As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
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Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

Three things that will help me be a better scientist


This is a very quick post about three new things I've been doing that help me with my collection and make me a better bone collector. They are techniques that museums and universities use and it's good for me to start using them now because my collection is getting so big it's getting confusing !

The last few weeks I've been catching up and going through my entire collection with them. And the three things are....

Abraham, my new otter skeleton


For ages I have wanted to have an otter skeleton. I came so so close to getting one a few years ago but I  was stopped by the police when dad was far too honest. Then three months ago I got an email from a really nice man called Mr Evans who is a retired museum curator in the north of Scotland.

He had read about me in the Times and he gave me some useful advice and he said that he had an otter skeleton that I could have if I wanted. I said I would love to have it ! It took ages to arrange to get it (I'll explain why below) then about three weeks ago he called down and dropped it off !

My brilliant new clever invention for cleaning bones


For ages I have been thinking of a better way of cleaning bones with biological washing powder. I have been using biological washing powder to clean for almost two years now after it was recommended when I visited Perth Museum. I wrote more about it in my complete guide to cleaning bones, but the way it works is it contains enzymes which eat away and dissolve fat. 

Up until now the way now I have been putting the bones to be cleaned in a plastic container, adding the biological powder, then adding hot (not boiling) water then leaving it for a while, then adding a new lot of hot water and powder. The problem is that when the water cools it doesn't clean as well so it takes lots of changes of water.

So I have been thinking for ages for a way to do it easier, where it's nice and clean, and it heats itself. Then two weeks ago I was at a nearly-new sale with my family and Dad saw this and wondered if it might work....

Can you help me prove Chris Packham wrong ?


This is a very quick post, and it is another one where I need your help ! Can we prove Chris Packham wrong about something ?

Ric Morris is another bone collector who I met earlier this year and he sent me a tweet about a really interesting interview in the Radio Times between Chris Packham (for people outside the UK he's a famous wildlife presenter who I met last year) and David Attenborough (who is the world's best wildlife film maker). Ric sent me the tweet because I thought I'd be interested in them talking about polar bear skulls but there was something else that was even more interesting to me when I read it today:

Exploring the WWII bunkers on Sheriffmuir


This is a slightly different post and it's about things from World War II so I thought the best day to write about it was Remembrance Sunday. Remembrance Day happens on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November which are the same day this year. It is the anniversary of the end of World War I but on this day we remember the soldiers that have died in all wars.

On a moor called Sheriffmuir near my house there is a big secret from World War II that not many people know about, even the ones who live here. Hidden on the moors are bunkers and walls that were built in 1943, not to defend anything but to practice for one of the most important events of World War II, the D-Day landings when the Allied forces attacked France to force the Germans out of there. The Germans had built big fortifications along the beaches, and the Allies had to practice how to break through them.

Stalking red deer during the rut


Normally the four red deer forests that I explore just have herds of hinds (females). Unlike roe deer, red deer females group together for protection and to raise the calves. But at the end of September red deer stags start to come down into these woods from the moors to the north for the rut. The rut is when the stags round up the hinds to have lots of sex with them, and they will fight other stags to protect their groups of females which is called their harem. It's one of the weirdest ways to have babies but it seems to work for them.

BBC Autumnwatch has been on this week and they have been following the red deer rut on the isle of Rum (which is near Skye where I was last month). Scientists like the red deer there because the red deer are a closed population that can't go anyway, and so are good to study. Autumnwatch filmed some amazing scenes and my story is good but not quite as interesting as theirs.

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