Ian Connellan

Ian Connellan

Ian Connellan is editor-in-chief of the Royal Institution of Australia.

Ian Connellan is a the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Institution of Australia.

  • Alan Duffy: a passion for science

    Outgoing RiAus Lead Scientist Alan Duffy chats about astrophysics and science communication.

    From staring at the night sky in Northern Ireland to now directing the Space Technology and Industry Institute at Swi...

    December 14, 2021
  • Pedalling towards better health

    A new study estimates that millions of lives could be extended if people rode bicycles rather tha...

    Bicycle riders have long known that riding maintains fitness, and biking has been used as a tool to promote public he...

    December 3, 2021
  • Australian Academy of Science welcomes new head

    Nanotechnology pioneer is first Australian of Indian heritage to lead peak science body.

    Australian National University Distinguished Professor Chennupati Jagadish has been named as the next president of th...

    November 25, 2021
  • The rollout you have when you’re not having a rollout

    The Australian National Dictionary Centre’s 2021 word of the year was the perfect descriptor of o...

    COVID has proven again to be the gift that keeps giving, with the Australian National University’s Australian Nationa...

    November 18, 2021
  • Penicillin for the heart

    New research finds that regular prophylactic penicillin shots can reduce the progression of rheum...

    A new study has found that regular, affordable antibiotic treatment significantly reduced the risk of underlying rheu...

    November 15, 2021
  • Killer asteroids and stargazing

    Ian Connellan speaks to Professor Fred Watson AM, Australia’s astronomer-at-large.

    Fred Watson’s been a fixture of Australian astronomy for decades, perhaps best known for his work promoting and expla...

    November 2, 2021
  • Feeling twitchy? Get ready for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count

    How to graduate from avian amateur to bird nerd.

    On Monday 18 October, the 2021 Aussie Backyard Bird Count begins! This annual outbreak of citizen bird-geekery inv...

    October 14, 2021
  • Shadowy world of nocturnal moth pollinators

    Birds do it, bees do it, even moths in night-time breeze do it – pollinate plants, that is.

    Most flowering plants need animals to facilitate pollination and, globally, most studies have focused on daytime inse...

    September 28, 2021
  • Women disadvantaged when it comes to cardiac care

    Still work to be done for women to have best coronary care outcomes.

    Women with some cardiac conditions receive less evidence-based treatment than their male counterparts, research publi...

    September 20, 2021
  • Wired for sound: The observatory that’s always listening

    The Australian Acoustic Observatory (A2O) proves you don’t have to be there to get the data.

    The Australian Acoustic Observatory (A2O) is a continental-scale acoustic sensor network, designed to collect data ov...

    September 7, 2021
  • The mysteries of ultradiffuse galaxies

    Simulations show they have a range of bizarre origins.

    An international team of astronomers have shed light on a mysterious galactic phenomenon: elusive ultradiffuse galaxi...

    September 7, 2021
  • Frontline report from ICU in a pandemic

    What’s it like inside an intensive care unit during a COVID wave?

    The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s ICU is one of two trauma centres in Victoria, and was at the forefront of the response...

    September 2, 2021
  • Folbigg petition for pardon still undecided but scientists remain supportive

    Nearly six months after petitioning the NSW Governor for a pardon based on scientific evidence, K...

    Under the aegis of the Australian Academy of Science, leading Australian scientists yesterday renewed their 4 March p...

    August 30, 2021
  • Afghanistan’s unreachable US$1 trillion mineral bounty

    A green-future wealth that could stabilise Afghanistan for decades lies trapped by the country’s ...

    This article first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 20 August 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekl...

    August 27, 2021
  • Afghanistan’s unreachable US$1 trillion mineral bounty

    A green-future wealth that could stabilise Afghanistan for decades lies trapped by the country’s ...

    The world watched in apprehension as the Taliban advanced through the beleaguered nation of Afghanistan in recent wee...

    August 20, 2021
  • Denisova DNA yields more secrets

    DNA extracted from sediments in Siberia’s Denisova Cave adds more pieces to the human evolution p...

