Nature

Nature

Are trees the victims of theft?

Tree poaching seems an unwise career choice – your loot is heavy, rooted to the ground and entirely conspicuous. Despite this, tree theft for wood is a surprisingly common crime in both the developed and developing world.

Nature

How long can a tree live for?

Surviving the last Ice Age, the world’s oldest known living tree is a five-metre spruce in Sweden known as ‘Old Tjikko’ (right), at an impressive 9,550 years old.

Nature

5 Facts About Clouds

1. In the summer months, clouds sometimes glow a range of different colours: on occasion a pale yellow, at other times a pearlescent silver. Ice crystals are responsible for these glowing clouds (known as notilucent clouds) as they reflect the light of the setting sun.

Nature

Were there ever sharks in the UK?

Yes! And not where you might expect… Recently, archaeologists from the University of Manchester made a shocking discovery – a 310 million year old shark egg case, (or mermaid’s purse), found in a long-abandoned mining tip in Doncaster, Yorkshire!

Nature

Which jellyfish are native to Britain?

Over 200 species of jellyfish have been found worldwide, but only six of these are regularly sighted in British waters. Aurelia aurita – also known as the moon or common jellyfish – is the species most often seen around the British Isles.

Nature

How dangerous can a tree be?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s most dangerous tree is the Manchineel tree, found throughout the Florida Everglades, Central America and the Caribbean. Its sap is so potent that just standing underneath it in a storm will leave you covered in blisters.

Nature

Do snakes get vertigo?

When snakes wriggle along branches, they might appear pretty relaxed. But appearances can be deceiving: the snake is clinging onto the branch with all its might. That’s because, depending on the snake’s size and weight and the texture of the ground, a fall could prove fatal.

Nature

Why do leaves turn red in the autumn?

To survive the winter, deciduous trees need to store sustenance in their roots, which means they must absorb the nutrients in their leaves. Changes in colour are caused by the trees absorbing these essential nutrients. During the sunny summer months, the leaves on trees are green and lush.

Nature

Why are there so many spiders in my house in the autumn?

In Britain spiders can be found all year round, but the majority of species reach maturity in the autumn. This is why more of the eight-legged critters are out and about from September onwards. It's the falling temperatures that drive the spiders indoors, as they're seeking warmth.

Nature

Can elephants see with their trunks?

Although African elephants have a field of vision of only about 20 metres, they can recognise humans at a distance of almost a mile. How? Well, their noses act as a radar. These pachyderms have 2,000 genes dedicated to their sense of smell. In contrast: humans only have 400 olfactory genes.

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