News A meerkat peers out from beneath a rock during a stocktake

Creatures were given snacks in exchange for having their details recorded by zoo keepers

Graduate Careers: How I Got Here: Humans were never my subject

Desmond Morris, 71, the renowned anthro-pologist, has used his knowledge of human and animal behaviour to write more than 30 books, including the international best-seller The Naked Ape, and has presented numerous television programmes.

Books: Too much talking about degeneration

Post-mortem poetry is not enough to rescue this rhapsody of rot from inhumanity. By Michael Arditti;Being Dead by Jim Crace Viking, pounds 16.99, 210pp

Words: epigone, n.

SUCH IS what publishers (and zoologists) call territoriality that there is still no sign in Britain of Anthony Burgess's One Man's Chorus. As do Urgent Copy and Homage to Qwert Yuiop, these essays keep offering something new.

Words: motile, adj.

FRANK KERMODE, in the London Review of Books, has caught up with Bech at Bay by John Updike, whom he calls "alive, fertile and motile". One might think this a hangover from Kermode's structuralist phase, but it is a zoological term - able to move; presumably that is Kermode's sense rather than the psychological one - somebody who reacts to motor imagery rather than auditory or visual. Updike is the supreme chronicler of sight and sound, a dextrous vocabulary to hand.

Words: viviparous, adj.

PROBABLY THE best book ever is Richard Cook and Brian Morton's The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD. In eight years and four editions, it has grown to 1750 pages.

Words: Osculation, n.

"YOU MUST must remember zis, / A kiss is just a kiss, / A fly is just a fly," doodles John Lennon on Anthology. His penchant for pun and wordplay makes one wonder what he could have done with osculation in popular song. From the Latin for kiss, it might sound technical - passion enacted upon a microscope slide - and there are indeed zoological usages.

Escaped zoo jaguar kills boy, 3

A BOY of three died after being mauled and bitten by a jaguar that escaped from its cage in a zoo in France yesterday. The child's father suffered serious head wounds trying to save his son in the attack in Doue-la-Fontaine, 250 kms (150 miles) south-west of Paris.

Science: A wing and a prayer

Extinction beckons for over 1,000 bird species, and it seems nature wants it that way, Peter Bennett investigates

Learn about dinosaurs

WERE DINOSAURS lumbering giants, barely able to support their own weight, or were they active and fast-moving? These and many other revealing facts about the gargantuan creatures will be unearthed by Professor R McNeill Alexander, from the Zoological Society of London on Tuesday. Could be a roaring success. Aaaargh!

Accountants hatch plans for emu adoption

Price Waterhouse, the accounting giant, has adopted London Zoo's lone emu in a move it claims will encourage clients to focus attentions on the single currency.

FREE ZOO TICKETS

Cut out the coupon (right) for another chance to win one of 250 sets of family tickets, courtesy of Yoplait Wildlife, for a day out at London Zoo. (Full details of our offer and the same coupon were published in last week's Eye.) Each set of tickets admits two adults and two children, and is worth pounds 28.

A zoo romance ...

London Zoo's two-year-old pygmy hippopotamuses making their debut in Regent's Park yesterday. Hope, from Edinburgh, and Nicolas, from Rome, are the zoo's first hippos since 1988. At only 1m tall, the web-footed pygmies are one twentieth the size of their common cousins

Spring comes to the Tarquins

It is Spring here at the heart of Empire. The sun is reflected from the white towers and buttresses of Westminster Abbey, or trapped in the carved crevices of the decorations and gargoyles on the Houses of Parliament.

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