Busy bees, busy preparing for the winter ahead. They love this ivy, blooming in September and growing in abundance. So, nature’s little workforce comes in their thousands each day. Their priority now is gathering and storing nectar and pollen to have plenty in reserve to survive through the winter. Honey bees don’t hibernate, so they… Continue reading Bees prepare for winter
Does pond water hold a microscopic key to understanding evolution? Examining pond water with a microscope in 1674, Anton van Leeuwenhoek observed many single-celled organisms, which he called ‘animalcules’. Some formed colonies or clusters, others were clearly multi-cellular, and one of these is a tiny green alga called Volvox. So, could this tiny creature be… Continue reading A microscopic key to evolution – volvox
Nature is said to be the mother of invention, and this we see in the microscopic single-celled Euglena. Euglenas have chloroplasts – green power packs, making sugars using the energy of light. But they also have an eye, of sorts, enabling them to optimise the light conditions for photosynthesis. The ‘eye’ of a Euglena Using… Continue reading Euglena eye and nature’s invention
Cunning as a Fox is a common expression referring to being exceptionaly clever, cunning, or shrewd, especially in devious or underhanded ways. Foxes are certainly shrewd and highly adaptable. But there is little devious or underhand in their ways. Scent plays a significant part in the world of a fox. So, foxes leave their mark.… Continue reading Cunning as a Fox?
Whales communicate by singing over very long distances, creating songs that last for hours, each whale repeating back and adding phrases. Whale communication is not the only sound in the sea. Sounds fill our forests and oceans. But, they are not incidental. They carry meaning and significance. If humans stopped making a racket, we would… Continue reading Whale communication, singing to each other
For tackling climate change, we need major lifestyle changes. That means changing how we source and produce our food. The food we produce and buy is responsible for 60% of global nature loss. But, we personally can make efforts to source better food. Greening our food is healthy for us and the planet. Globally the… Continue reading Greening our food
Never a lender or borrower be, says Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Nature ignores his advice. There is much lending and borrowing in nature’s ways. But perhaps it is more ‘give and take.’ After all, when we lend something, we expect it back. We borrow a lot from nature. Yet, we often forget to give it… Continue reading Nature’s give and take
The effects of global warming may prove counter-intuitive. A clue comes from Aardvarks in their Sub-Saharan habitats. Climate change is making conditions in the semi-arid regions of aardvark distribution hotter and drier. Yet, animals may die of cold with global warming. Perversely, that may be the global warming threat to aardvarks. Aardvarks – nocturnal animals… Continue reading Global warming threat to Aardvarks
Wood mice are essential to woodland life. So, by learning from wood mice, we get a better understanding of ecological intelligence. Study the forest, and we find the intimate relationship between mice, trees and tawny owls. So what do we know about intelligence? In the 1960s, researchers studied animal behaviour in ‘controlled’ laboratory conditions. Placing… Continue reading Learning from wood mice
All life demonstrates ecological intelligence, an ability to solve problems as groups or as ecological systems. This is seen in the behaviour of birds migrating, ants foraging and plants growing and spreading their seed. Life is on the move, a continuous and directed motion.