Age-old secret that Hollywood celebrities try to keep from you has been uncovered … by palaeontologists

Hollywood celebrities spend large amounts of dollars on it. The hunky stud at the local pub thinks he knows it. But the age-old secret has been carefully kept for millions of years. Yet, it seemed obvious to pre-mammalian reptiles that went so far as to evolve mouths full of beautifully crafted teeth. It’s your beautifully…

Adapted to the Antarctic: a cold-lover’s genetics

First published on up.ac.za Life can thrive in the most extreme climates – from the very hot to the very cold. Something that not long ago was believed to belong in science fiction has now been brought into the realm of reality by a researcher at the University of Pretoria (UP). A fan of science…

Rocking with Namaqualand’s daisies

For the next few weeks, Scibraai will be featuring a few articles that appeared in the 2015 New Voices in Science publication. The articles are all written by postgraduate students of Stellenbosch University, and tell the stories of what they found out during the course of their research. First up is Caroli de Waal, who…

“Kry die dino-tannie se handtekening, Ma

  As jy gelukkig genoeg is om ‘n ouer te hê wat ‘n dinosouruskenner is, sal jy absoluut geen idee hê hoe dit voel om die kind van ‘n eertydse Latyn-onderwyseres te wees nie. Want waar jy gewoond is om ‘n hele paar “wow’s” te kry wanneer mense vra wat jou ma-hulle dan doen, is…

“Puff adders don’t smell … like anything” – meerkats, dogs

These little guys learn much faster than dogs apparently, at least when it comes to learning how to pick out a snake’s scent from a line-up. A photo posted by Anina Mumm (@aninja_m) on Jan 11, 2016 at 12:19pm PST In this photo, Ash Miller, a Wits post-grad, demonstrates how she trained meerkats to recognise…

Olifante weet toe klaar van rondwys

Die werk van ’n span navorsers wat gereed was om olifante iets te leer was klaar gedaan, want dié diere kon dit reeds self doen. Wanneer mense die aandag van ander wil trek, wys hulle na iets – gedrag wat van jongs af gebruik word. En dit is presies wat dr. Richard Byrne van die…

Scarab the dung beetle

IN THE MIDDLE of the Kalahari, Scarab goes about his daily business, or rather, the business of some unsuspecting antelope. As dung beetles of his species do, he collects pellets dropped by desert animals, while they’re still fresh, rolling them along to his nest in the sand. The sun is climbing as the day ages,…