    One of the great human evolution detective stories has had a chapter added, with the release of new DNA evidence extr...

    June 24, 2021
  • Protecting human rights from AI

    Watch Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow outline the reasons why an AI commissioner is needed.

    Artificial intelligence technology brings the promise of improvements in many areas of life, but it's not without pro...

    June 15, 2021
  • It’s Thank a Climate Scientist Day

    We talk to First Dog on the Moon about expressing thanks to those who heroically keep on climate ...

    It’s 12 June, the main day of the year – and there really ought to be more than one – when we stop to thank climate s...

    June 12, 2021
  • Potential blood cancer therapy shows promise

    Researchers encouraged by laboratory trials of a new treatment for multiple myeloma.

    Scientists conducting a preclinical study at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (the ‘Peter Mac’), in Melbourne, belie...

    May 21, 2021
  • Dementia’s rising pressure

    New study might provide clues to help slow the rapid growth of dementia around the world.

    New research published today in the journal BMC Medicine has revealed differences in how blood pressure affects the r...

    May 19, 2021
  • Bruce Pascoe’s long lesson for better land use

    The acclaimed author is learning to grow native grains and tubers the way First Australians did.

    Writer Bruce Pascoe is an unlikely but committed late-life convert to agricultural science, even though his reasons t...

    May 7, 2021
  • Is sport killing us?

    More than 1100 Australians died while playing sport over the last two decades – an average of mor...

    In a study published last Friday in the journal PLOSone, researchers from Edith Cowan University (ECU) presented the ...

    April 25, 2021
  • Neanderthals were capable of human speech

    Detailed and long-running research shows that our closest ancestor talked and heard.

    The closest ancestor to modern humans – Neanderthals – were capable of understanding and producing human speech, acco...

    March 2, 2021
  • Genetic tests, assured

    Is Australia doing enough to guard against genomic discrimination?

    The Australian insurance industry’s self-regulated moratorium restricting the use of genetic test results in life ins...

    February 8, 2021
  • It has an effect, period

    Global study finds menstrual cycles are a key driver of women’s moods.

    A huge, multi-country analysis of menstrual cycles has revealed their strong influence on individual mood, behaviour ...

    February 2, 2021
  • Rainfall in a nutshell

    Scraps of meals yield millennia-long history of Top End climate.

    Across the world, it’s what humans and other organisms have left behind that’s advanced our understanding of the Eart...

    January 27, 2021
  • Spotlight: Indigenous health

    Smoking study reveals terrible toll on First Nations Australians.

    Smoking is known to be a leading contributor to disease and death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults....

    January 26, 2021
  • Raising the dead

    Planning a séance? Read this first.

    Research into spiritualism – a belief system based on the idea that human souls endure beyond death and communicate w...

    January 20, 2021
  • New charge for old battery?

    Researchers find a way to make zinc-air batteries reusable.

    Zinc-air (Zn-air) batteries aren’t new – they were first commercially produced in the 1930s – and they have a lot of ...

    January 8, 2021
  • Giddy up and go, by the numbers

    Study models best (legal) way to win a thoroughbred race.

    Given its subject matter, a newly released study’s opening line may be among the year’s most useful when it comes to ...

    December 3, 2020
  • Hawaii has a hidden reservoir

    Freshwater find raises hopes for volcanic islands worldwide

    The Hawaiian island chain has been a tropical holiday destination for decades, renowned for its warm waters, fine sur...

    November 28, 2020
  • Sombre state of our climate

    Report points to warming and extreme weather events.

    If you’re looking for a bit of good news at the end of a tough year it’s probably best if you don’t seek it in the Bu...

    November 13, 2020
  • Can we just breathe off excess alcohol?

    Study trials innovative way to accelerate elimination from body.

    Every year the evidence mounts of alcohol’s ravaging effects on the human body. In 2018, The Lancet published an i...

    November 13, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Future biosecurity challenges

    Pandemic throws spotlight on Australia’s direction.

    A new CSIRO report, Australia’s Biosecurity Future, looks at what the nation’s biosecurity aims should be over the ne...

