News

The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Sloth mystery solved: How moths and algae shape this unusual creature's toilet habits

Why sloths descend from the safety of the trees once a week to go to the toilet has baffled scientists - but one specialist thinks he has the answer

Postcard from... Sydney

A 1952 illustration of the popular fairy tale

Why grandma, what a big family tree you have... Scientific research has been used to trace Little Red Riding Hood’s roots....

... and, as Nick Clark discovers, she has ancestors spanning Africa, Asia and Europe

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict breaks seven-month silence to deny covering up abuse by paedophile priests, and to denounce Richard Dawkins' work as 'science fiction'

The emeritus pope made the comments in a letter to prominent mathematician and atheist Piergiorgio Odifreddi

Book review: An Appetite For Wonder, By Richard Dawkins

An insight beyond the caricature

Revealed, the ugliest animal on earth: the humble Blobfish

Other contenders for the prize included the axolotl and the pig-nosed turtle

Book review: Four Fields, By Tim Dee

From the Fens to Chernobyl, this tour of turf shows the skills of a gifted, if sombre, naturalist

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Pope Francis.

Portfolio: Richard Bailey

Tom Lehrer's spring isn't complete without poisoning them in the park; Dick Dastardly dratted and double-dratted himself to near-oblivion chasing one. For the rest of us, it's become all too easy to vilify them as "rats with wings".

Google's Doodle commemorates Julius Richard Petri

This will grow on you: Google Doodle celebrates 161st birthday of Julius Richard Petri - inventor of the Petri dish

Google is commemorating the achievements of the scientist Julius Richard Petri today with a Google Doodle that shows his invention - the Petri dish - in action.

Consumers are being cheated 7% of the time when they buy white fish, a study has found

Cheaper fish being passed off as cod and haddock

Consumers are being routinely cheated when they buy cod and haddock, a study has found.

The God Argument, By AC Grayling

Virtuous atheists may live well and do good – but can they give hope to the hopeless cases?

A deep-sea lobster of the genus Puerulus from the Indian Ocean which was recently discovered to be new to science. Extinction rates of animals and plants on Earth have been exaggerated, according to a team of researchers

Animal kingdom is smaller than we thought (but that’s good news)

New, lower estimate means every plant and animal could be catalogued by the year 2100

Page 3 Profile: Dr Peter Wothers, chemist

A stuffy academic?

Neil Lennon celebrates Celtic’s victory over Barcelona

Kevin Garside: Belief in fate and miracles belittles the coach's role

For the Higgs boson believers, and me, Celtic just got lucky against Barcelona

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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
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee