animals
Someone Please Save the Raccoon

A raccoon scaled a skyscraper in Minnesota, on Tuesday, managing to climb at least 20 storeys on UBS Tower as onlookers snapped photos from outside and within the structure. Read More >>

music
Newts Delay Construction of Church of Sheeran

Musical magnolia man Ed Sheeran has been forced to pause development of a little chapel he was planning to build on his estate in Suffolk, thanks to concerns that his expansive ill-gotten grounds may contain colonies of great crested newts. Read More >>

animals
Belfast Monkey’s Zoobreak Ends in Tragedy

An unnamed spider monkey that broke out of Belfast Zoo enjoyed the free life for just a few short hours, after the animal – unaware of the modern world outside of captivity –was hit by a car on the M2. Read More >>

giz asks
Are Plants Conscious?

Animal rights activists have done stellar work in foregrounding the question of creature-consciousness: no meat-eater is now ignorant of the fact that their food once lived, breathed, maybe nuzzled its kin in a blood-soaked slaughterhouse. Environmentalists have a harder go of it. Fracking footage will always be less upsetting than your average fast food expose: Plants, after all, can’t wail frantically as they’re mowed down by the millions. But does that mean they’re not conscious? Is it sensible, or desirable, to start anthropomorphising crabgrass and dandelions, or are plants really as insensitive as we all instinctively assume? Read More >>

animals
It’s Tourist Season so Scientists are Dredging Loch Ness Again

Scientists who fancy a romantic busman's holiday to the Scottish highlands have come up with a new reason to examine the contents of Loch Ness, with this latest team hoping to analyse the water to hunt for the DNA signatures of mysterious contents. Read More >>

animals
Six Baby Squirrels With Tails Hopelessly Tangled Together Rescued in America

Ever heard of a “rat king”? As urban legend tells us, that’s what happens when the tails of rats get knotted together. Well, apparently the same thing can happen to squirrels, as the startled residents of a town in the US state of Nebraska learned last week. Read More >>

science
Hippo Poo is Suffocating Fish in East Africa

Usually, dumping fish-killing garbage into rivers is a human’s job. But hippos seem to be doing it, too, through their routine mass pooping events. Read More >>

animals
Severed Chicken Head Experiment Shows We’re Underestimating How Many Animals Are Killed by Cars

Roadkill cleanup is a dirty job. But it's not nearly as dirty as it would be without scavengers. Researchers who study these critters think that their roadside eating habits have led humans to seriously underestimate how many animals are killed by cars. Read More >>

animals
New York Court Says Chimps Aren’t People—But It’s Not Happy About It

The five year long struggle to free a pair of captive chimps in the state of New York has finally come to an end. Yesterday, New York’s highest court denied an appeal by the Nonhuman Rights Project, but the judges were clearly unsatisfied with their own ruling, pointing out deficiencies in the legal system’s ability to deal with this “difficult ethical dilemma.” Read More >>

animals
Bored Humans Dumped 104 Quirky Pet Boa Constrictors Last Year

Snake-tipping is emerging as a new menace in the UK's parks and countryside, as people – once they've got some social media content from their quirky reptilian pet choice – are dumping unwanted odd pets like boa constrictors in parks. Read More >>

science
Mad Scientists Taught a Predatory Spider to Jump for Them and Now We’re All Probably Doomed

Scientists at the University of Manchester trained a spider named Kim to jump for them, then recorded her leaps on high-speed cameras. But don’t worry, their research—published Tuesday in Scientific Reports—isn’t meant for anything nefarious. Nah, they just want to learn how to build a whole legion of jumping spider-robots. Read More >>

giz asks
Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?

Cats are enigmatic little creatures. It’s hard to get a read on the species. Does your cat love you, or would it gladly stab you in your sleep, if only it had thumbs and a slightly larger brain? The cat never tells—it thrives on inscrutability. But it can’t help betraying certain signs of its inner life: it’s hard to play things totally cool when you have a large, ungainly tail sticking out of your back, swishing this way and that for no immediately clear reason. Do these movements actually mean anything? Or is this just the species’ way of distracting us from whatever it is they’re really feeling? Read More >>

animals
Someone Wants to Make a ‘Monkey Selfie’ Movie, Because of Course They Do

People may criticise Hollywood for producing the same old thing, but there's something to be said about the film industry making some truly bizarre stuff in the hopes that people will watch it - including repeatedly pumping out biopics starring Tom Hanks. The latest weird thing to happen is that Conde Nast Entertainment has purchased the life rights to David Slater, the photographer who was sued by PETA for refusing to give a monkey the rights to a selfie it took with Slater's camera. Read More >>

animals
Rover.com’s Dogsitting Marketplace is Coming to the UK

Having a dog is busy work. Not as much work as having a child, but still a lot more work than having a cat because dogs are needy and have to be walked. Not that those are bad things, but it does make things a bit trickier if you're out of the house all day or heading off to holiday. You can take a child on a plane quite easily (unfortunately), but dogs are a bit trickier to sort out. That's why the dog care industry is big business, and now the US-based crowd-based dogsitting service Rover.com is making its way here. Read More >>

health
Kids Raised on Farms Are Healthier in Two Important Ways

Scientists have long speculated that the “dirtier” the environment we grow up in—with lots of germs from different people and even animals—the better off our immune system and physical health ultimately will be. A new study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science provides early evidence that a dirty world might even be better for our mental health, too. Read More >>