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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own