The Adder (Or European viper) – Vipera berus

Oh, be still my beating heart! What a day. Adders are gorgeous snakes. Unbelievably pretty and exotic looking for what is the most northerly distributed member of the viper family. They are a short, stout snake, maximum length here in the UK is around 80cm (slow worms can be longer!) with a weight of upContinue reading “The Adder (Or European viper) – Vipera berus”

Caturday Special: The Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocola)

A look at the little known, beautiful and elusive South American small cat, the Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocola). Particularly a discussion on taxonomy and evidence for evolution and speciation in action.

Top 5 Saints #1: Saint Francis of Assisi

Widely revered, always respected, but with lessons all too seldom heeded. We look at the Patron Saint of Animals, Saint Francis of Assisi.

Wicked Problems: Trophy Hunting

A look at the complex issue of trophy hunting and conservation – a very wicked problem with no easy solution.

Dungeness – Weird and Wonderful

A look at Dungeness Nature Reserve, an amazing area of unparalleled biodiversity in the UK, full of moths, butterflies, bees, wasps, flies and beetles, a unique habitat and ecosystem that begs to be walked around and explored.

Caturday Special: The Giant Cheetah, Acinonyx pardinensis

A look at the Giant Cheetah, Acinonyx pardinensis – it’s basically a cheetah but bigger (and possibly slower) but it allows us to learn about the role of adaptation as an evolutionary mechanism.

Caturday Special: The Ocelot, Leopardus pardalis

A look at one of the most beautiful coated cats in the world, the ocelot. Small, but not too small, these medium sized cats range from the USA to Argentina, making their living mostly eating small prey and hiding from just about anything else. An adorable cat that was once overhunted for its pelt or to be sold into the pet trade. These things are so damn cute.

The Aspinall Elephant Controversy

A look at the plan by The Aspinall Foundation to re-wild 13 captive, Kentish born elephants into ‘the wild’ in Kenya and why many scientists, conservationists and local community groups think it might not be such a good idea and is, in fact, ego-conservationism being done by someone who might have more financial interest in it than people could be led to believe.

Celestial Classics: Artemis

Another in our Celestial Classics series in which we look at aspects of astronomy, usually celestial bodies but also a NASA mission in this case, and the myths that inspired their names. Today is the turn of the Goddess Artemis, the Greek mythological goddess of the hunt, of chastity, of pregnancy and childbirth, of the wilderness, hunting and those aspects of brutality to which humans must accept their place or else be doomed to destroy the very world on which they live. She is my favourite and I won’t hear a word against her!

Caturday Special: The Sand Cat, Felis margarita

The sandcat, one of the cutest and most amazing cats on the planet. This small, adorable bundle of fluff has been known to eat desert monitor lizards its own size and venomous snakes – although mostly it eats small rodents, lizards, birds and insects. They rarely drink, using their efficient kidneys to obtain moisture from their prey. They’re just unbelievable, something this cute should not be so tough but they are hard as nails and can teach us a lot about how we should adapt to our environment rather than unsustainably developing techniques and technologies that force our environment to adapt to us.

Be more sandcat.