Category Archives: Nature

The Windows to the Soul Part 2: Colour Vision

In 1844, the founder of modern chemistry John Dalton, died. By his own request, his eyes were removed at autopsy and the vitreous humour examined. Fifty years earlier, Dalton had provided one of the first accounts of colour blindness based … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Science | Tagged , ,

The Windows to the Soul

The earliest fossil evidence of eyes comes from the Cambrian explosion, around 500 million years ago, their appearance probably driven by the rapidly escalating evolutionary arms race between predators and prey at that time. From simple eyespots, eyes have evolved … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Science | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Pythons in the Everglades

Following on from this post: It’s all very well to be invaded by furry wallabies; it’s a little more concerning when the feral hippo population explodes. But the feral animal problem in the Florida Everglades is the stuff of nightmares. … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged ,

Hyperekplexia, Latah and the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

The startle response, the almost instantaneous protective action following a sudden loud noise or other stimulus, is present in many animals. It has evolutionary value in that it enables escape from unanticipated dangers such as the sudden appearance of a … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Giants

If you look carefully at the image above, you might notice something odd. The man on the right is not just the shorter of the two, he also has a proportionally smaller face, head and hands, almost as though he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , , ,

Trunko, Elephant Birds and the Panama Creature

For cryptozoologists, the ocean depths are the most promising potential source of unknown creatures. The high pressures, absence of light and virtual inaccessibility to humans from the bathyal zone (1000 m) down make these environments much like another planet inhabited … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , ,

Feral Hippos, Wandering Wallabies and Peripatetic Penguins

Some animals are so iconic of their homeland that they seem bizarrely out of place when transplanted to a new environment. Populations of wallabies inhabit Britain. In the 1930’s, Colonel Courtney Brocklehurst, a former Chief Game Warden in the Sudan, … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , , ,