Seen a bright green bird flying over your garden? They are almost certainly ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) – originally native to Asia – that have established a resident breeding population in south-east England.
On the vast steppes of Central Asia, something bizarre and heartbreaking occurred in the space of two weeks last May. A mass ‘die-off’ struck saiga antelopes, a species native to the continent, and more than 60,000 animals died in just four days.
It begins with seemingly harmless flu symptoms. But the enterovirus D68 then becomes a ‘nerve killer’ – in the truest sense of the word. Synapses that are normally responsible for the transduction of nerve cells are destroyed.
Without huskies the expeditions to the North and South Poles more than a century ago would not have been possible. These breeds of dog are not just miracles of endurance capable of covering up to 125 miles per day, they also have a superb sense of direction.
Could the colour of the plate we eat from affect how much of the meal we consume? Sounds like gobbledy-gook but, in fact, this notion is based on a series of studies that found when a food's colour contrasts with the plate on which it is served, fewer calories are consumed.
The length of a voyage was really dependent on the size of the vessel undertaking it – the bigger the boat, the further it could travel. The whaling schooner – the smallest type of whaler – would generally put to sea for no more than six months.