Na­ture in brief

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - WILD NEWS -

Mak­ing tracks

Palaeon­tol­o­gists have un­earthed the fos­silised re­mains of a worm­like crea­ture and the tracks it left in sed­i­ment more than half a bil­lion years ago. Na­ture re­ports that Yilin­gia spi­ci­formis con­sti­tutes the ear­li­est ev­i­dence of di­rec­tional mo­bil­ity.

Sav­ing spots

Con­ser­va­tion char­ity Pan­thera has helped to launch a new ini­tia­tive to pro­tect Zam­bia’s wild cats by re­plac­ing furs tra­di­tion­ally used as cer­e­mo­nial at­tire by the Lozi peo­ple with syn­thetic ones.

Heather feels the heat

Swathes of UK heather have been dam­aged by the ef­fects of last year’s heat­waves and in­creased heather bee­tle num­bers, re­sult­ing in no mass flow­er­ing. A mild win­ter meant more bee­tle lar­vae sur­vived to feed on the plants’ outer leaves.

Bird starer

Bi­ol­o­gists have iden­ti­fied a sim­ple ploy we can use to stop gulls pil­fer­ing our pic­nics at the sea­side. Bi­ol­ogy Let­ters re­ports that her­ring gulls are more ret­i­cent to steal food from peo­ple who are star­ing at them.

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