Nature in brief
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.
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.
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.