To celebrate Christmas, here’s our 10 most popular articles from 2015

It’s Christmas day; you’re probably gathered around the tree right now, swapping presents and preparing for the sumptuous feast of food to follow. But to the natural world, today is the same as any other day and that means—at least for the northern hemisphere—surviving another 24 hours of winter’s bleak embrace.

Mother Nature may not stop to observe the manmade beauty of Christmas but we can certainly take a moment to pause and think about Her creatures. To celebrate our readers’ love for the natural world and its inhabitants great and small, here’s our 10 most popular articles from 2015.

10. 11 of nature’s cutest, most adorable baby animals

Photograph by Four Oaks / Shutterstock
Photograph by Four Oaks / Shutterstock

Some of nature’s finest also happen to be extraordinarily adorable. Here’s a list of some of the most classic, interesting and overlooked cuties, a lot of which don’t stay all too cuddly looking for long.

9. This strange squirrel has gained a winter home… and internet fame

Photo source: Toby Friedner / BBC
Photo source: Toby Friedner / BBC

In a small park in Dunstable, some 30 miles north of London, an incredibly rare squirrel entirely devoid of hair was spotted, sparking a wave of sympathy across the country.

8. These may be the year’s most amazing wildlife pictures

A baboon gets lost in his thoughts  'I noted this baboon sitting and facing the sun with his eyes closed. Once I was close enough, and without distracting him, he put one hand under his face, posing as though he was lost in his thoughts.'

In celebration of the 350th anniversary of one of their publications, Royal Society Publishing held a photography competition. After over 1,000 global submissions, the winners are in.

7. 337 whales have died in the largest mass-stranding known to science

Photo by VRENI HÄUSSERMANN / National Geographic
Photo by VRENI HÄUSSERMANN / National Geographic

During of a routine aerial research mission last summer, scientists flying over a remote fjord in Chilean Patagonia spotted something below that was not only entirely unexpected, it was also truly shocking: 337 dead whales.

6. The minuscule world of very tiny mammals

Etruscan pygmy shrew

We’ve all heard of the world’s largest mammals, from whales to bears, elephants to hippos. But could you name the smallest? Dive into this article to discover primates the size of your thumb, shrews a little larger than a paper clip and more.

5. Baby whale drinks from mother’s milk

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 12.47.43

Like most mammals, whale calves require their mother’s milk for nutrients. However, it can prove difficult to feed underwater, so just how do these magnificent beasts do it?

4. We asked a moose expert what the heck is actually going on in this reader’s video


When Amanda Waggoner noticed two moose acting interestingly in her backyard, she did what any self-respecting disciple of the digital age would do: she filmed the encounter and shared it with us (below), stating: ‘[I] don’t know for sure if it’s a mama weaning… but sure does remind me of motherhood.’ Our curiosity captured, we took up the challenge to find out the motive behind the moose’s rather manic behaviour.

3. 10 brightly coloured animals that look like they fell out of a rainbow

Photo by David Pegzlz / Shutterstock
Photo by David Pegzlz / Shutterstock

Mother Nature must have been tripping when she came up with this lot. From flamboyant birds to deadly snakes, meet the insanely colourful critters for whom camouflage probably means hiding in a box of fluorescent crayons.

2. The magical footage of 2000 beluga whales playing together that simply needs to be watched

Beluga Whales

Spots of bright white fleck an otherwise calm and turquoise sea in Canada’s far north. They are beluga whales—over 2000 of them—caught on camera frolicking about in Cunningham Inlet last summer, the edited footage recently published online.

1. This year’s funniest animal photographs have been revealed


An esteemed collection of wildlife experts, photographers and comedians recently assembled in London to answer a pressing question: which animal photo is the funniest?