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

Close-up image of a conker and single horse chestnut leaf, which is showing signs of leaf miner damage (Getty Creative)

UK conker trees under threat from alien invading moths as scientists say Britain’s wasps are losing the insect war

Experts say there simply aren’t enough wasps to keep the horse chestnut-munching moths at bay

The chalkhill blue butterfly population has exploded on many of Britain's downs in July

A good year for nature in Britain, despite the cold: After frostiest March for 50 years, summer gave rise to an explosion in wildlife

'We had a wonderful July,' says National Trust specialist. 'The way nature fought back was miraculous; it went into overdrive'

A Crimson Speckled moth

On a wing and a heatwave: Exotic butterflies and moths from the continent colonising UK

Exotic butterflies and moths from the Continent have begun to colonise Britain following the hot summer, the Butterfly Conservation charity reports.

Kingsway Dalston

Mown down: The wildlife toll on UK's roadsides

Our obsession with neatness is harming plants, bees and butterflies

10% of British wildlife at risk of extinction as species show massive decline

Comprehensive study reveals hedgehogs, turtle doves and red squirrels among species seeing biggest falls

Paperback review: The Art of Leaving, By Anna Stothard

Eva Elliott no sooner starts a relationship than she is wondering how to get out of it, and worries that there is something odd about her tendency "to think so often about endings". That's until she meets the dashing barrister Luke, who would seem to offer her lasting happiness. But when an old friend of his, the glamorous Grace, arrives on the scene, Eva feels threatened – and her feet begin to itch once more.

Liber Nauticus is 7-2 for the Oaks despite a laboured win at York

Nauticus finds it far from plain sailing in Investec Oaks trial

If this was supposed to be the preliminary sketch for an Epsom masterpiece, then for now Liber Nauticus remains closer to an oil tanker than a dashing ocean clipper. Nonetheless she finds herself disputing favouritism for the Investec Oaks, bookmakers having taken an indulgent view of the heavy weather she made of her trial here.

Review: Asunder, By Chloe Aridjis (Chatto & Windus)

Cracks appear down at the gallery

The greater wax moth can hear sounds that are 100 times higher than the highest human voice

The moth that made mobile phone companies sit up and listen: Insect with sharpest hearing in the world could revolutionise technology

Greater wax moth is capable of hearing sounds 100 times higher than the whiniest human voice

Monarch butterflies are also believed to use landmarks and scent to find their way while migrating

Mapless monarch butterflies migrate using 'internal compass'

The North American monarch butterfly’s amazing migration, travelling thousands of miles each year from its wintering grounds in Mexico to as far north as the Great Lakes of Canada and back, is done without any internal maps, a study has found.

The Google doodle marks the 366th birthday of Maria Sibylla Merians

Google doodle celebrates life of artist and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian

The 366th anniversary of the birth of German artist and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian is celebrated in Google’s latest doodle.

This exotic spider was found in a household fridge in Glenrothes, Scotland

Exotic spider which may have travelled from India found in a fridge in Scotland

It has since been identified as from the wolf spider family

The Monarch butterfly

On a wing and without a prayer – the decline of the monarch butterfly

Out of America: More GM crops mean more herbicides – which destroy the food the insects need for their epic migration

Review: The Red Moth, By Sam Eastland

The saviour of the art of war

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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
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"