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
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
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Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
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Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
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Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
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booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor