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The other Dodo: Extinct bird that used its wings as clubs

The other Dodo: Extinct bird that used its wings as clubs

Science
The extinct Dodo had a little-known relative on another island. This fascinating bird ultimately suffered the same fate as its iconic cousin, but we can reconstruct some of its biology thanks to the writings of a French explorer who studied it during his travels of the Indian Ocean.In the middle of the 18th century, at around the time the US was signing the declaration of independence, a large flightless bird quietly became extinct on an island in the Indian Ocean. Today this bird is all but forgotten. Early explorers to the tiny island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean described a "Dodo" living on the forested island. Males were grey-brown, and females sandy, both having strong legs and a long, proud necks... but despite outward similarities to the iconic Mauritian bird, this wasn't in fac...
Jacqueline Wilson: Children feel more worried than they used to

Jacqueline Wilson: Children feel more worried than they used to

Entertainment
Dame Jacqueline Wilson's books have been a massive part of many people's childhoods.She has produced books for more than three decades of readers, but says today's children "feel more worried" than before. She also says that while children are still avid bookworms, adults would rather be "glued to their smartphones".Dame Jacqueline is being awarded the Special Award at the Bafta Children's ceremony on Sunday.Dame Jacqueline started her career as a journalist for DC Thomson in Scotland and was one of the founders of Jackie magazine.She then went on to dedicate herself to writing children's novels.Many of Dame Jacqueline's books - like The Story of Tracy Beaker, Girls in Love and The Illustrated Mum - have been adapted into TV series and films.Her latest series of books, Hetty Feather, was m...
Animal products will still be used for notes

Animal products will still be used for notes

Business
The Bank of England has decided to carry on using chemicals derived from animal products to make its new plastic banknotes despite an outcry.An extensive consultation saw the vast majority of those who responded say they were against the use of the additives.But the Bank said the alternative of using palm oil raised environmental concerns and would cost the Treasury an extra £16.5m over the next ten years.The Government told the Bank it did not believe a switch would be achieve value for money for taxpayers.Campaigners launched a petition last autumn after it emerged that the new plastic £5 note contained traces of an animal product derivative.The Bank launched a review following the outcry and earlier this year decided not to scrap the notes, though it said it would hold a public consulta
Chantek, the orangutan who used sign language, dies at 39

Chantek, the orangutan who used sign language, dies at 39

Science
An orangutan who was one of the first apes to learn sign language has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 39.Chantek lived with an anthropologist in Tennessee for about nine years and learned to clean his room, make and use tools and memorise the route to a fast-food restaurant.He spent his later years in Zoo Atlanta where he was treated for heart disease.Zoo officials said he had "an engaging personality" and would be deeply missed. In a statement, Zoo Atlanta said that at 39, Chantek was one of the oldest male orangutans in North American zoos.His cause of death was not yet known, it said, but vets had been treating him for progressive heart disease. Orangutans are considered geriatric after the age of about 35, the zoo added.Chantek was born at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in ...
Facebook used in people smuggling networks

Facebook used in people smuggling networks

Technology
People smugglers who offer to illegally transport people into Europe are advertising their services openly on Facebook, researchers have found.Picture and video testimonials from successful migrants are posted on social media as smuggling operations compete to be seen as the safest way to enter Europe.Researchers are using this information to analyse the networks behind people smuggling operations in the Mediterranean.Syrian communities displaced by the civil war are especially close users of Facebook. The country had a functional education system before the war and Syrian migrants have on average a higher level of education and digital literacy.A team led by Paolo Campana, an expert in criminal networks at the University of Cambridge, has pored over a vast range of information to investig...