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Blue Moon

Male blue moon butterfly Hypolimnas bolina, photographed by Comacontrol. My native country of New Zealand is not home to a large diversity of butterflies. Only a couple of dozen or so species are known from the entire country. It would not be unreasonable for a keen butterfly spotter to attempt to track down them all. Show More Summary

Incredible Elephant Seals, Part 2

Anyway, what sort of seal is an elephant seal exactly? -- Read more on

More killer hail coming unless we curb global warming

Extreme hail storms can be a threat to life and property. If we carry on polluting the planet we'll have to face more of them, warns physicist Raymond Pierrehumbert

Birds use cigarette butts for chemical warfare against ticks

Urban house finches incorporate more fibres from cigarette butts into their nests if they have live ticks in them, suggesting the toxic chemicals in the butts may deter the parasites

False Spider Mites

Among the enormous diversity of the world's mites, some families are particularly notorious for the damage that they inflict on commercial plant crops. Among such Acari non grata are the spider mites of the family Tetranychidae or the gall mites of the Eriophyidae. Show More Summary

Living near noisy roads could make it harder to get pregnant

Women who live near noisy roads are more likely to take 6 to 12 months to get pregnant, even when factors like poverty and pollution are taken into account

Keep your stuff under lock and RFID

No one has to know about your embarrassing celebrity crush: stash the evidence in a box where the key can be anything from an orange to an umbrella

Oily and Salty Trees

The Annonaceae is another one of those plant families like Acanthaceae that, despite containing a high diversity of speceis, tend to be overlooked because that diversity is mostly tropical. A number of species in the type genus Annona produce commercially significant fruits: custard apples, cherimoyas, soursops and the like. Show More Summary

Living with climate change: You can make a difference

With climate change, individual behaviour does matter. Here's how to influence the future through how you travel, where you get your electricity and what you eat

Bird eggs may be shaped by the way their mother flies

Huge survey reveals that bird species spending more time on the wing tend to have long or pointy eggs

Trump’s wise monkey environment plan: See no evil, hear no evil

If you don't measure the bad stuff, you don't have to do anything about it. That looks like the Trump philosophy, say Gretchen Goldman and Andrew Rosenberg

Special cells explain why cabbage and stress churn your guts

When a type of cell in the intestine detects dietary irritants and stress hormones, it sends distress signals to the brain, telling it to move things along

Google on track for quantum computer breakthrough by end of 2017

The search giant is testing a 20-qubit processor, its most powerful quantum chip yet, and says it will be able to outperform ordinary computers by the end of the year

Italy’s drying lakes imperil rare shrimp species found only here

The survival of ancient and unique species thriving in mountain lakes in central Italy have been threatened by a double whammy of a quake and climate change

Weird amphibians found at record depth in dark underground lake

A new sighting of the olm, an amphibious salamander, in a Croatian cave extends our knowledge of this mysterious and vulnerable animal

Oil-exploration airguns punch 2-kilometre-wide holes in plankton

The seismic airguns used to look for undersea oil don’t just disrupt marine mammals, their shock waves also kill and disperse the plankton population

Living with climate change: Can we limit global warming to 2°C?

Current commitments from the world's nations mean we will overshoot the 2°C target agreed in Paris. More radical strategies are needed – and we need to work on them now

Escape to the future with virtual reality

Ahead of our Gamers' Club discussion at London's Barbican on 13 July, campaigning critic Pat Kane argues that play must transform politics

Don’t blame Instagram for the rise of botox and lip fillers

A new report rightly suggests that non-surgical cosmetic procedures need tighter regulation, but stumbles by blaming selfies and social media for their popularity

Weird orbits hint ‘Planet Ten’ might lurk at solar system edge

Astronomers studying icy objects in a distant region called the Kuiper belt say an unconfirmed planet with similar mass to Mars could be responsible for tugging them out of alignment

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