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Currently Browsing: Science & Nature

A Hedgehog Named Heather!

I’ve got a hedgehog named after me! This is one of the coolest things ever to happen to me in my life, and a great honour! The hedgehog is a rescue one at the SWCC Hedgehog Hospital in Hertfordshire, England. I suspect intervention by science communicator Amy Carparelli. A £25 donation allows you to sponsor a hedgehog that the hospital is caring for. (Update 19 July: It turns out that my re-tweets... read more

Tusked Weta Versus Foraging Pig

Regular readers may remember my recent post about the rare New Zealand Mountain Stone Weta. The Tusked Weta (Motuweta isolata) is also critically endangered, though its impressive tusks and usual habitat make it slightly better known. I always thought “The Dead Wetas” would be a really good heavy metal band name. (See below for a Heavy Metal Band Name Generator.) The Mountain Stone Weta, with... read more

Simon’s Cat Logic: Is Your Cat Talking to You?

There’s a new episode in the Simon’s Cat Logic series: ‘Is Your Cat Talking to You?’. I like this episode very much as it actually answers questions definitively that people have about their cats. It also answers a question that came up for me just yesterday when stroking my mother’s cat. She (Mum’s cat) got on her side, exposing her belly to me, but Mum said she... read more

New Zealand’s Stone Weta – Genuine Cryogenics

The Mountain Stone Weta is the subject of the fourth release in a row from BBC Earth relating to New Zealand. They’re on quite a roll when it comes to short clips about my country, which I’m loving of course. There are more than seventy species of weta in New Zealand, some more common than others. According to Wikipedia, they belong to the families Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae, though... read more

The Carniverous Giant Powelliphanta Snail

Nobody loves me Everybody hates me I’m going down the garden to eat worms … That’s the children’s poem that came to mind when I saw this video. It’s of Powelliphanta snail, a rare giant snail that’s native to New Zealand. The Powelliphanta snail is carniverous, and mostly eats worms – “sucking them down like spaghetti”. They also eat slugs from time to... read more

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