Curious Kids: why do tigers have whiskers?

Author: Alexander Richard Braczkowski
Date: 5/4/19
Just like how the hairs on your arm can feel a soft breeze blowing or a spider crawling on you, whiskers on a tiger’s face and chin give it messages about what is going on around him or her. But whiskers are not just ordinary hairs. They are thicker and go deeper into the tiger’s skin. In fact,...

Handle with care – the world’s five deadliest poisons

Author: Simon Cotton
Date: 12/4/16
Terrible by name … Phyllobates terribilis. Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr, CC BY-SA Simon Cotton, University of Birmingham When asked to name a poison, people may well think of cyanide, arsenic or strychnine. But these are not the most toxic substances known. More poisonous than these, but still no...

Curious Kids: what happens when fruit gets ripe?

Author: Paul Holford
Date: 11/3/19
Fruit ripening is all about plants getting animals to eat the seeds that are inside their fruits. When the animals have finished eating, they move around and drop the seeds in a different place when they do a poo. This helps the plants get their seeds to somewhere new where they can grow into a new...

Why do bats sleep upside down?

Author: Amy Edwards
Date: 18/3/19
Evolution allows animals to adapt to their environments by favouring those who have an advantage that helps them survive. If they survive long enough to have babies they pass that advantage onto their children through their genes. That process is what we call adaptation. Animals have adapted to liv...

An end to endings: how to stop more Australian species going extinct

Author: John Woinarski, Sarah Legge, Stephen Garnett
Date: 5/3/19
This is part of a major series called Advancing Australia, in which leading academics examine the key issues facing Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election and beyond. Read the other pieces in the series here. We need nature. It gives us inspiration, health, resources, life. But we ar...

Earth’s wilderness is vanishing, and just a handful of nations can save it

Author: James Allan, James Watson, Jasmine Lee, Kendall Jones
Date: 1/11/18
Just 20 countries are home to 94% of the world’s remaining wilderness, excluding the high seas and Antarctica, according to our new global wilderness map, published today in Nature. A century ago, wilderness extended over most of the planet. Today, only 23% of land – excluding Antarctica – an...

Guns, snares and bulldozers: new map reveals hotspots for harm to wildlife

Author: James Allan, Christopher O'Bryan, James Watson
Date: 13/03/19
The biggest killers of wildlife globally are unsustainable hunting and harvesting, and the conversion of huge swathes of natural habitat into farms, housing estates, roads and other industrial activities. There is little doubt that these threats are driving the current mass extinction crisis. Yet o...

Can bees do maths? Yes – new research shows they can add and subtract

Author: Scarlett Howard, Adrian Dyer, Jair Garcia
Date: 7/2/19
The humble honeybee can use symbols to perform basic maths including addition and subtraction, shows new research published today in the journal Science Advances. Bee have miniature brains - but they can learn basic arithmetic. Despite having a brain containing less than one million neurons, th...