Hi, I'm Stuart, an Assistant Features Editor at eLife and recent life sciences PhD graduate. I blog about evolution and its weird and wonderful creations.
StuartKing has written 13 posts for Nature is Anything but Simple!

What are you thinking about, bird brain?

Most people would probably be offended to be called a ‘bird brain’, but depending on the bird in question it might not be quite so much of an insult. Although intelligence is often one of the traits that many would feel distinguishes us from other animals—pretty much any of the features that you might choose to … Continue reading

My 10,000th Day Special: The life in a day

Today is a big milestone for me, but one that I easily could have missed if I wasn’t paying attention*. It is exactly 10,000 days since I was born. Not sure what to make of this occasion because it has been a very long time since I’ve thought about my age in units any smaller … Continue reading

Chinese New Year Special: Wild horses being dragged back from the edge

Happy Chinese New Year! 恭禧發財 or ‘wishing you [are] prosperous in the coming year’! Today marks the start of the Year of the Horse, which will run from now until the 18th February next year. More specifically, as each year is also assigned one of the Five Elements, 2014 is the Year of the Wooden … Continue reading

Ants, Ants Everywhere: and a lot more than you think

Ants are everywhere: so much so that they often heralded as one of evolution’s success stories. Recently, three open access papers have exposed secrets behind these social insects’ triumph—by unearthing their routes to new habitats; comparing how the workers measure-up to one another; and by dissecting the source of the ant’s ‘superhero’ strength. Ants have … Continue reading

Prehistoric monster snake: the real life Basilisk?

One of the nice things about living in the UK is there are very few wild animals out there that will do you harm. But to be fair, this is largely the result of previous generations of Brits driving wild animals to extinction. The loss of wolves from Britain in the 17th century means that … Continue reading

Slime moulds stick together through thick and thin

 Living with other people can be tough at times, particularly if you’ve gotten used to living on your own before. For example, someone can be driven slowly potty when living with a ‘rollophobic’ by his or her pathological inability to change the loo roll. As such, sharing your living space harmoniously requires both patience and cooperation, … Continue reading

Christmas special: The Twelve Factoids of Creatures – part 2

So it’s Christmas Eve’s Eve! And as promised here is the second part of the ‘Nature is anything but simple’ twist on a yuletide classic—the ‘Twelve Factoids of Creatures’. As I said in the previous post (read it here), these factoids are inspired loosely (in some cases very loosely) by the gifts in the Twelve … Continue reading

Christmas special: The Twelve Factoids of Creatures – part 1

So it’s Christmas in less than a week! But, instead of your typical Christmas-themed post, here is a ‘Nature is anything but simple’ twist on a yuletide classic: the Twelve Days of Christmas. In my next two posts, I will countdown through ‘Twelve Factoids of Creatures’ that are inspired loosely (in some cases very loosely) … Continue reading

What do you get if you cross a chimp with a pig?

It sounds like a joke… but the punch line might surprise you. According to American geneticist Dr. Eugene McCarthy, the answer is… no offence… you! Well, not just you but all of us – as he claims that: ‘humans evolved after a female chimpanzee mated with a pig’. Unsurprisingly, his hypothesis has not been published … Continue reading

The Stark Truth about the Direwolf

Winter is coming! The long summer seems like a distant memory, and the icy Winds of Winter approach. To mark the change in season, this week’s post reveals the Stark truth behind a fearsome ‘ice age’ predator: the direwolf. For those of you who spotted my not-so-subtle hints – you’ll know that this post has … Continue reading


Follow me on Twitter