    November 10, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: COVID and global health

    First phase lockdowns altered our habits and our wellbeing.

    Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent societal changes, it’s not surprising that we’...

    October 30, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: A forgotten foe returns

    Scarlet fever is back on the research radar.

    Scarlet fever was a feared disease until well into the 20th century. Characterised by a red, sandpapery rash, it typi...

    October 21, 2020
  • COVID-19 news and trends

    A digest of science and reporting @ 16 October.

    The numbers Rising COVID-19 numbers in the US and Europe are alarming national leaders (in most cases) and leading...

    October 16, 2020
  • COVID-19 news and trends

    A digest of science and reporting @ 09 October.

    The numbers Global As at 16:23 CEST on Wednesday 7 October, cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities s...

    October 9, 2020
  • Be true to yourself on Facebook

    Research suggests it’s good for your well-being.

    It’s at first hard to know what to do with research that links “Facebook” and “authenticity”. Or perhaps that’s merel...

    October 7, 2020
  • COVID-19 news and trends

    A digest of science and reporting @ 01 October.

    The numbers Global COVID-19 deaths passed one million this week, with WHO experts in Geneva telling a briefing the...

    October 1, 2020
  • It’s mostly cheers for science

    Global survey puts high value on scientists and their work.

    Those of us who place trust for remedies in clever thinkers and careful, fact-based investigation have been having a ...

    September 30, 2020
  • Fairy circles: Circular truth

    Ecologists confirm Alan Turing’s theory for fairy circles.

    Fairy circles – regularly spaced, round patches of bare soil surrounded by grass – are one of nature’s greatest enigm...

    September 29, 2020
  • Pipe dream

    Eco-friendly concrete beats corrosion and fatbergs.

    Think of a big infrastructure system you’d like to keep running smoothly and sewage emerges near the top of the list....

    September 28, 2020
  • COVID-19 news and trends

    A digest of science and reporting @ 25 September.

    The numbers Global COVID-19 deaths are set to pass the one million mark in coming days. The grim champion of most ...

    September 24, 2020
  • Burning up the health budget

    2019–20 bushfires cost Australia in so many ways.

    Ruined homes and other structures are among the most obvious signs of bushfires, and because there are insurance and ...

    September 22, 2020
  • COVID-19 news and trends

    A digest of science and reporting @ 18 September.

    The numbers As total case numbers approached 30 million, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on 14 Septem...

    September 18, 2020
  • Bending the curve of biodiversity loss

    Study highlights actions required for sustainability.

    More terrific news for the natural world. Just published in the journal Nature, an international study led by Davi...

    September 10, 2020
  • Renewed interest in weathered records

    Bringing handwritten climate history into the digital age.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about citizen science in Australia. This week, we report on a new ...

    September 8, 2020
  • Electronic skin that behaves like skin

    New device mimics body’s feedback response

    Researchers at Australia’s RMIT University have developed prototype electronic artificial skin that senses and reacts...

    September 2, 2020
  • Goin’ froggin’ proves a popular pastime

    FrogID has impressive numbers all round.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about citizen science in Australia. This week we talk to FrogID ch...

    August 31, 2020
  • Citizen science gets active and organised

    A conversation with ACSA chair Erin Roger.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about citizen science in Australia. This week, Australian Citizen ...

    August 25, 2020
  • Insect disguises and pygmy-possum ID

    Investigate mimicry or go on a virtual expedition.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about Citizen Science in Australia. This week, with winter and cor...

    August 3, 2020
  • Trapped critters and monitored mozzies

    Two projects to consider, and a whale of a success story.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about Citizen Science in Australia. This week we’re thinking about...

    July 27, 2020
  • Weeding out the political astroturf

    AI uses content alone to detect co-ordinated campaigns.

    Social media, in case you hadn’t noticed, is a great boon to activists of all forms. Got a message that you want to s...

    July 23, 2020
  • COVID effects and GLOBE(-al) data

    Help with COVID knowledge or environmental outcomes.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about Citizen Science in Australia. This week we’re going global w...

    July 20, 2020
  • Smartphone = personality

    Privacy alert: a behavioural measurer is in your pocket.

