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
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
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
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
migrating birds adopt seasonally distinct migration strategies: following an energy minimization strategy in autumn, driven by resource availability, and a time minimizing strategy in spring, driven by wind conditions.