Natural Histories

Placing the Platypus

Defying categorisation since its discovery, was the platypus a mammal, a reptile, or something else? 

Pigs Might Try

Putting a pig on trial appears to defy logic, but in medieval France it gave rural folk the illusion of order in a frightening world. 

Bats: Out of Hell?

It took an Irish Gothic novelist to tie up centuries of demonic mythology surrounding this leathery, nocturnal mammal. 

The Jellyfish Problem

Plant, animal or other? The struggle to categorise jellyfish mirrors the desire to impose a hierarchy on the natural world.