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 !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.
Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

Look at my amazing room now !


This is just a short mid-week post to say that over the last week my bedroom has been completely redesigned around my bones ! It has always had tons of bones in it, but I was getting so many that I had to find new places to put them on display. The bones were already over 14 shelves and four walls, and I needed a way to show them off while having space to put the rest of my stuff away.

I've written about my room before in October 2011 when I got my 100th skull on display (read that here). This next picture is is what my room used to look like back then:

Megatherium the weird badass sloth, at NHM


Megatherium was a complete badass. It's unlike anything that exists today. It lived in South America for a huge amount of time (1.9million years). It was huge, six metres long, as heavy as an elephant, one of the biggest mammals ever. Even so it could walk on its back legs, just like a bear. But it's not a bear, it's a sloth. No-one is scared of sloths, but Megatherium would have been scary. When it was first described in 1795 all museums around the world wanted to have a skeleton (this website is good on the history)

 It looks like a savage predator but it was actually a herbivore (plant eater). It looks like a dinosaur, but it only died out 10,000 years ago (dinosaurs died out 65,000,000 years ago). When you look at the history of the earth, it came close to still being alive today, and no-one really knows why it isn't.

I started blogging four years ago today !


Today is my fourth blogiversary ! I wrote my very first post on 21st July 2009, and since then I have written 257 posts, which is just over one a week. Since then a lot of things have happened (like my book !), and my blog posts now are longer and more detailed than they used to be, but I still do things just the same as when I started, and I am glad so many other people enjoy what I write.

One of the first things I did when I set up the website was to add a bit of code (from Statcounter) that tells you about people that visit, and how they got to my website. Sometimes the things people are searching for are weird or funny. So here as a special extra post on my blogiversary are some of the ones I thought were the funniest !

4 reasons why Scotland is great for bone collecting


It has almost been four years since I have been blogging (look out for a special post on Sunday about that) and five years since I have been collecting bones. One of the questions I most get asked is how do I find all my bones ?  The main answer is that I am very lucky to live where I live.

I didn't realise how lucky I was until I went to London. London is a great place and everyone was friendly but there are a lot of people living close by each other, and not much countryside or green spaces. My village in Scotland has about 500 people living there, but where we were staying in London, there might be that same number just living in one block of flats.

So here are my four reasons why I think Scotland is brilliant for wildlife and bone collectors:

A quick SNEAK PEEK at my book so far !


One of the most exciting things when I was in London was visiting Octopus Publishing (where TickTock are based) to talk with my editor Jo about my book. Mum, dad, me and my two young brothers got the tube then walked to Shaftesbury Avenue where there is a massive office block where Octopus Publishing are based. The views from their offices were amazing, and you could see the London Eye, St Pauls, the Shard and another big building nicknamed 'the cheesegrater'.

We were in a big boardroom and Jo had arranged drinks and snacks for us all. Sam and Harry played nicely with their toys (and my baby brother Harry did a big noisy poo, which is probably the first time that had happened in a meeting there) and Jo showed me spreads of the whole book, and some new completed pages and I'm allowed to show some of them here now !

Strange bones #14: Two weird bone pathologies


'Pathology' is the study of what is left behind after death, but scientists also use 'pathology' to describe anything unusual on bones. After writing about my buzzard skeleton last week I went back to look at Storm which is a bird skeleton I collected in 2011 in Suicides Graves Wood. 

When I collected Storm there were black feathers about, so because of that and because of the bone size I guessed it was probably a corvid (crow) but I didn't know what type because the skull was missing.While looking at Storm's skeleton I spotted something unusual which I am going to write about this week, together with another metatarsal which dad picked up on a walk and brought back to show me.

Buzzard skeletons (and bird skeletons in general)


I don't really write much about bird skeletons because complete ones are so hard to find. Bird bones are smaller, lighter, easier to break (and eat) and more likely to get scattered about, and often the way the birds get killed destroys some of the bones. Every single time I go to the pheasant woods near my village I find bones from pheasants killed by foxes but I hardly ever find the skulls.

That's why I was so excited when dad came back from a walk (my leg is still to weak to do proper walks)  and said he had found a buzzard skeleton. Buzzards are medium-sized birds of prey, bigger than most raptors like sparrowhawks, but still only small when compared to golden or white-tailed eagles. But not only had he found a buzzard skeleton - he had got all the major bones !

Free counters!