Chinese giant salamanders may already be virtually extinct

Chinese giant salamanders may already be virtually extinct

Chinese giant salamanders dwarf all other amphibiansAlamy By Andy Coghlan The largest amphibians in the world are on the very brink of extinction. Not only have wild populations of Chinese giant salamanders been decimated, it turns out there are five species rather than one, each with a truly minuscule population. Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) […]

Xiaomi eyes a giant Chinese IPO

Xiaomi eyes a giant Chinese IPO

IN CHINA no company achieved $ 1bn in annual revenue as quickly as Xiaomi did, in the year following the launch of its first smartphone in 2011. Chinese media initially nicknamed Xiaomi the “Apple of the East” (its literal translation is “little rice”). That was a stretch, even in good times. But within another two […]

Giant sea spiders sit and wait for prey to knock themselves out

Giant sea spiders sit and wait for prey to knock themselves out

Slow but deadlyTimothy R. Dwyer (PolarTREC 2016), Courtesy of ARCUS By Joshua Rapp Learn Giant sea spiders can only move at glacial speeds, but they are still deadly predators that can catch prey much faster than them. Sea spiders are found throughout the ocean. Despite their name, they are not true spiders but belong to […]

Earth Week: Giant group of octopus moms discovered in the deep sea

Earth Week: Giant group of octopus moms discovered in the deep sea

Top Story We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean. The seafloor is an alien landscape, with crushing pressures, near-total darkness and fluids wafting from cracks in the Earth’s crust. It’s also home to weird animals that scientists are only just getting to know. Now, […]

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten struggles to retake the lead from Amazon

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten struggles to retake the lead from Amazon

RAKUTEN is a jack-of-all-trades. Since pioneering e-commerce in Japan in 1997, it has been a rare example of a highly entrepreneurial Japanese firm. Today it spans more than 70 businesses providing credit cards, a travel agency, a golf-reservation system, matchmaking, wedding planning and insurance. It owns Viber, a calling and messaging app and has invested […]

Astronomers create first detailed images of surface of giant star

Astronomers create first detailed images of surface of giant star

Top Story An international team of astronomers has produced the first detailed images of the surface of a giant star outside our solar system, revealing a nearly circular, dust-free atmosphere with complex areas of moving material, known as convection cells or granules, according to a recent study. The giant star, named π1Gruis, is one of […]

Thatcher refused to share Denis with giant panda, archives reveal|Humor

A newly released National Archive file from 1981 has revealed that the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tried to put a stop to her husband Denis being used in vital breeding programmes for endangered species, including the giant panda. This action caused consternation in the Cabinet because at that time the UK economy was floundering […]

Human arrivals wiped out the Caribbean’s giant ground sloths

Human arrivals wiped out the Caribbean’s giant ground sloths

Gone but not forgottenChronicle/Alamy Stock Photo By Fred Pearce Who killed the giant ground sloth? Or the mammoth and sabre-toothed cat, come to that.  Was it humans or a natural event, like the end of the last ice age? The question is endlessly debated. But the answer, at least in the Caribbean, now seems certain: […]