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Scientists observed snakes "slithering" through the air to stay aloft

World's rarest snake back from brink of extinction

The world's rarest snake has slithered back from the brink of extinction, with its numbers increasing 10-fold in the past 15 years, conservationists said today.

Snake sloughs off mortal coil

The longest snake in captivity has died in Ohio.

My Secret Life: John Simpson, journalist, 66

My parents were ... an unsuited couple, really. My father was very outgoing and witty and demonstrative; my mother was very quiet and gentle. My mother said my father was a monster – which he was, but only in the nicest possible way. When I was six, they split up and I had to choose between them. I bizarrely chose my father, which was absolutely unheard of in the Fifties. I miss him every single day.

Members Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, By Paul Willetts

It must seen difficult for a younger generation, steeped nowadays in sex, to realise that in the 1950s nudism was illegal on stage. Or rather, you were allowed a nude but only if it didn't move an inch. The results were bizarre tableaux which the compere would introduce with words like: "First, ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Natalya and the charming little Renée offer you 'The Toilet of Nudes' by Diego Velasquez from the National Gallery here in London."

Dom Joly: Forget Delhi belly, but watch out for snakes and tigers in the athletes' village

Weird World of Sport: 'I'm on the fourth floor of Block B and there is what I think is a large tiger walking up and down the balcony outside our rooms'

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Why are some alien invasions welcomed?

Stick insects are some of the world's most curious and recognisable creatures. They provoke fascination not only for their startling resemblance to sticks or leaves, a perfect piece of evolved camouflage, but also for the sheer anorexic skinniness of many of them; perhaps there is an ancient gene in us that triggers alarm at the sight of anything preternaturally thin.

Commonwealth organisers face plague of snakes and monkeys

Snakes, stray dogs and monkeys are the latest problem for officials rushing to complete work at the athletes' village in Delhi.

Dead birds, rats, snakes, lipstick and a Manolo Blahnik heel

Gallery unveils a 'gothic' portrait of Isabella Blow

Children's TV presenter bitten by crocodile

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall has revealed how he was bitten by a crocodile while filming a children's BBC series.

The Curious Incident of the Snake in the Night-Time*

A mystery caller knocked on a woman's door - and left a four-foot snake on her doorstep.

Ian Holloway: It has taken me 14 years to get this chairman so I can't lose him

They must make a fly-on-the-wall about Blackpool's season, but it will have to go out after the watershed

Italy: Hungry python was cocaine guard

Italian police seized a rare albino python in Rome yesterday in a raid on a group of drug traffickers who used the snake to guard cocaine and intimidate customers who owed them money.

One Minute With: Simon Schama

Where are you now and what can you see?

26 years for killer who hid body

A killer was jailed for at least 26 years today after he refused to reveal what he has done with the body of his victim.

Heathland: A burning issue

When Thursley Common caught fire four years ago, its rare flora and fauna seemed doomed. But, as Michael McCarthy found out, the heathland is rising from the ashes
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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor