Why do some animals eat themselves?

Why do some animals eat themselves?

My recent story for BBC Earth is on autocannibalism, the act of eating oneself. There are many kinds of animals that eat members of their own species but some, either through accident or intention, eat parts of themselves! Read on to satisfy your morbid curiosity.

Science Museum News posts – 2015 (part 2)

Science Museum News posts – 2015 (part 2)
  • Civil Aviation Authority prohibits drones from flying too close to airports
  • Sections of solar plane journey will take days, so pilot only takes 20-minute naps
  • UK-built firsts on Bloodhound include a jet, a rocket, software and 3D-printed components
  • Health experts test for disease-carrying insects at seaports and airports
  • Russian space agency says failed rocket burned up in the atmosphere
  • Scientists say animal welfare has improved greatly
  • Philae lander is equipped with drills, radar, lasers and chemical probes
  • Pope Francis argues that we need to invest more in renewable energy

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Science Museum News posts – 2015 (part 1)

Science Museum News posts – 2015 (part 1)
  • Kepler space telescope helps experts create a ‘star clock’
  • New antibiotic discovered by digging in soil
  • 20 minutes of light exercise each day could stave off preventable diseases
  • GM bugs have custom built-in code that stops them sharing their artificial DNA
  • Some very bright people suggest we should be worried about AI
  • Facial recognition is so efficient a smartphone could recognise billions of faces
  • UK sugar regulations are tougher than the World Health Organization’s guidelines
  • DeepMind gave AI classic games to explore, it can now beat humans at most of them
  • Electricity from new tidal power station cheaper than from nuclear

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Science Museum News posts – 2014 (part 2)

Science Museum News posts – 2014 (part 2)
  • Researchers used MRI to look at the part of the brain responsible for dishing out rewards
  • Doctors stress that with radiation therapy timing is everything
  • Genetic researchers find tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum) easy to experiment on
  • Mangalyaan probe cost $74 million, around $600 million less than NASA’s Maven Mars orbiter
  • At 2500 km wide an unnamed feature covers 17% of the Moon
  • The Wellcome Trust spends £4 million studying how neuroscience can improve education
  • People whose symptoms could be linked to Ebola will be asked questions about their travel history
  • 4.5 gigawatts of wind power provided energy to millions of British homes daily
  • Comet lander Philae didn’t fire harpoons, so it’s only held down by the comet’s weak gravity
  • About 500 camera feeds from the UK are leaked, from homes, businesses and even a gym
  • Volunteers received a large or small test dose of an Ebola vaccine to test its safety
  • EU court judgement suggests employers unfairly required to cater for the needs of obese people

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Science Museum News posts – 2014 (part 1)

Science Museum News posts – 2014 (part 1)
  • Big plans for medical data, it may be anonymous, but people can still opt out if they wish
  • Being cold makes your ‘brown fat’ generate a lot of heat
  • Effect of new pills to help focus only seem to work in men
  • Facebook collaborated with Cornell and California Universities to study 689,000 users
  • Participants in a test self-reported their results, then examiners tested how honest they were
  • There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, but it can only infect other people via bodily fluids
  • Unsurprisingly, young people use technology more, with 6-year-olds being as savvy as 45-year-olds
  • GM flies produced by researchers have ‘pre-pupal female lethality’
  • Each year obesity may be responsible for 12,000 cancer cases in the UK
  • Botox disrupts the vagus nerve, which goes from the brain to the stomach
  • Researchers used optogenetic switches, which control neurons (brain cells) with coloured light

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