Find out more Natural Histories is a new series about our relationships with the natural world Listen to Butterflies on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 16 June at 11:00 BST or online after broadcast Test your knowledge of British butterflies with Radio 4's butterfly identification quiz Eyespots on a butterfly's wings were not always seen as a deterrent designed to scare off hungry predators, but a means of watching our behaviour from the hedgerow. Butterflies became moral spies, sent by God, to a world where it is all too easy to slip up. They watched us, not the other way round. … [Read more...] about Do butterflies hold the answer to life’s mysteries?
Over the following decades we have experimented with chimps in many and ingenious ways, the 1970s and 80s was the golden age of ape language research. As well as sign language chimps were taught to press buttons with pictures representing words to ask for food, to see a film or even to be tickled. But it was work with a pygmy chimp that purportedly showed how sophisticated this species' language is. Kanzi seemed to have the ability to make simple sentences, to comment on what he was doing and even say what he intended to do in the future. It is worth noting though that the renowned primatologist Robert Sapolsky denies that these experiments showed anything other than the ability of apes to copy humans. The language experiments have at present all but ceased. … [Read more...] about Listening to the language of apes
When they attack us they are not interested in eating us, they want us to leave the area. Martin, Hammerschlag and Collier have studied many shark attacks and say that prior to targeting a human, they show aggressive postures as a warning, and when that message is ignored they take action. The statistics appear supportive. The US averages 19 shark attacks each year but only one fatality every two years. … [Read more...] about How Jaws misrepresented the great white
The doll is on view in a new exhibition in Chicago, African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Featuring more than 50 design works, it highlights prominent black figures who worked between 1900 and 1980 in graphic design, editorial and product design, billboard ads, and created the first black-founded ad agency. … [Read more...] about From dolls to magazine covers: how early black designers made their mark
Rajinikanth is expected to make a foray into politics ahead of State Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year. He had first made his political ambitions clear on December 31, 2017, while interacting with fans. He said he would launch a political party that would practice spiritual politics and contest Tamil Nadu’s all 234 constituencies in 2021 Assembly elections. … [Read more...] about ‘Will speak on politics when the time comes’, says Rajinikanth; then drops a hint