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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

At this rate, elephants will be wiped out within 10 years

The illegal ivory trade is funding terrorist groups

A the combination of the zebra's broad and narrow stripes creating a confusing optical illusion

Zebra stripes explained

A zebra's stripes protects it from a range of predators, both big and small

Will Kemp is Ratty, Cris Penfold is Toad and Clemmie Sveaas is Mole in The Wind In The Willows at London's Duchess Theatre

Wind in the Willows, dance review: 'Cosily hand-knitted'

Duchess Theatre, London

'Weasel & Greenfinch' by Liza Dracup

Taxidermied animals reawakened in new photographs by Liza Dracup

The photographer talks to Daisy Wyatt about her new exhibition, based on the Bradford Museums & Galleries' taxidermy specimens

Kiwi bird could be Australian: New Zealand's bird could be from Australia, scientists say

New fossil research suggests the kiwi and emu share a common ancestor which travelled over to the smaller island nation millions of years ago

5,000 years of scrounging: Scientists discover world’s earliest evidence of cats living off humans

New study reveals proof for first time of how cats became ‘domesticated’

Five facts about elephants in circuses you need to know

Your go-to guide for performing pachyderms

China is currently responsible for 90 per cent of the world's angora wool supply

More shops ban the sale of angora wool after video exposes cruelty

An online clothing store has joined high-street shops in pulling angora products from its virtual shelves

A requisitioned employee carries pieces of meat under the surveillance of a policeman at a butchery's depot in Narbonne, southern France

French police arrest 21 people over sale of laboratory horse meat to the public

Twenty-one people have been arrested after an investigation into claims that meat from horses used in laboratory experiments was sold for food.

The frequent killings of top predators, such as wolves, bears and coyotes, benefit 'a small proportion of the nation's private agriculture' and other interests

Wildlife Services: Critics target America's ‘rogue’ assassins who kill 3 million animals a year

A US government  programme to control wildlife is under fire for being inhumane

The music video for Ylvis's

'The Fox' goes viral again, this time as a Christmas light show

Jay Perkins's festive rendition of the YouTube hit has attracted over 250,000 views in just two days

Chimpanzee dressed in a suit roller-skating through prostitutes and dwarves in Wolf of Wall Street prompts boycott calls

An animal rights group is calling for a boycott of Martin Scorsese's upcoming film, The Wolf of Wall Street, because it features a chimpanzee in a suit roller-skating through an office.

Dogs can predict and understand human behaviour better than ever, a new study has found, suggesting future generations of man’s best friend may not need any training at all.

Man's best friend just got better: Dogs can predict and understand human behaviour better than ever, and future generations may not need training

Study finds a dog’s understanding of our minds is increasingly instinctive

Porn star tells university to stop skinning rodents' penises for sex experiments

Ron Jeremy - nicknamed "the hedgehog" - said despite it taking a lot to shock him, as "an expert on sex", he was "appalled" by the sexual behaviour experiments carried out by US universities on rodents

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?