    A new personality study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science coolly walks a fine line between ...

    July 16, 2020
  • Finding the flu and watching for ‘wollies’

    Join a study into influenza and look out for pine trees.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at the latest projects and news about Citizen Science in Australia. FluTracking Y...

    July 13, 2020
  • Peckish pollys and townie turkeys

    Help keep an eye on birds in the bush and the suburbs.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at the latest projects and news about Citizen Science in Australia. This week Ian Conne...

    July 3, 2020
  • Kelp help & DIY astronomy

    Scan Australia’s southern oceans or its night skies.

    Each week Cosmos will take a peek inside the diverse and, most importantly, rapidly growing world of Citizen Science ...

    June 26, 2020
  • The ‘anthropause’ during COVID-19

    Wildlife going wild. What can we learn?

    Pumas leaping onto walls in Santiago, Chile; wild boar trotting along streets in Haifa, Israel; dolphins unusually fa...

    June 25, 2020
  • Rise and rotate

    Australia’s bushfire smoke reached new heights.

    Last summer’s huge and widespread Australian bushfires were monumental on just about every scale. By the time most...

    June 20, 2020
  • Longest night, darkest sky

    Help scientists learn about light pollution.

    Looking for something to do on the longest night of the year? The Australasian Dark Sky Alliance (ADSA), ARC Centre o...

    June 17, 2020
  • ‘Spiderlab’ films some free-flying specimens

    Cable-suspended mini lab gathers detailed flight data.

    If you’ve watched a butterfly fluttering around your garden, you’ll know that flying insects have evolved efficient s...

    June 11, 2020
  • Far enough for you?

    Study assesses social distancing and face masks.

    Over the past six months, most of us have had to come to terms with a world previously known only to those living or ...

    June 3, 2020
  • Sixth time unlucky

    Study suggests hundreds of land species near extinction.

    There’s something sobering – terrifying is the more apt word – about a peer-reviewed paper that contains, under the h...

    June 2, 2020
  • Genetic knowledge gets a serious boost

    First major studies from consortium released.

    It seems a long, long time since the Human Genome Project was declared complete: in fact, it’s just over 17 years, an...

    May 28, 2020
  • Fancy VR fact-finds fly flight

    Researchers create a world to study their navigation.

    There it is again. Zzzzzzzz. That pesky fly. It’s the only one in the room and it will not settle long enough for suc...

    May 20, 2020
  • What do you know about art?

    Psychologists tests idea that we intuitively recognise values.

    It’s hard not to like a scientific paper that kicks off by quoting from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s seminal 1810 boo...

    May 15, 2020
  • Queueing rules!

    Study examines how venue-entrance bottlenecks affect us.

    Remember that pre-lockdown feeling of funnelling down crowd-control corridors and through security-control gates to g...

    April 30, 2020
  • Open-source hardware and nude selfies

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 27 April.

    The Numbers Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 2,804,796 (84,900 of them reporte...

    April 28, 2020
  • A molecule hunt and curatorial curiosities

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 23 April.

    The Numbers Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 2,471,136 (73,930 of them reporte...

    April 23, 2020
  • What’s human and what’s not online?

    Behavioural differences study could help with bot detection.

    Bots tends to elicit mixed feelings from people – aside, presumably, from those creating them. These social media ...

    April 22, 2020
  • Fast peer reviews and Captain Tom

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 20 April.

    The Numbers Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 2,241,359 (81,153 of them reporte...

    April 21, 2020
  • The origin of faeces

    How to tell dog poo from human poo.

    The archaeological record is littered – aha – with poo, a potential goldmine for insights into ancient health and die...

    April 20, 2020
  • Data and when to socially narrow

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 16 April.

    The Numbers Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 1,914,916 (70,082 of them reporte...

    April 17, 2020
  • Learning to fly – from dinosaurs

    Aeronautical feats that can inspire us.

    Pterosaurs, the largest animals ever to fly, soared the skies for 160 million years – much longer than any species of...

    April 17, 2020
  • How to beat bleaching

    How corals get their food may determine which survive.

