New Zealand and Hawaii. Remote Islands and Why Each One Is Different.

Given the many problems caused by humans to the various species living on Pacific Islands, their rapid decline seems inevitable, but to a degree this process was happening naturally, long before we showed up. Such losses and gains were, and still are, dependent upon many factors, but as a general rule, smaller islands exhibit a greater turn over than do larger islands; and the arrival of man has now pushed the losses to the level of a major extinction event, with both New Zealand and Hawaii exhibiting clear examples of the problem.  I mentioned Hawaii's carnivorous caterpillars in a previous article,…

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Read more about the article Before We Had Brains 2 – Of Arthropods and Other Things.
Often the size of an insects eyes, give a clue as to how important vision is to them, although it is difficult to imagine quite what an insect see once it has converted the many images that its compound eye sees into something useful.

Before We Had Brains 2 – Of Arthropods and Other Things.

Long before humans developed the brains they have today, a great many other animals had already evolved co-ordinated nerve centres completely effective in directing their everyday lives. In 'Before We Had Brains 1', I considered what might have been our earliest vertebrate ancestor - probably a worm-like creature that lived in the sea; and before that we must have passed through a variety of preceding invertebrate stages - it's been a long road. Almost as extraordinary is that while we were on the evolutionary march from comparative simplicity to our present complexity, many other animals hardly changed at all. Once a species…

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HAWAII: JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE. PART 1 – IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT.

On a recent visit to Hawaii, I hardly saw any native wildlife, a stark reminder that things haven't improved since I first came to film for the B.B.C. back in the early 1980s. Thirty five years ago I made my first visit to Hawaii at a time when travelling to distant tropical islands from the U.K. was considered exotic. In those days, you'd emerge from a plane into the shimmering light and once down the gangway steps walk to the terminal building with the heat of the sun bouncing beneath your feet like a playful pet; and just as you were beginning…

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