Environment The olinguito was found in the forests of Colombia and Ecuador

The year we said hello to the olinguito, the kabomani tapir, the Cambodian tailorbird, the leaf-tailed gecko and the tinkerbella wasp

Jellyfish close down nuclear plant

Both reactors at a nuclear power station have been shut down after "high volumes" of jellyfish were found on seawater filter screens.

Beach-goers urged to look out for jellyfish

Holiday-makers are being called on to report their sightings of jellyfish at beaches across the UK, as part of a national survey.

Life was weird 500 million years ago

With its circular jaw armed with an array of fearsome teeth, it cruised the prehistoric seas as one of the top marine predators of its day.

Andrew Martin: A wounded sea takes its slimy revenge

A writer fears the omens as our beaches turn glutinous

Letter: Feline felons

Sir: How observant of Charles Maybourne (Letter, 6 December) to note the predatory instincts of that devilish suburban murderer, the cat. And his concern for the well-being of a select group of garden wildlife is touching. But why stop there? I admit to a great fondness for cats - and robins, blue tits, blackbirds, voles, field mice and newts. But don't all of these themselves prey upon lesser species? Take care, Mr Maybourne - the Invertebrates Liberation Front probably knows where you live.

Acid leaks on to protected marshland

ANTI-POLLUTION TEAMS from the Environment Agency and English Nature were striving last night to contain a major leak of industrial acid onto a protected marshland which is a haven for wild birds.

Letter: Killing shellfish

Sir: I was interested to read about Mr Stookers Housefly, Parasitic and Biting Insect Support Group (letter, 7 September) but surely Hilaire Belloc said the last word on this many decades ago:

Letter: Unfair to shellfish

Sir: We were heartened to see the space given on your letters page to our co-campaigners in the Shellfish Network (3 September). Despite the admitted lowly position of shellfish in the league-table of public sympathy, we at the recently launched Housefly, Parasitic and Biting Insect Support Group believe our constituency to be lower still.

Flatworms that make sex their weapon

HERMAPHRODITE marine flatworms bury their feminine side and behave in the most crude, macho fashion when it comes to mating, indulging in swordplay with their penises. And female oystercatchersare frequently seen to indulge in lesbian copulation when they share a male. These new observations are in the latest edition of Nature.

Triathlon: Jellyfish provide extra challenge

Triathlon

Whatever happened to the New Zealand flatworm?

The moment:The invaders were first noticed on our shores in early 1995: foreigners hell-bent on destruction. They would emerge at night, punch a hole in their prey and suck them dry, before returning to their hiding place. But this was no vampirish European Commissioner - a worse alien had arrived: Artioposthia triangulator, or the New Zealand flatworm.

LETTERS:Why the flatworm is harmless at home

From Mr Rod Blackshaw Sir: Diane Reeder (Letters, 17 January) has posed a frequently asked question about the New Zealand flatworm. Our earthworms are important to the quality of soils and plant growth in the UK. When British earthworms are released intoNew Zealand pasture they increase grass growth and make that country even more green and pleasant.

LETTER : Worm's eye view

From Ms Diane Reeder Sir: How is it that, if the New Zealand flatworm's habit of slurping up the good old British earthworm will devastate this green and pleasant land, New Zealand seems a very green and pleasant land, far from an arid wasteland?

Health Update: Jellyfish joins the low-fat menu

JELLYFISH could be the next popular low-fat health food, say researchers at Auburn University, Alabama. They say the processed fish is low in calories and cholesterol and its texture has been savoured by the Chinese for more than 1,000 years. However, they admit in New Scientist, the jellyfish will need an image change before it finds its way into Western supermarkets.

Letter: Slugs without pain

Sir: Mr Hayward may regard using nematode worms to eat slugs as 'immoral' (letter, 4 March), but the possibility of a slug, let alone any less advanced invertebrate, suffering an 'agonising death' is unlikely, as its nervous system is too primitive for it to feel pain. An analogy would be for a human to have its coat gradually snipped away at; something to avoid, but not at all painful.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect