Winter moth on pine tree bark

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Active Insects

It’s day three of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife and we are exploring insects that are active in the cold weather, and in particular, winter moths. These are amazing animals, but how do we study moths? Join moth expert Annette Shelford as she shows us why moths are important and how to monitor them with this film from our Zoology Live festival that took … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Active Insects

Photograph of a robin in a yew tree

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Garden Birds

For day two of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife, we are celebrating our feathered friends. Winter can be tough for birds. As the temperature drops, they need more energy to keep warm. But once the bounty of berries and seeds of the autumn is over, food can be in short supply. Provide birds with food in your garden or outdoor space and you can … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Garden Birds

Three Carolina parakeet skins from the Museum of Zoology

Natural History, Extinction, and Storytelling at the Museum of Zoology

In this blog for Lost Species Day 2020, Geography PhD student Anna Guasco explores the question of: How do we tell stories and remember histories about natural history, extinction, and species endangerment in museums – and why does this matter? Today is Remembrance Day for Lost Species, or ‘Lost Species Day’. This label memorialises dodos, thylacines, passenger pigeons, and other icons of extinction – as … Continue reading Natural History, Extinction, and Storytelling at the Museum of Zoology

View of a rainforest in Costa Rica from above

We know conservation is working, but do we really know what works?

Alec Christie, PhD student in the Conservation Evidence group of the Department of Zoology writes: Go to your doctor and they’ll give you the best treatment based on the scientific evidence. So why can’t we do the same for biodiversity? Recently we’ve seen a flurry of important work highlighting the continuing decline of biodiversity, including David Attenborough’s documentary Extinction: the facts. It’s also very encouraging … Continue reading We know conservation is working, but do we really know what works?

Robin on the frosted branches of a willow

Coming Soon: 12 Days of Winter Wildlife

This year we are taking our Winter Wildlife event online. Join us for the live launch on our YouTube channel at 4.30pm on Tuesday 1 December or catch up here: Get your questions ready for a LIVE Q&A with Rob Jaques from the British Trust for Ornithology, who’ll be talking about birds and other winter wildlife, and ways you can get involved collecting important data … Continue reading Coming Soon: 12 Days of Winter Wildlife

White admiral on leaf

Provide shady spots to protect butterflies from climate change

Researchers have discovered significant variations in the ability of different UK butterfly species to maintain a suitable body temperature. Species that rely most on finding a suitably shady location to keep cool are at the greatest risk of population decline. The results predict how climate change might impact butterfly communities, and will inform conservation strategies to protect them. The results, published in the Journal of … Continue reading Provide shady spots to protect butterflies from climate change

Lantern bugs for a Festival of Lights

At this time of year, people across the world will be celebrating Diwali or Deepawali, also known as the Indian festival of lights. Create a lantern bug light holder to celebrate the festival together. What is a lantern bug? Lantern bugs, Fulgora and Pyrops, (also known as lanternflies) are found across south and south east Asia, and the Americas; mostly in tropical regions. They are part of … Continue reading Lantern bugs for a Festival of Lights

yellow petaled flower with black yellow bee during daytime

Busy Bee Communication

Ever wondered how bees communicate with each other to work as a team? Learn about the important job these pollinating insects carry out. Play our ‘Talk like a Bee’ game and discover how bees can ‘smell’ each other when visiting flowers, and find out how we can give these insects a helping hand by building your very own bee-friendly winter refuge. Insect communication Insects can … Continue reading Busy Bee Communication

A cleared and stained backbone from a hatchling skate. Red staining indicates mineralised cartilage and blue staining indicates unmineralised cartilage.

Segmentation of the backbone

Kate Criswell, Postdoctoral Research Associate, writes: One of the key features that distinguishes vertebrate animals from our invertebrate cousins (such as insects and molluscs) is a backbone, or a series of vertebrae that run the length of the body. These vertebrae can range in number from only nine in frogs to over 300 in elongate animals like snakes and eels! They are important for providing … Continue reading Segmentation of the backbone