Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

The numbers of buzzards are recovering after years of decline in Britain

Buzzards free to nest in peace as minister drops shooting plans

Protected birds earn reprieve after sudden U-turn

Animal rights activists halt transportation of laboratory animals

Vital medical research is being "choked off" because airlines and ferry companies are refusing to bring animals into the country for testing in the face of pressure from animals' rights activists, a former science minister has warned.

The beasts of the field must be puzzled by humans

A N Wilson: If Raisa could only talk, imagine what she'd neigh

Our writer finds in the story of the police horse lent to Rebekah Brooks a Swiftian satire that highlights animal nobility and human awfulness

Wild animals to be banned from circus

Ministers will today dash hopes of an immediate ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Lonely at the top: llamas graze at the Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru

The Great Divide: History and Human Nature in the Old World and the New, By Peter Watson

The Great Divide is one of several recent books on the deep ecological roots of human history, a trend begun by Jared Diamond with Guns, Germs and Steel (1997). Peter Watson takes some leads from Diamond but goes much further in his attempt to rescue the pre-Columbian world of the Americas from the contempt and even hatred expressed by many at the time of the 2009 Aztec exhibition at the British Museum. One article called the artefacts on display "As evil as Nazi lampshades made from human skin".

Travel Challenge: An August break in Bali

Every week we invite competing travel companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a 10-day trip to the Indonesian island of Bali in August. Prices are per person based on two sharing. All prices include flights departing from Heathrow and transfers.

The joys of spring: 20 reasons to be cheerful

Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, the days are getting brighter. Michael McCarthy celebrates a special time of year

Nasty by Nature: disgusting animal habits

From vomiting at attackers to squirting blood from their eyeballs, a new documentary examines the most revolting activities in the animal kingdom

Lizard species discovered – on a restaurant menu

A new species of lizard has become a legend in its own lunchtime after being identified by scientists from the menu of a local restaurant in the region of Vietnam where it lives.

Edinburgh festival's high flyers

For decades, they've been cheap and gaudy, but this year's handouts and posters have some style to them. About time too, says <b>Alice Jones</b>

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Such intoxicating displays of mimicry

Very occasionally a book comes along which enables you to see the world in a different way, and I have just discovered one. The title is Butterflies: Messages from Psyche and the author is Philip Howse, a retired Professor of Entomology at the University of Southampton. Published six weeks ago, the book is large-format, and since it is profusely illustrated with splendid photographs of butterflies and moths, many of them magnificent tropical species in bravura colours, your first thought is: coffee table. Yet something radical is going on in these pages which marks this volume out as one to be read rather than left lying around in your sitting room.

A very English ark: New homes for wildlife

In the UK's biggest exodus of creatures, thousands are being relocated from the Thames estuary to make room for a container port.

Lizards are dying out because of climate change, study says

They have been around since the time of the dinosaurs and have in the past survived several global mass extinctions of species, but now lizards are at serious risk of disappearing from the face of the earth as a result of climate change, scientists said yesterday.

The Blue Hour: A Portrait of Jean Rhys, By Lilian Pizzichini

Jean Rhys's favourite perfume was named L'Heure Bleue, and this melancholic scent featured in her first novel, Quartet, worn by a brave young female, the heroine breathing in the scent, hoping that she can absorb some of her rival's self-possession. This atmospheric biography captures not only the scents, but also the textures and colours that filled the complex life of the novelist.

New species of Monitor Lizard discovered

A new giant species of monitor lizard was discovered in the forests of the Northern Philippines, scientists said today.

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Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

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Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

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Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower