Biomimicry is modeling biological entities and processes.

Velcro and Burdock Burr. Image — Google Images Creative Commons.

The popular fastener hook and loop tape, or Velcro from the French for velvet velours and hook crochet, is a well-used example of biomimicry, of technological inventers mimicking biology or copying nature. Velcro’s attachment mimics the hooks on the seed capsules of the Burdock burr plant.

There is much to learn from the natural world and this has been demonstrated on the website Biomimicry 3.8, named after the 3.8 billion years organisms have developed their survival mechanisms.

Biomimicry 3.8 is a network of scientists, engineers, architects and designers who share successful biomimicry ideas (Biomimicry, 2021; Miller & Spoolman, 2016).


The Bilby as an alternative Easter Bunny.

The Bilby’s common name is the long-eared greater bilby which makes it ideal for biting off the long chocolate ears. Image — Nicole Kearney Wikimedia Commons.

In many parts of the Christian World, Easter commemorates the crucifixion of the Prophet Jesus Christ and celebrates his resurrection. People give eggs as a symbol of life and Jesus’ resurrection.

To the delight of children, chocolate eggs have become one of the traditional Easter eggs, and to the delight of many adults as well. Over time the giving of chocolate rabbits has also become popular, who doesn’t enjoy biting the ears off of a chocolate Easter bunny.

Many discussions have occurred over previous Easters, as to the connection between eggs and rabbits, as rabbits don’t lay eggs. Although rabbits…

Climate Change is causing major changes in the distribution of marine organisms.

Great White Shark. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Marine protected areas, MPAs, conserve shark populations by restricting fishing and protecting their habitats, if they are suitably located. Australia has had MPAs for eighty years and has one of the largest networks of MPAs. Well enforced, large, no-take MPAs of suitable habitat are needed to conserve shark species.

Climate change and the resulting ocean warming is threatening the suitability of shark habitat and MPAs.

Oceans absorb 90% of the heat held in by anthropogenic greenhouse gases which results in increasing ocean temperatures. Such changes may affect sharks as they reach the upper limit of their body temperature range. …

Warning, graphic content. They kill Eastern Grey male Kangaroos.

The Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Caution, this article contains descriptions of actual kills and eating the prey.

Two Wedge-tailed Eagles circled a grazing mob of kangaroos, they had selected one young adult male to attack and dived at it. The kangaroo was about 1.2metres tall.

The Eagles separated this one kangaroo from the mob and started repeatedly striking the animal, taking it in turns, climbing to 20 to 30metres and then rapidly diving at the animal, striking at its head with talons and buffeting the head with their wings.

Strikes on the kangaroo were occurring every 15 seconds, with visible wounds to the head and…

NPK nutrients, trace elements or something else?

Harvesting seaweed. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Seaweed plant tonics have become widely used by gardeners and farmers, amid claims of increase plant health and disease resistance, but what are the seemingly secret ingredients that make them such a tonic?

Among the most asked gardening questions are about lemon trees.

Lemons. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Quick answers, interveinal yellowing is an iron deficiency, (yellow all over is a nitrogen deficiency), apply iron sulphate or iron chelate fertilizer. Don’t hammer an iron nail into the trunk!

Fruit drop is often a symptom of irregular watering, with some soil dryness in between watering.

In practice any plant problem or symptom it is unlikely to be just one factor but several and a knowledge of the plant and its requirements is useful when diagnosing symptoms.

A story of welcome.

Bronze casting of girl in the Vietnamese Boat People Monument in Adelaide. Image by author.

In 1972, I can remember in school at 15 years of age, feeling apprehensive about being called up to fight in Vietnam when I turned twenty. Five years seems a long time gap now, it didn’t then.

My friend’s brother was serving in the Australian Army in Vietnam, his parents would listen to the radio broadcasts each day in their kitchen for any news of casualties. Our neighbour’s son was serving over there as well, he had an extension to his time in Vietnam during which two of his friends were killed.

Australia had a ballot system to decide who…

Hurricanes median wind speed twice as high as it was 50 years ago.

A menacing line of hurricanes, September 2017. Image — Flickr Creative Commons.

Recent studies have shown that hurricanes around the Bermuda area have increased in intensity over the past 50 years and that this correlates with increasing sea surface temperatures.

In September 2019 Hurricane Humberto hit the island of Bermuda, a powerful category 3 hurricane, with 100knots winds, causing wide spread power outages. This was one of the recent intense hurricanes to hit the island, with others, Fabian, in 2003, Gonzalo 2014, Nicole 2016 and Paulette after in 2020 (Hallam, et al., 2021).

Hurricanes in the Bermuda area can of course impact on the US mainland, especially along coastal regions.

But is…

Australian top predator and scavenger.

Tiger quoll Dasyurus maculatus. Image — Flickr Creative Commons.

Tiger quoll, Dasyurus maculatus, are the largest Australian mainland extant carnivorous marsupial. Males are about 2.8kgms and females 1.7kgms. The Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisii is larger but present only in Tasmania, although efforts have been made to reintroduce it into NSW.

The tiger quoll, also known as the spotted-tailed quoll, occurs in tropical north Queensland rainforests, a fragmented range in the forests of south eastern Australia mainly the higher rainfall coastal region of New South Wales into Victoria, and in Tasmanian rainforests.

There are two sub species recognized, Dasyurus maculatus gracilis in Queensland considered endangered and Dasyurus maculatus maculatus in…

Peter Miles

Peter Miles B.Env.Sc. 45 years in Environmental Science, specializing in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Writes about Animals, Revegetation & Climate Change.

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