News A red bellied piranha, similar to the palometas that have injured bathers in attacks in Argentina

The fish already injured swimmers cooling down from the heat last month

Arifa Akbar: Some fictional characters are gay. Get over it

I was waiting for the Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas to begin his first UK event this week and, as the audience filed in from the drizzle, I noticed a particular absence in the room. That of women. It was just me until – phew – three others slunk in. Tsiolkas's reading at a Bloomsbury basement bar had been organised by the bookshop Gay's the Word, so the clue was in the title, but I was thrown at first, to be among an audience with shared affinities that reared themselves – fascinatingly – during the discussion.

The huge shoal of herring were swimming too close to the surface when the water suddenly froze around them, completely stopping them in their tracks and creating the incredible sight.

Harsh wind hits Norwegian bay so suddenly that thousands of fish are flash-frozen

The incredible image was captured from the tiny island of Lovund in central Norway after temperatures suddenly dipped, freezing the water and trapping the fish

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Sixty injured in piranha attack on Christmas Day

A seven-year-old girl lost part of her finger in the attack by a shoal of the meat-eating fish

The yellow wagtail has disappeared entirely from Wales

Birds that were once a common sight in Britain take flight, never to return

The sharp decline in some of Britain’s most common bird species is resulting for the first time in their disappearance from some parts of the United Kingdom, conservationists warn today.

Edwina Currie unveils the new version of the British Lion Code of Practice at Portcullis House in London

A safe pair of hands? Edwina Currie launches egg safety code

Edwina Currie, the former Health minister who once nearly bankrupted Britain’s egg producers, has been chosen to promote the new version of the red British Lion, which tells you that an egg is safe to eat.

World's oldest prehistoric toilet unearthed in Argentina

Fossilised dung left by megaherbivores 240-million years ago have been found clustered together

Elephant tusks smuggled into Thailand from Kenya. Thailand is yet to implement a legal framework to tackle the ivory trade

US to destroy entire six-ton stockpile of ivory in message to poachers – but experts say it could just make problem worse

There are fears destruction just increases value of remaining stockpiles on illegal markets

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, at hospital in Borogontsy

Armed only with a small knife and a loyal dog, man beats bear in Siberian forest

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, stabbed the animal in heart after he was attacked

Blinky from The Simpsons

Putin’s fish is big... but I’ve got a whopper: Battle of the rod-swinging rulers as President of Belarus lands 125lb catfish in Chernobyl exclusion zone

In a rod-swinging contest between hard-man rulers, Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, has outdone Russia’s Vladimir Putin by reeling in a real-life Blinky, the radioactive fish of The Simpsons fame.

The Fish & Chip Shop, 189 Upper Street, Islington, London

Des McDonald's name is legendary in the food business – the legends in question being Midas and Croesus. When Nick Lander published The Art of the Restaurateur last year, McDonald was one of its stars. An Irish baker's son, he opened two restaurants in the City of London by the age of 22 and become executive chef of Caprice Holdings, founded by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the chaps who triumphantly revamped The Ivy, Scotts of Mayfair, Le Caprice and J Sheekey.

Forthampton Court estate, above, home of the Yorkes, finds itself at the centre of the cull controversy

Clash over badger cull turning into 'class war': Activists set sights on 'landed gentry'

John Yorke can trace his family's roots back to the Normans. Like his ancestors, 74-year-old Mr Yorke farms the 3,000 acres of prime Gloucestershire agricultural land that forms the Forthampton Court estate. An Old Etonian and former High Sheriff of Herefordshire, Mr Yorke reluctantly finds himself and his lands at the epicentre of the Government's highly controversial badger cull.

The giraffe, despite its towering size, has the same number of bones in the neck as a human: seven. Valves in the neck prevent blood rushing to the head when they bend down to drink. They live in Africa’s grasslands and woodlands.

Who you calling ugly? Zoos prefer cute animals to less attractive species, research shows

Zoos are no place for ugly ducklings. Big, intelligent, good-looking animals are more likely to be found in zoos, irrespective of conservation needs, according to new research. While the red panda, big cats, elephants and giraffes are found in most zoos, there's no place for the pika, the golden mole or the rat kangaroo.

Gills’ Leon Legge wins a header

Gillingham 1 Accrington Stanley 0 match report: Matt Fish breathes life into Gills to stretch lead

Gillingham's League Two promotion charge stays on course, but Accrington's survival is in doubt

Hearing aid: An owl’s ears can detect a mouse under earth or snow

Paperback review: Bird Sense - What It's Like to Be a Bird, By Tim Birkhead

A bird-brained philosophy of science

Anthony Hilton: SFO is in a hole but it just goes on digging

There is surely something flawed in the decision by the Serious Fraud Office to hire Slaughter & May, the most expensive solicitors in London, to lead its defence against the action for wrongful arrest and damages brought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

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A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
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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
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Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

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We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

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The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn