Life and Style Merry Christmas! Here's a snake in a hat.

Snakes in hats has become the latest pet trend to take online forums by storm, take a look at some of the most stylish here

Roar of traffic drowns out frogs' love croaks

Traffic noise could be ruining the sex lives of urban frogs by drowning out the seductive croaks of amorous males, according to an Australian researcher.

Slaughter of the cane toads: sport for all, Aussie-style

Hated amphibians will be turned into fertiliser for the farmers they have plagued

Amphibians and reptiles: how terrestrial living was transformed by the evolution of better adapted species

Today's tour of the aeons before the appearance of the human species on Earth begins with a rare and most important piece of evolutionary evidence provided by the fossils of a creature called Tiktaalik which were discovered on Ellesmere Island, Canada, in 2004.

Leading article: Jumping frogs

They say that if you want to boil a frog, you don't throw it into scalding water as the creature will simply leap out. Instead, you turn up the heat slowly.

Insect could halt spread of superweed

Scientists tackling the thorny problem of a foreign superweed hope a humble insect could halt its rampage across the UK's gardens.

Half of Europe's frogs face extinction

More than half of all amphibian species in Europe could become extinct by 2050 because of a combination of habitat loss, infectious diseases and the effects of climate change, scientists have found.

Solved: Mystery of the sex-change toads

New studies pin blame for decline on farm pesticides

World's 'weird' amphibians face extinction

What do a blind salamander that can go without food for a decade, a frog so small that it fits on a drawing pin and another that lives only in the human burial grounds have in common?

Gaspar Nagy

Dissident Hungarian poet

Album: Underworld and Gabriel Yared <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Breaking and Entering: Music from the Film, V2

Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol trans by Cheryl Leah Morgan

Today's forecast: angst, fantasy, action and unidentified monsters

The polluted planet: Alarm as global study finds one-third of amphibians face extinction

They were the first animals with backbones to walk on land. They witnessed the rise and fall of the dinosaurs and were present at the birth of a bipedal ape who went on to become the most destructive species the planet has ever known.

Intelligence? Intellectual courage? You won't hear that from anyone in TV

Some of the most exclusivist people I know are populists: they'll kill to prevent the dissemination of anything else
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us