Browsing »

The Golden Wheel Spider and the Cartwheel Spider

The Golden Wheel Spider and the Cartwheel Spider

I have a confession to make; even though I am a zoologist, I am frightened of large, hairy spiders. I’ve always had this theory is was the way they walk … and now I know this is the truth of the matter. There are two African spiders that can cartwheel or roll in certain situations, […]

Poisonous Paints and Peculiar Pigments

Poisonous Paints and Peculiar Pigments

In previous eras, hatters and milliners gained a reputation for being insane. Mercury was used in the felting process for making hats, particularly fur-based hats constructed from beaver or rabbit. The high toxicity of the felting solution, particularly in the mercury vapours created by the felting process, meant that madness was an industrial disease of […]

You Eat, Therefore You Think!

You Eat, Therefore You Think!

Your mother told you that you are what you eat – well, that’s what I tell my children. I always thought it was said to encourage healthy eating. I never knew how accurate that aphorism was, until I started researching how gut bacteria affects your mood and intelligence. Recently, there has been a great deal […]

Robotics circa 2014

Robotics circa 2014

I don’t know about you, but I have always been fascinated by robots (let’s blame Isaac Asimov). Over the years, I have covered quite a range of robots for the Science Page, including robots that could mimic the swimming style of tuna fish and robots designed to climb mountainous surfaces on other planets. However, as […]

A Fluff of Feathers

A Fluff of Feathers

When I was studying palaeontology at the University of Queensland, dinosaurs were still seen as sluggish and cold-blooded by the majority of people. But this was a field undergoing some amazing transformations of theory even then. The possibility that dinosaurs were not slow moving was being accepted by the mainstream palaeontologists, as scientists studying their […]

« Previous Entries