the fox in a PR war that the anti-fox lobby is definitely losing. The UK’s largest predator, a beautiful canid, the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, is a shining example of adaptive success. They are wonderful animals, a true blessing to see in our countryside and our urban environments, a great control of over-abundant rabbits and a consumer of our waste food saving us untold amounts of money on waste disposal. The fox still has a reputation, mainly due to a lobby determined to see it held up as a villain to justify their own bloodsport. Fox hunting is an abhorrent and unjustifiable practice that should be totally banned.

Top Ten Hated (But Misunderstood) Animals: 10 – Bats (Order Chiroptera)

Bats! The order Chiroptera. Our mammalian cousins of-the-night, often considered a scary animal, associated with death, dark, withcraft and misfortune but are they really spooky? I argue no. They are a remarkably diverse order of species and even the spookiest of the bunch, the vampire bat, is a suprisingly conscientious and sharing species. So bats, some people may hate them but I think they’re just misunderstood.

Top Ten Sharks #8 – The Buzzsaw Shark, Helicoprion sp.

Today we discuss the Buzzsaw Shark, Helicoprion sp. – Which…inevitably leads us, via Michael Phelps, to Hallucigenia and back to the buzzsaw shark. It’s a weird ride but if you want to find out about a sea predator with a spiral of teeth in its maw, and how it used them, you need to be on it.

Top Ten Sharks #9 – The Blue Shark, Prionace glauca

Why am I following up the behemoth with a mouth that could crush the core of the Earth, the megalodon, with a 3m (around 10 feet) cuddly toy? Well because I think sharks are cute. I think the blue shark is one of the cutest animals on the planet. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous andContinue reading “Top Ten Sharks #9 – The Blue Shark, Prionace glauca”

Top Ten Sharks: #10 – Megalodon, Otodus megalodon

Learn all about the famed mega-shark Megalodon – Is it still out there? …Erm, no. But that doesn’t make it one fascinating creature to learn about, study and find out how it used a ridiculously powerful bite to literally crush whales!

Top Ten Sharks: Introduction

An introduction to the basics of sharks, explaining what the chondrichthyes are (fish made of cartilage) what the elsamobranchs are (basically sharks and rays) and a little bit of the natural history, the evolutionary past, and the sensory craziness that makes sharks so a misunderstood and awesome group of animals to study.

Forget Jaws, We Lack Discipline will teach you the reality of these maligned, misunderstood beauties.

Caturday Special The Origin Story: Proailurus and Pseudaelurus

Roughly translating to ‘before cat’ (even though it’s first cat) and ‘fake cat’ (even though its real cat) respectively, Proailurus and Pseudaelurus are the ancestral genera of all cats.  Do you remember the lesson from last time? Genera is the plural of genus and is the classification of living things, the group above, in sequence,Continue reading “Caturday Special The Origin Story: Proailurus and Pseudaelurus”