    You’d have thought that the ability to produce your own food was a handy trait in any circumstance – and here we’re n...

    April 13, 2020
  • Masked debate and data dumps

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 7 April.

    The Numbers Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 1,210,956 (77,200 of them reporte...

    April 8, 2020
  • Traffic jams mapped using contagion model

    Three continents of data to test an idea.

    Is this a case of a scientific paper that hits the right notes and gets a run in the mainstream? Perhaps not – but...

    April 8, 2020
  • Actual tracing and virtual dating

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 3 April.

    The Numbers Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 823,626 (72,736 of them reported ...

    April 3, 2020
  • Mannered AI

    Giving robots a grounding in workplace etiquette.

    Most of us – not all – figure out an approach to workplace behaviour while on the job and through trial and error. ...

    April 3, 2020
  • COVID-19 update

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 30 March.

    THE NUMBERS Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 634,835 (63,159 of them reported ...

    March 31, 2020
  • COVID-19 update

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 26 March.

    THE NUMBERS Global Cases confirmed worldwide by national authorities stand at 414,179 – 40,712 of them reported...

    March 27, 2020
  • Animal ancestor primera

    Earliest ancestor of all modern animals identified.

    The ancient stone at Nilpena fossil site, about 600 kilometres north of Adelaide, South Australia, has yielded some o...

    March 25, 2020
  • COVID-19 update

    A digest of COVID-19 science, data and optimism @ 23 March.

    Science The research community’s response to coronavirus has been swift, rigorous – and largely unseen. Research ...

    March 24, 2020
  • Ticked off

    Study suggests leaf litter is fine habitat for tick nymphs.

    Many American homeowners clear their lawns of fallen leaves in autumn to avoid creating tick-friendly habitats. But a...

    March 19, 2020
  • House that feline

    Pet cats are just as destructive as feral ones.

    As if Australians need someone to remind them of the danger to wildlife of Felis catus – the domestic cat. CSIRO P...

    March 13, 2020
  • Robotic feelings?

    AI that shows vulnerability makes for better conversation.

    Suppose you’re part of a team in a group activity. One of your team members is uncommunicative, even taciturn. This b...

    March 11, 2020
  • Insects experience the effects of gravity

    And they have more control than humans.

    Gravity is one of the most universal environmental effects on living systems. It tethers us to the earth and creates ...

    January 14, 2020
  • Bivalves explained

    The mechanical mystery of interlocking shells.

    Bivalve molluscs include marine creatures such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. At first glance the bivalve b...

    January 13, 2020
  • Ice, permafrost and Siberian caves

    Cold scientists find clues to a puzzling relationship.

    Permafrost and stalagmites found in Siberian caves have answered a question that has long puzzled scientists: why don...

    January 9, 2020
  • Gene drives work faster against problem insects

    Forcing genetic changes is the best control measure.

    Fiddling with genetics underpins many of the latest strategies for controlling mosquitoes that spread malaria and oth...

    December 20, 2019
  • Need a hand with that?

    If we’re to trust AI, it helps if it can tell us what it’s doing.

    A new artificial intelligence (AI) system has been created that can both perform complex tasks and explain its behavi...

    December 18, 2019
  • Bivalves explained

    The mathematical mystery of interlocking shells.

    Perfect interlocking of the two valves in the brachiopod fossil Kutchirhynchia obsoleta. Below: A simulated bivalved ...

    December 16, 2019
  • As tough as spider silk

    New manufacturing process makes strong synthetic fibre.

    If you’re looking for a fibre that exhibits both high strength (it resists deformation) and high toughness (it’s hard...

    December 15, 2019
  • Life clock ticking

    Study suggests genetics can predict a species’ lifespan.

    “Would you want to know when you’ll die?” has always been a hypothetical question – until now.  A study published in ...

    December 12, 2019
  • Structured for strength

    Mammalian hair shows thicker isn’t always stronger.

    Ever looked at your hair and studied its split ends, fretting over the apparent damage? A new study suggests that tho...

    December 11, 2019
  • Copy the chiton for flexi-protection

    Marine mollusc inspires better human body armour.

