Dirk, Dolly and Dolores
Animals aren’t tools for thinking. Animals are some of the basic building blocks of thought itself
The last meadows?
One tree at a time, forests are edging out the world’s mountain meadows. Can we save these islands of diversity?
Earth’s oceans are beginning to warm and turn acidic, endangering plankton and the entire marine food chain
The snowy owl
This winter has seen an irruption of snowy owls in the US. What does it mean to see Arctic birds so far from home?
Our quantum problem
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable
Is this life real?
Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?
Burning like a mountain
Fire has come roaring back into America’s West after a century of attempted extirpation. Can our land take the wild heat?
Giant instruments are giving us a sea of data. Can science find its way without any big ideas at the helm?
Like the deadly pufferfish, wild mushrooms are for culinary daredevils. Care to play Russian roulette with your dinner?
Cows might fly
When the land is all filled up, it’s time to get creative with it, as small countries like Switzerland already know
Once and future cats
Sabercats were magnificent, powerful predators – what does their extinction tell us about the future of life on earth?
Die, selfish gene, die
For decades, the selfish gene metaphor let us view evolution with new clarity. Is it now blinding us?
Do insects feel pain? Are they conscious? A science kit for at-home cyborg cockroaches provokes the hard questions
The calibrated cosmos
Is our universe fine-tuned for the existence of life – or does it just look that way from where we’re sitting?
Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one
Animals have friends, enemies, allies and life-long companions. Human relationships aren't so unique after all
Embracing the void
The ancients had pyramids to tame the sky's mystery. We have Star Axis, a masterpiece forty years in the making
The Thames has seen the riches of empire flow for centuries. But now the river is threatened by a super-port development
The good catch
Hope for the world's devastated oceans rests on a change in the hearts of the fishermen that know them best
We surf the net, stream our films and save stuff in the cloud. Can we get all the nature we need from the digital world?
The Arctic Seed Vault puts apocalyptic talk of climate change in perspective – but not how you might think
Scientists used to scan the skies for messages from alien civilisations. Now they go looking for their ruins
The vegan carnivore?
It's made in a lab, no factory farms and no killing, but it's still meat. Looks like we'll need a whole new food ethics
It may be a piece of paradise, a refuge from urban mayhem – but can a garden embody something deeper and wilder?
Beasts at bedtime
At bookstores it's easy to confuse the kids section for the nature section. Why are so many children's books about animals?
History tells us that plant diseases cause famines, pestilence and war. Now one is coming for our chocolate
The whale’s return
Ancient yet playful, endangered but resurgent, the North Atlantic right whale is a living reminder of how little we know
Planets in potato fields and asteroids in gravel: how a Maine highway illuminates the strange history of the solar system
This island life
The strange biology of island populations highlights the role of chance, not just selection, in evolutionary change
Being a sandpiper
Animals have thoughts, feelings and personality. Why have we taken so long to catch up with animal consciousness?