Category: Environment

The features of giant water lilies

The floating plants known for their enormous leaves and short-lived flowers The Victoria amazonica is the largest species of water lily in the world and is native to South America. An individual plant can...

How do tree rings work?

Fractions of a millimetre wide, tree rings are an accurate biological archive of recent and ancient history The concept of determining a tree’s age by counting its rings is only half right; most trees...

The science behind metamorphosis

It’s morphing time: Discover the transformative power of metamorphosis and the range of species that undergo it As children we are taught the simple transformations of some species; the iconic blossoming of a butterfly...

Thor’s Well: Down the Pacific plughole

Image credit: John Fowler  What created Thor’s Well and where does all the water falling into it go? Along a large, forested headland of Oregon, US, sits a sinkhole that appears to drain away...

Biosphere 2: Earth in a bottle

Image credit: Katja Schulz  Since the early 1990s Biosphere 2 has demonstrated the possibilities and shortfalls of creating a second home on Earth Completed in 1991, it took four years to create Biosphere 2,...

How does a desert form?

Discover the world’s largest deserts and why these dry (but not barren) areas exist Across vast expanses of thirsty land, silence is met with the occasional caw of a passing vulture or the howl...

The anatomy of a dolphin

Popular in human culture due to their intelligence and playfulness, dolphin species can be found all over the world, ranging in shape, size and character dramatically There are many species of dolphin ranging from...

Over the rainbow mountains

Discover the origins of the colours cascading over Peru’s iridescent Ausangate Mountain Stretching over 7,200 kilometres along the western spine of South America, the Andes is the world’s longest mountain range. It spans seven...