    Humans started making body armour more than 3000 years ago but have never managed to produce anything that reaches th...

    December 10, 2019
  • The vulnerability of water towers

    Factors that threaten glacier-based water resources.

    The ideal natural fresh water supply system is constant and reliable: capable of storing water during times of plenty...

    December 9, 2019
  • Weight lifting made easy

    Using bamboo poles to carry loads is perfect.

    For thousands of years people in Asia have been carrying heavy loads – often more than their own body weight – suspen...

    December 5, 2019
  • Pavlov’s plastic

    Training inanimate material to behave like artificial muscles

    Picture a robot and images of futuristic humanoids of metal and code come to mind. However, researchers in Finland ar...

    December 4, 2019
  • Artificial neurons behave like real ones

    Researchers successfully create them on tiny silicon chips.

    The authors of a bio-engineering study just published in the journal Nature Communications exhibit the kind of calm r...

    December 3, 2019
  • Fibre-optic cables: the new seismic sensors

    Using seafloor networks to monitor tectonic activity.

    Crisscrossing the seafloor is an extensive web of optical-fibre telecommunication cables used for internet, televisio...

    November 28, 2019
  • Boats bug whales

    Human-generated noise may inhibit communications.

    The call of a whale has long been immersed in human cultures. It features in Hawaiian traditional songs such as “Gods...

    November 27, 2019
  • Need energy? Just bounce the ball

    A table tennis table that collects athlete statistics.

    The accelerated development of the internet of things (IoT) and big data over recent decades has seen huge change to ...

    November 26, 2019
  • How to behave in school

    What makes individuals decide which way to go?

    A mass of animals flocking, schooling or swarming is one of the grand sights of nature: a flock of magpie geese erupt...

    November 19, 2019
  • Getting some SVO for your (auto) SUV

    How do you give it a social conscience?

    Hands up who’s keen, hankering, positively slavering, for the introduction of self-driving, or autonomous, cars.  Se...

    November 18, 2019
  • Astro assistance for cancer?

    Astronaut training could yield clues for better recovery.

    During spaceflight, astronauts experience similar physical stress as cancer patients undergoing treatments such as ch...

    November 14, 2019
  • Star Wars idea comes to life

    3D imaging starts to catch up with science fiction.

    Ah, unforgettable moments in sci-fi cinema. Luke Skywalker fiddles with something stuck on R2-D2’s er, body, and from...

    November 13, 2019
  • AI learns to design

    Challenge is to solve problems the same way as humans.

    Humans are good at solving big design problems. Such problems require creative and exploratory decision making – skil...

    November 12, 2019
  • Why mammals have such complex backbones

    Changes linked to active nature and high metabolisms.

    Compared to other vertebrate animals such as reptiles, mammals have complex and unexpectedly weird backbones. Their ...

    November 7, 2019
  • Maybe you shouldn’t follow the leader

    Model suggests performance ranking reduces meritocracy.

    It’s one of the least engaging aspects of a modern economy: the mania to quantify and rank the performance of individ...

    November 6, 2019
  • Jog on – and on and on

    Any amount of running lowers the risk of death.

    Why did it have to be running? Wouldn’t a dignified stroll do the trick? Not to mention chess or Tiddlywinks… This j...

    November 5, 2019
  • Light-loving polymer acts like a sunflower

    New smart material could be a game-changer for solar energy.

    Many living things exhibit phototropism – the ability to track a light source and align to it. The best-known example...

    November 4, 2019
  • Species v hybrid. More fuel for the debate

    The evolutionary importance of hybridisation.

    By their nature, conflicting ideas about evolution aren’t easily resolved. Some – such as the role of hybridisation i...

    October 31, 2019
  • Introducing spider (inspired) cam

    A small and highly effective depth sensor.

    There’s a lot to love about the arachnid family Salticidae – the jumping spiders. This mob contains about 6000 specie...

    October 29, 2019
  • Darker eggs have their purpose

    Colour helps with survival in more ways than one.

    An egg’s ability to maintain temperature within strict limits is critical to the survival of a developing bird embryo...

