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The magnificent riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) has evolved in a habitat largely free of predators and other existential threats. This relatively peaceful environment has allowed the male, and his fellows in the New Guinea birds-of-paradise family, to develop some of the most vibrantly colourful plumage and flamboyant mating rituals in the world. The Magnificent Riflebird’s Crazy Courtship Dance shows the fascinating, surprising paths evolution can sometimes take, and the value of an ‘artistic’ skill set in certain corners of the animal kingdom.
Building ‘bigger and better’ has pushed cosmology forward. Can it take it any further?
Watch the elegant flow of a sheep herd, seen from the sky above Israel
How would a piano sound on Mars? Embark on an interplanetary sonic journey
Design and fashion
Gear up for a stylish celebration of vintage motorcycle design
An ode to the humble rotifer – one of nature’s simplest and strangest creatures
Check in to the Hilbert Hotel, and learn why some infinities are bigger than others
Cognition and intelligence
How a ‘periodic table’ of animal intelligence could help to root out human bias
The city as an emergent life form, with architecture as the skeleton and roads as veins
How sky-high dreams launched one man’s audacious life in homemade rocketry