Wild Things

The weird and wonderful in the natural world

  1. Animals

    The daemon cat that never was

    Buried in a volume published in 1904 is a description of a new species of cat found in Transcaucasia: Felis daemon, the Black Wild Cat.

  2. Animals

    Reindeer eyes change color in winter darkness

    One part of an Arctic reindeer’s eyes changes color in winter and increases the sensitivity of the animal’s vision.

  3. Animals

    The bromance of the fossas

    Male fossas, mammal carnivores native to Madagascar, hang out with other males to boost their hunting and mating success.

  4. Animals

    Maybe Britain shouldn’t kill its badgers

    A study on badger social networks shows that isolated badgers are the ones that most often carry TB and cause infections among — but not within — groups.

  5. Paleontology

    An ammonite adventure on the Jurassic Coast

    This region is special because fossils are easy to find. They wash out of the cliffs and onto the beach where they are free for anyone to collect, as long as you follow the rules.

  6. Animals

    Mama bird tells babies to shut up, danger is near

  7. Animals

    Eliminating prairie dogs can lead to desertification

  8. Animals

    Rhino beetle horns come cheap

  9. African elephants get the point

    Some elephants get the point

  10. Animals

    The bottom feeding behavior of humpback whales

  11. Animals

    Roadkill prevention could save a species from more than just your car

  12. Animals

    The giraffes that sailed to medieval China

    Chinese exploration of the world is often left out of Western textbooks (at least it was left out of mine), but for a brief period, from 1405 to 1433, the Chinese under Ming emperor Yongle sent out numerous trade missions that reached as far as present-day Kenya. During the fourth expedition, which left China in 1413, part of the fleet led by commander Zheng He sailed to Bengal in India, where in 1414 they met envoys from the African coastal state of Malindi (now part of Kenya). The men from Malindi had brought with them as tribute giraffes, and they gave one of those giraffes to the Chinese, who took it home.