    October 28, 2019
  • Thin edge of the (ice) wedge

    Ice shelves have been losing mass for centuries.

    The Earth warmed by an average of around 0.6 degrees Celsius during the Twentieth Century, an increase the 2001 Inter...

    October 24, 2019
  • Mighty clever flyers

    Think you know all about flies landing upside-down?

    A research team that describes its recent work as the “most complete exploration of fly landing manoeuvres” to date h...

    October 23, 2019
  • Listening for pleasure

    Neuroscience study investigates where our musical tastes lie.

    In news sure to bring a song to the hearts of middle-of-the-road radio program managers, a new study has found that h...

    October 22, 2019
  • Meet the cunning toad viper

    A case of the amphibian impersonating a predator.

    You’d reckon a story about an amphibian mimicking a snake likely would be on the small side. Something like: fingerna...

    October 21, 2019
  • Ancient arthropod collective

    When did organisms start behaving for common good?

    The American sociologist and economist Franklin H Giddings is credited with coining the term “collective behaviour” i...

    October 17, 2019
  • Protecting buildings during wildfires

    The usefulness of fire-retardant blankets.

    The early bushfire season in Australia has brought heart-breaking stories of loss – of human and animal life, and of ...

    October 15, 2019
  • The power of unbroken bonds

    Sticking with the same mate pays evolutionary dividends.

    There have long been sexual selection theories that predict males have the most to gain by seeking out as many mates ...

    October 14, 2019
  • The bee-all of numbers

    Honeybees are good at maths – if you ask the right question.

    As we know, numbers can become very large very quickly. The diameter of the universe is about 8.8×1023 kilometres, an...

    October 10, 2019
  • Badger culling likely worse for bovine TB

    Measure to reduce spread may be having opposite effect.

    There’s a world of difference between the European badger, Meles meles, and domestic cattle – on shoulder height and ...

    October 9, 2019
  • Warty octopus dives deep for change

    Ocean depth decides the skin texture of cephalopod.

    We like to think there’s lots of variety when it comes to human skin – think colour, oiliness, hairiness, wrinkliness...

    October 8, 2019
  • More fuel for early Anthropocene

    Maya culture had larger and earlier impacts on our systems.

    New research from the nation of Belize, Central America, has revealed that ancient Maya culture responded to populati...

    October 7, 2019
  • Late finisher

    Australian pterosaurs persisted longer than we thought.

    The pterosaurs – the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved the ability to fly – are a frequent and powerful symb...

    October 3, 2019
  • New solution to weighty issue

    Using drones to learn more about large cetaceans.

    There’s always been a problem with checking the mass, length and various other characteristics of wild whales. Probl...

    October 2, 2019
  • New three-metre croc described

    Researchers reveal second unique crocodile species.

    These days, as a rule, new species discoveries aren’t news – in spite of the vast number of organisms still to be fou...

    September 25, 2019
  • The decline of nature’s song

    New study signals ‘a widespread ecological crisis’.

    North American bird populations have declined by 29% since 1970, according to a report published in Science. The los...

    September 19, 2019
  • Fishy robot outswims the school

    Fake fish proves mighty fine at fin-flapping.

    An international team’s robotic fish – dubbed Tunabot – has recorded impressive speeds and energy efficiency during t...

    September 18, 2019
  • Fast + florid = free

    Speed is important when it comes to avoiding predators.

    Using praying mantids as their crash-test predator, a team led by Diana Umeton at the UK’s Newcastle University has s...

    September 15, 2019
  • Seductive light from the dark side

    A simple device for the developing world’s population.

    Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Stanford University in the US have generated lig...

    September 12, 2019
  • A kangaroo unlike those we know

    Giant marsupial had a bite to be reckoned with.

    Turns out that Australia’s ancient kangaroo species have more in common with giant pandas that modern macropods. Tha...

    September 11, 2019
  • Electric eel species increase 200%

    Eel is the strongest known living bioelectricity generator.

    A source of fascination since it was first described, in 1776 by Carl Linnaeus, the electric eel was long thought to ...

    September 10, 2019

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