What is a kelp forest, and why are they important?

Kelp forests line about a quarter of the worlds cold and temperate coastlines, thriving in cold, nutrient-rich waters. These coastal habitats support a surprising diversity of sea life and are one of the oceans most diverse ecosystems according to Oceana, but there is more to these underappreciated ecosystems than meets the eye.

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Metamorphosis: from aquatic juveniles to terrestrial adults

Here in the UK, the weather has warmed up and spring has arrived. Daffodils and crocuses have bloomed, lambs have been bouncing around the fields, and tadpoles can be seen in the ponds. The metamorphosis of tadpoles into froglets is a spectacular transformation during which almost every organ is subject to modification, and it’s this process we’ll be diving into in this article.

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The Ocean Panel – an ambitious plan to protect the world’s oceans (and an announcement!)

“The living world cannot operate without a healthy ocean, and neither can we”

David Attenborough

This is a sentiment evidently shared by the 14 countries of the Ocean Panel, who announced ambitious plans to sustainably manage 100% of the oceans under their national jurisdictions by 2025. This announcement comes at a pivotal moment in the climate crisis and is a welcome spark of hope and positive news for measurable change.

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Rewilding Britain 2020

Rewilding is a movement where efforts are concentrated on restoring the landscapes natural processes, eventually trying to create ecosystems that don’t require as much human management and giving space for nature to thrive on its own. Part of the rewilding process is to reintroduce key species that can help restore a more stable ecosystem. 2020 has seen some fantastic reintroduction projects with many more planned for the new year, and I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the remarkable stories in the UK and those to look forward to in the years to come.

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The chemistry of honey, pollen baskets and… bee bread?

As the temperatures warmed and plants began to bloom in the UK, it coincides as it always does with the awakening of the bees. As I watched them fly from flower to flower and get dusted with pollen, I noticed what looked like little saddlebags on their hind legs. Curious, I began researching more on these little pollinators and as I did so this post grew from a relatively short dive about the bags (called corbiculae) and into a deep dive on “bee bread”, how honey is made, what they use it for, and more.

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The sea anemone: an underrated voracious predator

Sea anemones are often overlooked, seen as the pretty but uninteresting sidekick for the clownfish that waft around in the currents not doing a lot… but in reality sea anemones are not to be underestimated. From willingly tearing themselves in half repeatedly to form a clone army, to detaching from the sea floor and swimming around and forming clever mutualistic partnerships, sea anemones have a lot more to them than initially meets the eye.

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The physics-hacking lizards that can drink water simply by touching it

There are organisms on Earth that don’t need sunlight to survive, some don’t even need oxygen, but all living things on this green and blue planet need water.

This need for water isn’t a problem when your environment has an abundance of it, but for those in drier climates they have had to adapt more inventive ways to survive, with some lizards being able to drink water simply by touching it.

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