Animals & beasts

Peacock spider: The teeny-tiny multicoloured spider

Peacock spider: The teeny-tiny multicoloured spider

Say hello to my little friend! Quite literally… The Maratus volans is a species in the jumping spider family which belongs to the peacock spider genus. These spiders are so small they can barely be seen on a finger nail! As people say, small things come in big packages, which is certainly the case for this little guy.

6 animals that like it cold

6 animals that like it cold

Unlike us pathetic humans, there are plenty of creatures around the world who do just fine in chilly weather. These animals have all found ways of dealing with harsh conditions, whether that be by changing their behaviour or evolving their bodies. So, if you’re the type of person who started whining about the cold as soon as summer was over, spare a thought for these guys…

Tikbalang: A mythical demon horse from the Philippines

Tikbalang: A mythical demon horse from the Philippines

I’m not sure if it says something about the Philippines, but the people who live there certainly believe in a lot of strange creatures. Of course there are giants, mermaids and vampires – all the usual ones – but there’s also manananggal (a monster who can split in two and the top half flies off), pasatsats (ghosts of people who died, specifically, in the Second World War) and Tikbalang (a misdirecting horse/man/horse).

The world's furriest and fluffiest animals

The world's furriest and fluffiest animals

It’s strange – people love fluffy animals but don’t really like fluff on other people. As human beings, we’re constantly trying to impress each other by getting rid of our fur; wasting time every day shaving it off our faces, legs and backs. When it comes to animals, however, the rule seems to be “the furrier the better.”

Megasoma elephas: The remote-controlled beetle with an elephant's trunk

Megasoma elephas: The remote-controlled beetle with an elephant's trunk

I hate insects. If any are discovered in my flat, a coordinated emergency “trap and extract” campaign is put into action. Once, my mother and I spent at least an hour trying to evict a massive spider from the bathroom. This delicate operation was carried out largely unsuccessfully using a plastic beaker which we shoddily sellotaped to the end of a feather duster handle. I know spiders aren’t insects, by the way, but elephant beetles are, and if I was being accurate, I wouldn’t be able to mention my hilarious spider anecdote…

Attacus atlas: The world's largest moth

Attacus atlas: The world's largest moth

If you ask me, moths get a bad rap. Butterflies get all the attention and adoration, and moths get… well, trapped in the bathroom, usually. However, if you were to walk into your bathroom and discover an atlas moth hanging around on your shower curtain, I think you’d definitely give it some attention…