You’ve probably heard of the liger and the tigon, offspring of a lion and a tiger together. But what about tiguars, tigards, liguars, lipards, jaggers, jaglions, jagupards, leogers, leopons, and leguars?
A billion years ago or longer, a photosynthesising bacterium found its way into a proto-plant cell. The bacteria and the cell became symbiotic, each helping the other to survive and thrive. All land plants today are descended from that chance meeting.
The famous legal phrase caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) entered common law because of a 17th century dispute over a magic bezoar stone.
The 1958 horror film The Blob was inspired by a real event in 1950: a close encounter between four police officers and a star jelly.
The Vikings may not have worn horned helmets, but the ancient Greeks had helmets covered in boar tusks and the Dayak of Borneo had helmets covered in fish or pangolin scales.
Rabbits and cattle were introduced to a remote island near Antarctica as food for shipwreck survivors; they bred there in isolation for more than a century.
If you’re a bovine veterinarian, one of the tools in your arsenal might be the cow magnet.
Behold the fabulous creatures of myth and legend! The dragon, the phoenix, the basilisk, the roc, the unicorn… and the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary?
Within the extraordinary biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest lie circles of a single tree species – the devil’s gardens. And these pockets of uniformity are created by ants.
According to animal breeders you should avoid bottle-feeding baby llamas, because when they grow up they might go berserk.
In 1981 Phillip Lewis released potato chips flavoured like roasted hedgehog. In 1982 the UK government prosecuted him for false advertising because the chips did not contain real hedgehog.
Queen bees emerge from their cells with a war cry and proceed to murder competing queens. But when she’s old, she’ll either leave the hive or be killed by her own workers.
The Turkic sport kyz kuu involves a man, a woman, two horses, a kiss, and a whip.
Gannets have evolved some very strange adaptations that make them some of the best divers in the natural world.
Bagheera kiplingi is unique amongst spiders: it’s a vegetarian.
The shells of almost all common garden snails coil to the right. Almost all.