Two items on this week’s excellent The Material World (Radio 4). Both items look at the past, present and future of their subjects. There’s also a brief reminder of last week’s discussion of bombardier beetles. Click on “listen again”.
Can we use animals as inspiration for new technology? Here are some thought-provoking examples.
Guardian pictures of butterflies, geckos and the like, and their potential applications. BBC Radio 4 programme about the Bombardier beetle and why materials science folk are studying it (click on “listen again”).
Research presented to the International Primatological Society suggests that around 1/3 of all primate species are in imminent danger of extinction, thanks to human activity.
BBC summary; picture guide to the endangered species; brilliant Radio 4 programme about orang-utans (click on listen again).
After last week’s success with the video of the nutty Manakin bird, Per Smiseth sent in this link, which is to the Internet Bird Colection – a site that aims to assemble videos of every bird alive… Some very cool animals here!
NB This is NOT dated 1 April, and has NOT been Photoshopped. Includes audio file.
Science podcast on ape/human cognition, feathered dinosaurs, saving tigers. Science podcast on cooperative breeding and the mystery of the Ivory-Billed woodpecker – is it extinct?
A lot of you would like to get a job working with the BBC Natural History Unit. Here is a link to a set of blogs their journalists are writing during some of their projects. And there’s a weekly BBC podcast of natural history programmes you can subscribe to.
Fascinating 7-minute slideshow with audio commentary from Science magazine about Homo floresiensis, the “hobbit” discovered on the island of Flores, near Indonesia, and the argument that exists over whether it was a separate species of Homo that disappeared around 12,000 years ago (that’s my bet) or whether they were simply diseased modern humans.
Interesting thought piece from BBC journalist Mark Mardell about the contradictory effects of EU policies on the Iberian Lynx. Includes sound of lynx love-making!
Dr Ginger Campbell, a medic who works in an A&E department in Texas, has an excellent series of podcasts dealing with scientific issues. This series is called “The BrainScience podcast - the podcast for everyone with a brain”. This one is an interview with Stuart Shanker about his work on Bonobo chimps, explaining how he completely changed his mind about their abilities. Ginger has also summarised Greenspan and Shanker’s book “The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved From Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans” in another of her podcasts.